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Food Studies

Food Studies at The Polygon School


Learning to cook and understanding nutrition and that food is a basic requirement to life to be enjoyed is an essential key life skill that all pupils at The Polygon School are undertaking. These skills can have an instrumental part in reversing the current trend of convenience eating (ready meals and take-away food) that is commonly seen amongst our cohort. The removal of all barriers is key, therefore, ingredients are provided for pupils at no individual charge. The pupils learn many valuable skills such as; organisation, communication, planning, evaluation and resilience. Gaining a knowledge of both local and international cuisine and processes enables pupils to prepare for an inclusive future building cultural capital.



Key Stage 3

The main objective for the Year 7 pupils is to develop an interest in food and cooking and to understand the long term health benefits of healthy eating.


Many of our pupils have not cooked from scratch and are not familiar with the working kitchen environment.


The main objectives within the first year are:

  • Become familiar with the cooking area
  • Develop confidence and interest
  • Learn the safe use of a knife
  • Health and safety
  • Explore the Eatwell Plate
  • Use basic kitchen equipment
  • Use the oven safely (grill, hob, oven)
  • Prepare a range of fresh ingredients, e.g. peeling, grating;
  • Weigh and measure ingredients.



During Years 8 and 9 skills are further developed alongside the theory of food and nutrition.

  • Prepare a range of recipes – becoming more confident cooks
  • Demonstrate their safe use of a knife and other small tools and electrical equipment
  • Handle raw meat safely (high risk foods)
  • Develop a greater awareness of time planning
  • Prepare a range of fresh ingredients
  • Understand food choices
  • Food provenance
  • The 7 nutrients
  • The 5 food groups
  • Health and safety
  • The importance of a healthy diet



Key Stage 4


Pupils will continue to develop and enhance their practical and theoretical knowledge and build confidence with their ability.


The NCFE Level 1-2 Technical Award in Food and Nutrition course will commence and the following will be added to previous learning.

  • To help students develop an understanding of the underlying scientific principles upon which current issues in nutrition are based.
  • To inform about methods of food production and processing in domestic and commercial situations.
  • To encourage an awareness of social, economic and cultural aspects of food choice.
  • To enable individuals to demonstrate and apply appropriate knowledge of concepts and principles when planning and preparing meals and when making food choices.




OCR Food Preparation and Nutrition (9-1) - J309 (from 2016)

  • Non-exam assessment 60%
  • Written examination 40%


Content overview


All content is covered in all components. There are seven sections.

  1. Health and safety relating to food, nutrition and the cooking environment.
  2. Food legislation and food provenance.
  3. Food groups, key nutrients and a balanced diet.
  4. Factors affecting food choice.
  5. Food preparation, cooking skills and techniques.
  6. Recipe amendment, development and evaluation.
  7. Menu and action planning for completed dishes.



  • To enjoy and understand cooking and food.
  • Learn in a safe and secure environment.
  • Planned structured and sequenced lessons.
  • Utilizing resources.
  • Broad range of learning experiences.
  • Qualified and experienced staff.
  • Consistent marking and feedback using PIXL marking policy.
  • Use of ICT
  • Cookery clubs.
  • Consistent and expected behaviour management in line with school policy.



As food is a basic requirement for life, the aim of this department would be to; enhance the pupil’s enjoyment and knowledge of food and nutrition, to increase participation and engagement and to foster an ethos of challenge and success.


Progress will be monitored through; marking in books, assessment, photographic evidence, emotional literacy data and Vcert results.


Support is offered post 16 by signposting appropriate college courses and potential career paths.

Food Studies Long Term Map