Design Technology - Cooking and nutrition at Key Stage 3

The study of Cooking and Nutrition at KS3 includes being taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.

Students will cook a range of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet. Students will become competent in using a range of cooking techniques and to understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

The study of Cooking and Nutrition in Year 7 includes developing a broad range of practical skills, techniques and learning how to use equipment and standard recipes to develop, plan and cook single and/or multiple products hygienically and safely.

The students learn about healthy eating relating to a balanced diet, including the components of a healthy diet by classifying food into groups. Students learn to use the key concepts of design and technology – designing and making, cultural understanding, creativity and critical understanding.

This will be achieved by a range of activities and by completing two projects. Firstly the students will learn about wheat and its uses including how it is manufactured from field to fork, they will design and make a range of products using flour. Secondly the students will gain knowledge and understanding of the Eatwell Guide and independently prepare and cook a range of fresh ingredients, using a variety of techniques, to produce a repertoire of predominantly savoury healthy products.

The study of Cooking and Nutrition in Year 8 includes the continued development of a broad range of practical skills, techniques and learning how to use equipment and standard recipes to develop, plan and cook meals hygienically and safely. The students will develop their understanding of healthy eating relating to a balanced diet, the nutritional needs of different groups in society and the factors affecting food choice. The students will also develop their understanding of food safety when preparing, cooking and storing food including high risk foods.

This will be achieved by a range of activities and by completing a Food Hygiene Extension Project and a Healthy Main Meal project.

GCSE in Product Design – Food

Why study this subject?

Study this subject if you are interested in any/all of the below:

  • Design evolution – why do products change over time?
  • Green products and design for sustainability.
  • Exploring ideas, making prototype models and how to create a design portfolio.
  • Refining skills and making a final product and its packaging, using ICT in Design, CAD/CAM and digital photography.
  • How to make a product that you have designed, meeting a user need including packaging and customer care instructions and labelling so that it would be suitable for sale

What will I learn?

This course offers students a creative and challenging experience in designing and making a commercial product using a wide range of food as well as paper and card. It builds upon your experiences at KS3 and includes Computer Aided Design work and Computer Aided manufacture such as laser cutting and designing using ICT programmes such as Tech Soft 2-D.

How will I be taught?

At the start of the course you will study a core unit of work, comprising of both design and make tasks and core theory. You will then move onto mini project work producing portfolios of work to complement practical outcomes. Finally you will complete your controlled assessment. All this will be supported with preparation for your written exam.

How will I be assessed?

Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your attainment. Regular tests will allow you to practise exam-style questions and improve your understanding of the course.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

A GCSE in Product Design supports opportunities for challenging and exciting careers in many professions including; chef, cake designers, chocolatier and food manufacturing. It teaches a wide range of transferable skills such as problem solving, creativity, originality, design and make skills as well as analysis and evaluating.

Post-16 Progression

There are a number of food-related post-16 courses available, including A-Level Food Technology and Level 2 and 3 BTEC courses in Hospitality and Catering.

How much homework will I have to do?

You will have to complete one piece of homework every week. However, you will also be expected to continually develop your understanding independently as well as using the independent learning opportunities available on Frog.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

Speak with anyone in the Design Technology department. Alternatively you can look at the AQA website


King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Academy tel: 0121 464 4428.

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