“No-one is born a great cook. One learns by doing.” Julia Child

What takes place before teaching in the classroom?

At St Anthony’s the intent of our food technology curriculum is to apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, whilst instilling a love of cooking in all our pupils. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill for pupils now and in later life.

Throughout their time at school, we aim to encourage independent thinking and learning through practical participation. Whilst developing the skills needed to become an independent cook, the department also ensures that our students have a wider understanding of environmental impacts on our choice of foods and why there should be more encouragement to buy in season.

Our students learn about multicultural foods and experience how different cultural foods influence our everyday food choices. Students also develop an understanding about how to shop and create meals economically.  They are taught to understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients. Underpinning this is a knowledge and understanding of food hygiene and safety.

We also aim to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of cooking and nutrition in the following way:

  • KS3 – We encourage pupils to understand the importance of nutrition and health. Pupils are taught to prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes, in order to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet. Pupils become skilled in a range of preparation and cooking techniques. They are taught safety and hygiene linked to food preparation and food storage.
  • KS4 – Pupils build on the foundations taught in KS3 and progress their practical skills, alongside their knowledge and understanding of food, safety, hygiene and health.  They learn how to apply their skills and knowledge across a range of recipes, with increasing independence and developing decision making skills. Pupils are taught how to evaluate and refine their ideas and to create menus, dishes and recipes that meet specific needs.

The Senior Leadership Team will:

  • Lead the school staff to develop a clear overarching curriculum intent which drives the ongoing development and improvement of all curriculum subjects
  •  Ensure that the curriculum leaders have appropriate time to develop their specific curriculum intent through careful research and professional development.
  • Provide sufficient funding to ensure that implementation is high quality.

The Health Curriculum Leader will work closely with the subject teachers to:

  • Understand and articulate the expectations of the Health Department to the Head Teacher and Governing Body.
  • Support teaching and support staff.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression of skills and knowledge are in place which support pupils in their understanding of cookery processes.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression of food technology skills and knowledge is in place over time so that pupils are supported to be the best that they can be, and challenge teachers to support struggling pupils and extend more competent ones.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression for vocabulary is in place for each phase of learning, which builds on prior learning.

What does this look like in the classroom?

  • Secondary Food Tech provision is overseen by a qualified Teacher and Associate Teachers/SSA’s who specialise within the subject and have relevant qualifications. KS3 pupils have one double lesson a week. Pupils who choose to study Food Tech at KS4 have one triple lesson a week.
  • Transition from KS3-KS4: Pupils experience a range of coordinated, progressive activities based on the National Curriculum in KS2 and KS3, followed by the BTEC Home Cooking Skills Pathway in KS4. 
  • KS4: The Key Stage 4 curriculum has been developed to support St Anthony’s pupils with their individual development, learning and appropriate level of accreditation. Food Tech is one of the options available which is delivered through the Edexcel Btec Home Cooking Skills program at level 1 or 2, dependent upon individual progression of skills and knowledge.
  • The Health Department has detailed planning which links with our curriculum progression document and assessment opportunities.
  • The Curriculum Progression document is a skills based overview showing how we plan for progression in food tech and develop competence in a range of skills . Pupils explore the inter-related theme of health, hygiene, safety, economic principles, seasonality, cultural influences and history, alongside food preparation skills, and how to adapt these skills to more challenging recipes.
  • Lessons are engaging and pupils are challenged by the curriculum they are provided with.
  • Lessons take account of Rosenshine’s Principles – 17 Principles of Effective Instruction. (see separate document)
  • Children have the opportunity to respond in a variety of ways. These may include practical work, written work, Makaton or discussion.
  • Aspects such as our food heritage, celebrations, culture and digital learning will be included at relevant points throughout each academic year.

Classroom Organisation

  • Pupils work in a whole class, small groups or individually to support pupils in their development of their skills.
  • Differentiation and personalisation are planned for within activities and allowance is made for ability and experience.
  • We provide appropriate quality equipment and have explored additional funding options e.g. securing bids to purchase specially adapted kitchen equipment and health and nutrition resources. Engaging displays and learning walls are evident.
  • Support staff are deployed effectively to enhance learning.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities:

Additional opportunities are provided for those who have a particular interest in food and nutrition. We run a number of after school clubs including Primary, Secondary and Social Support Groups. We offer pupils the chance to enter into national and local cooking competitions. We discuss health and nutrition in our termly assemblies, and provide real life links by assisting with catering for school productions and events.

  • Each term we run a Rising Stars enrichment program for pupils who have shown an interest in Food Technology.

How is success in Food Technology Measured?

Food tech contributes to broader curriculum aims by promoting the position of food education within the health and well-being agenda of the whole school. The teaching of Food Tech enables pupils to make informed choices to achieve a healthy balanced diet for themselves and others.  It allows them to be creative and reflective, with the ability to evaluate and refine their ideas.  Food tech broadens our pupils’ food experiences by trying and creating new ingredients and dishes.  It also increases their independence and decision making skills.

Our pupils are:

  • Engaged because they are challenged by the curriculum which they are provided with.
  • Resilient learners who are learning to overcome barriers and understand their own strengths and areas for development.
  • Safe and happy to be active participants in food tech lessons (having been given opportunities to explore their own creative development in a supportive and nurturing environment).
  • Showing progression of knowledge and understanding, with appropriate vocabulary and technical skills which support and extend learning.
  • Becoming confident in discussing food preparation and cooking and the relevant links to health, safety, hygiene and managing money.  They are able to self and peer assess their own work and identifying their own strengths and areas for development.


  • Pupils are provided with personalised progress trackers showing their subject targets. These are linked to St. Anthony’s Assessment Steps and allow pupils to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. Progress trackers in KS3 feed into formal KS4 BTEC assessment tracker documents.  Our Progress Trackers for Steps, Pre-Steps and BTEC assessments are in place in pupil’s subject folders.
  • Data is recorded termly onto Classroom Monitor (our online recording system used for data collection). This enables staff to identify pupils who need additional support and develop those meeting or exceeding expectations.
  • Pupils are encouraged and nurtured to overcome any barriers to their learning or self-confidence because feedback is positive and focuses on practical skills and interlinked knowledge.
  • Assessment shows that pupils develop food preparation and cooking skills and confidence over time because of careful planning, focused delivery and time to practice and hone skills.
  • Observation, photographic evidence, listening, questioning, discussing and involvement in the activities are used to make assessments.
  • Assessment in food tech takes account of the practical nature of the subject in which information is collected and stored while pupils are involved in acquiring and applying preparation and cooking skills. Written work is assessed against learning outcomes detailed in progress trackers and formal BTEC assessment criteria.
  • We monitor the impact of our food tech provision through termly assessments, lesson observations, learning walks and work scrutiny.
  • In addition to academic achievement, social emotional progress including self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection may be discussed during Annual Reviews, in EOY reports, parent consultation evenings, open evenings and in postcards home to parents.

For more curriculum information about what pupils study in this subject please visit our curriculum and exams provision page .

Curriculum and Exams Provision Link