contact us
parent portal
contact us
parent portal

Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition


Food and Nutrition

At MSJ we recognise the importance of being able to cook, understand our food and know what a healthy diet means, so Food and Nutrition is a subject in its own right, with timetable allowance for study right across the year. This sets us apart from most other schools; Food and Nutrition has a prominent part in the curriculum alongside any other subject.

In year 7, 8 and 9 girls will have alternate cooking and theory lessons. In practical lessons, girls will follow a recipe booklet with recipes increasing in skill level and complexity, as they progress though the Key Stage, each complete with a ‘My Learning Journey’ tracker so they can see their progress made, as they complete the listed skills. In theory lessons, girls learn about hygiene, safety, where their food comes from, healthy eating through the British Nutrition Foundation’s Eatwell Guide.

Girls will also learn to consider consumers’ food and drinks choices in society and begin to understand the science behind their recipes posing questions such as, why did my bread rise? We also debate about current issues such as free range farming versus battery farming, organic versus the use of chemicals to create good harvests, is the obesity epidemic down to consumers or manufacturers? Should there be a sugar tax? If girls wish to continue past Year 9, they can take the GCSE course from AQA in Food Preparation and Nutrition and further study in the Sixth Form, where they can take the WJEC Food Science and Nutrition Level 3 Diploma. Even if girls decide they don’t wish to take Food and Nutrition as an option for further study, our aim is that they are left with an invaluable life skill of being able to cook wholesome meals for themselves as they grow up, with the ability to converse about food showing an awareness of where it all comes from!

If girls are particularly keen on their cooking, there are many extracurricular opportunities such as:  the Summer Term Cooking Club, the MSJ Master Chef Competition, cooking at local Food Festivals and taking the prestigious Leiths course in the Sixth Form.  


GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Key components of the course:

  • Food commodities 
  • Principles of nutrition 
  • Diet and good health
  • The science of food
  • Where food comes from
  • Cooking and food preparation

The course is taught through a series of hands on practical cookery sessions, food science investigations and classroom based theory lessons.

Year 10 will focus on the six core topics and will involve classroom based learning as well as practical cookery lessons and food science experiments to master a wide range of practical skills.

Year 11 will focus on completion of two Controlled Assessment tasks worth 50% of the final marks:

The Food Investigation Assessment (15% total marks) is a scientific food investigation that will assess knowledge, skills and understanding of the scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food.

The Food Preparation Assessment (35% total marks) will require you to prepare, cook and present a menu to assess your skills in planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food.

In the Summer Term of Year 11 there is the final written examination (1 hour 45 minutes) worth 50% of the final marks which assesses the key components of Food Preparation and Nutrition.

This course will suit pupils who have a real interest in food, cookery and the nutritional value of what we eat. They should be prepared to cook and try a variety of recipes and foods, and have a genuine desire to find out more about the food we eat and the impact of diet related health issues. It will also suit girls who enjoy practical work and who would benefit from a GCSE where 50% of the final marks are examined via Controlled Assessment rather than formal examination.


Level 3 Diploma in Food Science and Nutrition (over 2 years)

The diploma in Food Science and Nutrition carries the same number of UCAS points as an A Level. It is graded Distinction *, Distinction, Merit, Pass.

Year 12

In Year 12, girls will cover Unit 1: Meeting Nutritional Needs of Specific Groups of which the key components are:

  • Importance of food safety
  • Properties of nutrients
  • Relationship between nutrients and human body
  • Planning nutritional requirements
  • Plan and cook complex dishes

There will be an internally assessed piece of work (25%) and in the Summer Term there is the one written examination for the whole course (90 minutes plus 15 minutes reading time) worth 25% of the final marks which, assesses the key components of Unit 1.

Year 13

Unit 2 and 3 are covered in Year 13.

Unit 2: Ensuring Food is Safe to eat has an external assessment. (25%)

Key components:

  • How micro-organisms affect food safety
  • Understand how food can cause ill health
  • Understand how food safety is managed in different scenarios

Unit 3: Experimenting to Solve Food Production Problems has an internal assessment. (25%)

Key components:

  • Scientific properties of food
  • Scientifically investigate changes to food
  • Be able to solve food production problems

Taking the Food Science and Nutrition Diploma with a science could open up possibilities to studying Food Science, Food & Nutrition, Food Technology, Dietetics, Food and Consumer Science, Nutrition, Food Management, Exercise & Health, Consumer Marketing and Consumer Law. Food Technologist with large food stores, NPD, QC, Food Production Management, Quality Assurance Management, Food retail management, Marketing, Health Promotion, Dietician, Teaching (with a PGCE)