Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition

Developing life skills is key for the students at Westhaven, which is why Food and Nutrition is very important. Our aim is to lay an early foundation of basic practical skills and ensure that students have a love of cooking and an interest in nutrition from an early age. At Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11), students have the option to continue Food and Nutrition and gain a qualification.

Students are taught the principles of nutrition and healthy eating through a very practically based, specially tailored curriculum. All the ingredients are provided and the ethos of “learning by doing” is very much to the fore. Visitors are welcomed:

  • In 2018 students had the opportunity to work with ‘Warburtons’ school visitors team making bread and ‘Taste of Game’ association learning about game and preparing dishes using pheasant. 
  • In 2019, students welcomed back ‘Warburtons’ school visitors team making pizzas and ‘Taste of Game’, as well as welcoming ‘Chartwells’ school visitors team to decorate biscuits and make smoothies and ‘Healthy Chinese Cuisine Ambassadors’ who travelled from London, to give interactive workshops in Chinese cooking.
  • In 2020, students have welcomed ‘Chartwells’ school visitors team to decorate biscuits, create stir frys on induction hobs and create healthy breakfast bars.
  • In 2021, lower school students took part in ‘grow your own potatoes’ and middle course students ‘designed lorries’ for an Aldi competition. Upper school students welcomed a delivery of fish from ‘Fish Heros’ to work with.
  • Westhaven has celebrated ‘Healthy Eating’ Week in June for the past few years with free fruit and vegetables, exercise tasks – hula hooping, skipping and food challenges – guess the ingredient, guess the flavoured water initiatives. All have been enjoyed by students and staff!

In the lower school students have food and nutrition lessons embedded within termly topics. These lessons are delivered by primary tutors. Students have the opportunity to explore tastes, textures and food origins as well as learning about healthy eating and where food comes from.

In middle school students have 2 lessons per week (3 terms per school year) where they have the opportunity to develop a wider range of technical skills.  There is a focus on healthy eating, seasonality, food origins and food science (understanding what is happening to the food) where students have the opportunity to ‘learn as they cook’ a variety of dishes. The lessons are practically based with taste testing and experimental work as well as cooking dishes.

At Key Stage 4 the pupils have to opportunity to take a qualification suitable for the individual student:

– Entry Pathways Level 2 or 3
– GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Students have 2 lessons per week. All courses are a combination of written theory and practical lessons.

Student Opinions

Quotes from middle school students on why they enjoy Food and Nutrition lessons:

“The class is really fun because it is cooking.”
“We do lots of cooking.”
“I liked cutting and learning about knife safety.”
“I enjoyed taste testing different foods.”
“The lessons are really great, I learnt about the food guide.”
“I really like cooking and enjoy sharing the food I make with my family.”
“I enjoy making food but I find cooking lessons tiring.”
“Tasty and good and I love it.”
“Lessons are brilliant, nice and calming.”

Health & safety is our highest priority in Food and Nutrition.

Kitchens can be dangerous places if you have not been trained to use the equipment properly. We must comply with all relevant Health & Safety regulations and Food Safety Law.

Staff work hard to ensure your child’s safety whilst working in the kitchen, by applying sensible rules of conduct. Your child will be expected to work sensibly and follow all rules to enable them to work safely.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided for all students & staff.

If a student does not follow these rules or act in an unsafe manner, e.g. acting inappropriately, endangering their safety or that of others, refusing to wear PPE, or carry knives incorrectly etc., they will not be allowed to continue, until spoken to by the Food and Nutrition Subject Leader. Their Head of School will also be informed.

For your information:

All staff hold current Food Hygiene and Safety qualifications.

All work is supported by rigorous CLEAPSS Risk Assessments.

All equipment is checked, maintained and cleaned regularly.