Food and Nutrition

All girls participate in Food and Nutrition lessons in the first two years, rotating with Art, Drama, DT, Textiles and Music. In Upper 4, students may chose to study the subject further. Lessons are action packed with many being practically based. All pupils prepare and cook a wide range of dishes and develop new skills, whilst advancing their knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Staff List

Mrs N Genzel - Head of Food and Nutrition
Joined St. Catherine’s in 2006, coming from Tormead School in Guildford and, prior to that, George Abbot School. Teaches Food and Nutrition at St. Cats, but has also taught Textiles and Child Development in the past. After leaving university and before coming into teaching she worked for Sainsbury’s, having been recruited onto their Graduate Training programme. 

Mr P Friend
Joined St Catherine's in 1998 to teach Mathematics. Outside school, his main passion is cooking, and he has a particular penchant for baking: he is very proud to have conquered the difficult art of making macarons and laminated pastry and in some of his spare time he runs his own baking blog. Also passionate about theatre (both on and off stage!), is a keen allotmenteer and is an avid reader of crime fiction.

Mrs J Barratt - Technician


Curriculum - GCSE

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Examination board: AQA
Course content:
  • Nutrition
  • Functions of ingredients
  • Food Labelling
  • British and International Cuisine 
  • Food Provenance: Environmental impact and sustainability
    - Food sources
    - Food and Environment
    - Sustainability 
  • Food Processing and production
    - Technological developments associated with better health and food production.
  • Principles of Food Safety


  • Written examination (50%)
  • Non-Exam assessment (50%)

Non-Exam Assessment - this is worth 50% of the final GCSE grade. The Non-Exam Assessment is made up of two distinct tasks:
1. The Food Investigation task – which is worth 15%
2. The Food Preparation task – which is worth 35% of the GCSE grade.

The tasks will allow the student to show their knowledge and understanding of nutrition, food science, food safety, food choice and food provenance. At the heart of the Non-Exam Assessment is the opportunity to showcase your practical cooking skills and your knowledge and understanding of ingredients, cooking and processes. Both projects must be completed in the final year of the GCSE course. A range of titles will be provided by AQA, both for the Food Investigation and the Food Preparation task.  These titles will change every year.

Curriculum - KS3


  • Hygiene and safety
  • Weighing and measuring
  • Use of the cooker - hob, grill and oven
  • Conduction, convection and radiation
  • Correct storage of foods
  • Healthy Eating - dietary guidelines
Food Groups -
  • Bread, cereal and potatoes
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, fish and alternatives
  • Dairy foods
  • Fatty and sugary foods


  • Introduction to the different methods of cake making
  • Product evaluation of cake products on the market
  • Packaging and labelling of food products
  • Italian Cookery - individual pupil research
  • Practical cookery covering a variety of Italian recipes


  • Introduction to Vegetarianism
  • Using alternative protein sources
  • Producy evaluation of vegetarian ready meals on the market
  • Research into Indian cookery and regional variations
  • Cooking to Impress - techniques and methods used to improve the presentation of food.

The Challenge - Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is a great 'British Tradition' dating back to Victorian times.  Today, many prestigious serve afternoon tea.  Taking inspiration from these establishments create a spectacular afternoon tea for a special occasion which demonstrate your food skills and creativity. 

Reading Lists


Please note that these are additional, interesting books to read. They are not set texts or anything truly relating to the syllabi.

  • Freeling, Nicholas / The Kitchen & The Cook. Big Cat 2002
  • Richardson, Paul / Cornucopia. Little Brown & Co 2000
  • Zuckerman, Larry / The Potato. Pan Books 1998

Non Fiction

  • Allen, Stewart Lee / In the Devil's Garden. Canongate 2002
  • Armesto, Felipe Fernandez / Food - A History. Pan 2001
  • Blythman, Joanna / The Food We Eat. Michael Joseph 1996
  • Hobhouse, Henry / Seeds of Change. Papermac 1992
  • Humphreys, John / The Great Food Gamble. Hodder & Stoughton
  • Kurlansky, Mark / Choice Cuts
  • Kurlansky, Mark / Cod
  • Schlosser, Eric / Fast Food Nation. Penguin 2002
  • Shepherd, Sue / Pickled, Potted & Canned. Headline 2000
  • Steingarten, Jeffrey / The Man Who Ate Everything. Headline 1998