Food, Nutrition, Health & Wellbeing

The Food & Nutrition curriculum is diverse, innovative and promotes creativity, with opportunities focusing on the essentials of good food & nutrition and developing essential cookery skills and techniques for life.

Head of Department: Miss Seema Singh

The Food, Nutrition and Health department aims to educate the girls on good nutrition, appropriate eating habits, exercise routines, sleep patterns and to encourage them to follow a healthy well-balanced life. The curriculum covers a large amount of practical cooking, where a wide range of cookery skills and techniques are developed over the weeks. The department promotes essential skills which apply throughout life and strives for excellence and the highest possible standard of outcomes.

Lower School curriculum

The Food, Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing course is part of a seven-to-ten-week carousel where there are specific focuses for each year group.

In Remove (Year 7), the focus is:

  • Healthy eating
  • Exercise
  • Food intake
  • Food safety
  • Storage

Practical lessons will include basic skills and techniques used to create simple meals. They will also learn good organisational skills, good time management and how to work in a methodical and hygienic manner.

In Lower Fourth (Year 8), the girls will learn about:

  • Food choices and why we eat what we eat
  • Sensible eating plans
  • Fad diets
  • Special dietary requirements
  • Eating disorders
  • Common problems resulting from a diet that is not balanced
  • Food labelling
  • Relaxation techniques.

Practical cookery will demonstrate a moderate skill level developing on existing skills and learning more challenging cookery techniques.

In Upper Fourth (Year 9), the focus is:

  • Meal planning
  • Analysing nutritional value of meals
  • Adapting classic recipes to make them more appropriate to today’s lifestyle
  • Creating meals for various occasions
  • The use of pre-made components to create equally healthy and impressive meals.

Practical cookery will demonstrate a high level of skills and techniques.

Upper School curriculum

Key Stage 4 and 5 (GCSE and A Level)

In Lower Fifth and Upper Fifth (Years 10 and 11), girls may opt to do Food, Health and Nutrition which, whilst it has no formal certification, is valuable for the development of cookery skills and techniques, as well as for general health and well-being. In Lower Fifth, the dishes prepared are based on ‘Great British Favourites’ and a combination of international dishes, all encouraging a positive attitude to eating and enjoyment of life. In Upper Fifth, the course is based on ‘Essential Cooking’ in preparation for university and life beyond. There is greater focus on budgeting, creating a shopping list, using leftovers, stress management techniques, sleep and exercise.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, girls have the opportunity to take the popular Leiths Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine. The duration of the course is five terms, after which, girls sit a written external examination and a practical external examination.

Further information about Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing and LEITHS may be obtained by contacting the Head of Food & Nutrition and Co-ordinator of LEITHS, Miss Seema Singh.

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

Book your tickets | Academic Conference – Maximising Pupils’ Potential | Thursday 13 June 2024
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