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Health and Food Technology

A vibrant and welcoming topic that introduces pupils to practical cookery skills, alongside the academic study of contemporary issues in food and nutrition.

The Health and Food Technology Department is a bustling environment with a policy of ‘learning through action’. Pupils carry out a wide range of practical cookery tasks within our extensive and recently refurbished teaching room, enhancing the learning of the curriculum and developing important skills for life.

Studying Health and Food Technology can open up a number of routes into degree and college courses in food, health and hospitality related subjects. It is also looked upon favourably as evidence of an organisational and practical skills base when applying for university courses or employment.

HFT lessons are part of the scheduled timetable from Transitus year, meaning pupils develop practical cookery skills and learn about food preparation techniques from the day they begin their journey at our Senior School.

Transitus - S2 acts as a period of introductory teaching during which pupils begin to learn about food nutrition and the vital importance of food hygiene and safety in the kitchen, all in a manner that helps build strong organisational skills amongst learners. A highlight of the Transitus HFT year is the The Great Transitus Bake Off, a hugely popular event amongst our young bakers!

Following Second Year, pupils can opt for further study to SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level. The following courses are offered:

  • National 5 Practical Cookery
  • Higher Health and Food Technology
  • Advanced Higher Health and Food Technology

The National 5 Practical Cookery course is experiential in nature, developing a range of cookery skills and food preparation techniques, as well as encouraging planning, numeracy, organisational and time management skills amongst pupils. Candidates' knowledge and understanding of ingredients are developed, while the importance of food sustainability, responsible sourcing and current dietary advice are also addressed.

National 5 pupils demonstrate knowledge of the importance of food safety and hygiene in undertaking the REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene certification.

The Higher Health and Food Technology course addresses contemporary issues affecting food and nutrition, including ethical and moral considerations, sustainability of sources, food production and development, and their effects on consumer choices. Pupils analyse the relationships between health, food and nutrition in order to plan, prepare and create food products to a range of specific dietary and lifestyle needs.

Although the course is most suitable for pupils who have partaken in the Practical Cookery course at National 5 level, it can also be taken by highly committed new starts who wish to study the subject for the first time.

The Advanced Higher course picks up where the Higher course left off, with a more in-depth study of contemporary food and nutrition, sustainability and a focus on the psychology of food trends, production and development.

In the two main topics of study: 'Food for Health' and 'Food Science, Production and Manufacturing', pupils research and apply knowledge and understanding of the relationships between nutrition, food and health, developing detailed knowledge and gaining an understanding of the science and sensory testing of food. Other issues studied at Advanced Higher level include diet-related diseases, national food initiatives, food product development and food packaging.

With a high degree of independent learning involved, the course appeals to those who have studied Health and Food Technology at Higher level, and can display maturity and an ability to work on their own initiative. An independent research project makes up 60% of candidates' final Advanced Higher grade.

On successful completion of the Advanced Higher course, learners will be equipped to undertake further or higher education courses, engage in training or employment, with numerous opportunities becoming available in a variety of fields such as food science and technology, nutrition and dietetics, hospitality and sports nutrition.

Further Information

The HFT Department offers numerous extra-curricular opportunities and activities for pupils to participate in, including Cookery Club, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Cookery Skills Club and chances to participate in national cookery competitions.

Recent national competition successes:

  • Future Chef UK Scottish region winner 2021

  • Future Chef UK winner 2019

  • Rotary Young Scottish Chef of the Year 2019

  • Future Chef UK National finalist 2017

  • Rotary Young UK Chef of the Year 2017

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