Health and Food Technology

Health and Food Technology is far more than just learning to cook and has evolved into a more demanding and scientific subject, whilst also offering practical and transferable skills such as: time management, problem solving and organisational skills.

Pupils gain knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for living as individuals and as members of a family. They also gain an awareness of the environment in which we live and how all our choices, including those around food, can help us create and sustain a better environment. All courses from National 5 to Advanced Higher involve learning through practical activity which improves pupils’ ability to link theory to practice.

Pupils are formally introduced to HFT from T1 upwards and by S2 will already have gained a secure grounding in the key concepts and skills required when moving on to certificated courses. Pupils are able to study Health and Food Technology at National 5 and Higher levels and also have the option of studying Hospitality at National 5 as well.

HFT - National 5

At National 5, the HFT course enables pupils to develop and apply practical and technological skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed food and consumer choices. Pupils will also develop and apply safe and hygienic practices in practical food preparation, as well as a knowledge and understanding of the important relationship between health, food and nutrition. These skills are developed through the study of three separate areas:  

Food for Health

Food Product Development

Contemporary Food Issues


HFT - Higher

The Higher HFT course addresses contemporary issues affecting food and nutrition, including ethical and moral considerations, sustainability of resources, food production and development, and their effects on consumer choices. Learners analyse the relationships between health, food and nutrition. They plan, make and evaluate food products to suit a range of dietary and lifestyle needs. These skills are developed through a deeper exploration of the same three areas as National 5.

Hospitality - National 5

The National 5 in Hospitality is offered to pupils alongside other Highers and Advanced Highers In S5 and S6. This course contains a significant practical component and aims to develop learners’ life skills and enhance their personal effectiveness in terms of cookery and to provide a set of skills for those who may wish to progress to further study in the hospitality context. In preparing pupils for life, the course anticipates their future needs in that it allows them to learn how to plan, prepare and cook food for themselves and others. It also develops organisational skills which have an application in a wide range of contexts:

  • to be able to use a range of cookery skills, food preparation techniques and cookery processes when following recipes
  • to be able to select and use ingredients to produce and decorate dishes
  • to develop an understanding of the characteristics of ingredients and an awareness of their sustainability
  • to develop an understanding of current dietary advice relating to the use of ingredients
  • to be able to plan and produce meals and present them appropriately
  • to work safely and hygienically

Across all the courses on offer, the department aims to provide pupils with as many practical and hands on experiences as possible to reinforce the theoretical learning. Activities such as Food Show Down which is loosely based on the TV cooking competition Ready, Steady Cook, visits to local restaurants and workshops such as molecular gastronomy or the preparation of game for Higher pupils all provide invaluable practical experiences for our pupils. They also provide insight into other areas such as mass food production or the notion of farm to fork. The department also regularly welcomes professional chefs to share their expertise and experience with our pupils.

In addition, the department also provides a significant contribution to our S6 ‘Life After Lomond’ programme providing lessons on producing healthy meals in minutes and on a budget. They also contribute to the Duke of Edinburgh programme though a regular cooking skills club.

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To find out more about how we engender hard work and determination in our young people, come and visit us and meet our dedicated teaching staff and speak to our pupils.