A quick guide to the food and nutrition curricula around the UK.

Curricula in the UK


The national curriculum for England is statutory in all maintained schools (not free schools or academies). The curriculum support Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 (primary and secondary education, 5-14 years) (some subjects have details for Key Stage 4, 14-16 years).

Food is mainly taught through:

  • Design and technology: Cooking and nutrition;
  • Science;
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE).

Physical education also plays an important part in pupils’ health and wellbeing.

For further information on the curriculum in England, go to:

Northern Ireland

In primary schools (5-11 years), food is taught mainly through health education. It supports Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in The World Around Us (Science and Technology, Geography) and Personal Development and Mutual Understanding.

During secondary school education (11-14 years), food is taught through three main areas:

  • Learning for life at work (Home Economics);
  • Science and technology (Science);
  • Learning for life and work (Personal Development).

For further information on the curriculum in Northern Ireland, go to:


Curriculum for Excellence has two stages: the broad general education (from the early years to the end of S3) and the senior phase (S4 to S6). The broad general education has five levels (early, first, second, third and fourth). The senior phase is designed to build on the experiences and outcomes of the broad general education, and to allow young people to take qualifications and courses that suit their abilities and interests.

From early years to secondary schools (3-16 years), food is taught progressively through:

  • Sciences;
  • Technologies;
  • Health and wellbeing.

For further information on the curriculum in Scotland, go to:


The curriculum in Wales ensures that children in early years, primary school and secondary school have experiences learning about food. The curriculum comprises Early years, with progression onto National Curriculum (Key Stages 2 and 3, 8-14 years). The curriculum is under review.

The three areas of the National Curriculum where food is mainly featured are:

  • Design and Technology: food;
  • Science;
  • Personal and social education.

For further information on the curriculum in Wales, go to:


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