Food Preparation and Nutrition

Department vision

Food is a vital part of our daily lives and is essential for life. As our students become adults and lead busy lives, it is easy to choose food which has been ready prepared. However, it is more nutritious and often cheaper to cook simple, delicious food.

Our aim is to:

Give our students vital life skills that enable them to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. Students will enhance their understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of ingredients and cultural cuisines through the preparation of food.

Encourage the development of technical skills and resilience in a safe environment, allowing students to demonstrate commitment and act on feedback.

Empower students to enable them to follow a recipe and substitute ingredients and cooking methods as appropriate, demonstrating an understanding of food science and food choices, e.g. veganism, allergies and healthy eating.

Engage with students to encourage them to understand the social, moral, ethical and environmental factors which affect the food industry on a global scale, and give them an understanding of the need to minimise food waste and eat responsibly, starting with their own practice.

Allow students to work in partnership with their peers in practical lessons, share opinions and ideas, and give and receive peer feedback to strengthen students’ independence and confidence.

Our hope is that through the Food curriculum, students are provided with a context through which to explore the richness, pleasure and variety that food adds to life, instilling a love of cooking in all students.

What will my son/daughter learn at Key Stage 3?

Year 7 – Food preparation and cooking skills, healthy eating and food safety

Year 8 – Food preparation and cooking skills, food science, and food and environment

Year 9 – Food preparation and cooking skills, nutritional needs and health, and food science

Which GCSE specification do we prepare students for?

AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition 

What will my son/daughter learn at Key Stage 4?

This is an exciting and creative course, which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills, to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

Students will also have the opportunity to develop advanced technical skills with a professional chef.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance

How it’s assessed:

Paper 1: Food preparation and nutrition

What’s assessed

Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1 to 5.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

100 marks

50% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment (NEA)

What’s assessed

Task 1: Food investigation (30 marks, 15% of GCSE)

Students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.

Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this NEA task.

Please note that for the 2022 cohort, task 1 has been removed.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (70 marks, 35% of GCSE)

Students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition, related to the chosen task.

Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.

Please note that for the 2022 cohort, the weighting of task 2 is worth 50% of the GCSE and students will be expected to prepare two dishes in the three hours provided.

Are there any websites that will support my son’s/daughter’s learning?


Food a Fact of Life

Future Chef

Head of Department: Mrs J. Subhan