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AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition


You will be taught the science behind what makes food tasty in a new GCSE called Food Preparation and Nutrition from exam board AQA

This qualification will equip you with:-

  •  an exceptional range of kitchen skills
  • an in-depth understanding of nutrition

At the heart of the qualification is a focus on developing practical cookery skills and a strong understanding of nutrition


50% Exam – split into 2 sections

1 hr 45 minutes  = 100 marks

Section A - 20 marks

  • Multiple choice questions

Section B - 80 marks

  • Contains five questions varying in styles of approach and content

50% Coursework or NEA – split into 2 parts

  • Food Investigation (15%) - Sept 1stin Y11
  • Based on food science e.g. investigate the best flour to make bread
  • Recommended time: 10 hours
  • Food Preparation Assessment (35%) - Nov 1stin Y11
  • Students will plan, prepare, cook and present a three course menu within 3 hours
  • Recommended time: 20 hours (inclusive of 3 hour practical period)
  • To also include a concise portfolio that:
  • Demonstrates your application of technical skills and your practical outcomes
  • Explains how you planned and carried out the preparation, cooking and presentation of your three final dishes
  • Includes an evaluation of cost, and the sensory properties and nutritional characteristics of each dish

Subject Content:

The theory work is divided into 5 main sections:-

  1. Food, nutrition and health
  2. Food science
  3. Food safety
  4. Food choice
  5. Food provenance

Practical Skills:

S1 – General practical skills 

S2 – Knife skills 

S3 – Preparing fruit and vegetables 

S4 – Use of the cooker 

S5 – Use of equipment 

S6 – Cooking methods 

S7 – Prepare, combine and shape 

S8 – Sauce making

S9 – Tenderise and marinate 

S10 – Dough 

S11 – Raising agents 

S12 – Setting mixtures

Reasons for Choosing this Subject

The hospitality and food industries are two of the biggest employers worldwide. This course gives learnersa sound basis from which to proceed on to food or catering courses. E.g. Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition.

If you enjoy working with food and are prepared to work hard in both written and practical lessons then this is the course for you.

How Parents/Carers can Help

Parents and carers can encourage their child/children to be as actively involved in food preparation at home as is possible. Taking an interest in the many food related and television programmes, watching and discussing them with your child/children can also be useful. Support will be vital in helping to organise practical ingredients for all required lessons and ensuring that resources provided by the department are looked after and used appropriately.

Links to Post 16 Learning

The Food and Hospitality industry is one of the largest in the world. Recent studies have shown that there are currently 10,000 vacancies for Chefs in the UK. There is also a skill shortage for supervisory and managerial positions in hotels and restaurants.

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