Years 7-9

Students  are given an introduction to cooking and nutrition. They study good food hygiene practice and learn about the equipment used in school. Lessons are a mixture of practical and theory work and students learn to prepare a range of mainly dishes.


Students will be assessed each term through written and practical application of their knowledge and understanding of a range of areas within food and nutrition.

Topics covered

  • Food hygiene
  • Equipment to be used
  • Healthy eating
  • The eatwell plate
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Food choice
  • World food
  • Food and the environment
  • Sensory food tasting
  • Food and religion
  • Food preparation and cooking methods throughout
  • Healthy eating
  • Nutrients in our diet
  • Food related illnesses
  • Hydration and water
  • The science behind sauces
  • Pastry – shortcrust to choux
  • Bread science
  • Sustainability of food
  • Food labelling
  • Food poisoning
  • Food preparation and cooking methods throughout building on year 7

Years 10 and 11

You will have a mixture of theory and practical sessions to learn the key principles and skills in food preparation and nutrition. There will be mini assignments which cover the main areas and include relevant practical work to enhance and demonstrate the key materials covered. There will be skills tasks and group work to ensure you develop the level of skills to succeed.

Specification content

Food preparation and nutrition will allow you to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills and encouragement you need to cook. It will give you the opportunity to apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating to real life situations and consumer needs. This GCSE gives you a good range of culinary techniques, as well as knowledge of nutrition, food traditions and kitchen safety. You will have skills in meat and fresh fish preparation, sauce making, pastries and breads as well as sweets and cake making.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics: food, nutrition and health; food science; food safety; food choice and food provenance.

Awarding body



All tasks will be assessed against the food preparation and nutrition assessment criteria. Home learning will be set to consolidate your learning and enable you to stretch yourself in independent tasks. There will be key assessments at appropriate times when areas of the specification have been completed.

Paper 1
Food preparation and nutrition worth 50% of the qualification with 100 marks and a written examination for 1 hour 45 minutes.

Two non-exam assessments:
Task 1 food investigation – a practical investigation from a set theme of 1500 – 2000 words including practical investigation.
Task 2 food preparation assessment – you will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes which will be cooked in one session of three hours. This includes a portfolio of work with photographs to show your practical work. These two tasks are worth 50% of the final qualification.

Topics covered

  • Food preparation skills
  • General practical skills
  • Knife skills
  • Preparing fruit & vegetables
  • Use of the cooker
  • Use of the equipment
  • Cooking methods
  • Preparing, combining and shaping
  • Sauce making
  • Tenderising and marinating
  • Dough
  • Raising agent
  • Setting mixtures

Food, nutrition and health

  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients (and water)
  • Nutritional needs and health

Food science

  • Cooking of food and heat transfer
  • Functional and chemical properties of food

Food safety

  • Food spoilage and contamination
  • Principles of food safety

Food choice

  • Factors affecting food choice
  • British and international cuisine
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Food labelling and marketing

Food provenance

  1. Environmental impact and sustainability of food
  2. Food production and processing

Recommended revision guides / course resources key stage 4 AQA GCSE food preparation and science