Food Preparation & Nutrition

Staffing of the department

Mr Xavier – Head of Department 

Mrs Woolgar – Teacher of Food


Educational philosophy / Aims of the curriculum

The GCSE in food preparation and nutrition aims to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. 

The course encourages students to cook and enables them to make informed decisions and develop vital life skills that enable them to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. 

In studying food preparation and nutrition, students must: 

  • demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking using a variety of food commodities, cooking techniques and equipment 
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical processes as well as the nutritional content of food and drinks 
  • understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health 
  • understand the economic, environmental, ethical, and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, and diet and health choices 
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food 
  • understand and explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and international), to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes

KS4 Curriculum

At St Ursula’s we follow GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition with the AQA exam board.


Year 10

Year 10 aims to deliver the theoretical knowledge to prepare students for the written examination and non examined assessment (NEA) in year 11. 

There are four units across year 10. 

  1. Unit1 – Protein and protein foods (meat, fish, eggs, soya, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds milk, cheese and yoghurt)
  2. Unit 2 – Fats (butter, oil, margarine)
  3. Unit 3 – Carbohydrates ( bread, cereals, flour, oats, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar and syrup)
  4. Unit 4 – Vitamin and minerals ( fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried, canned and juiced)

Each unit will look at aspects from each of the specified topics

  1. Nutrition and Health
  2. Food science
  3. Food safety
  4. Food choice
  5. Food provenance 

Practical skills, preparing and cooking with a range of ingredients and processes will happen alongside the theory, usually every other week. 


Year 11

Non Examined Assessment 1

  • Food Science Investigation
  • 15% of final GCSE grade

The exam board issues three task titles on September 1st. Students will choose one of the task titles.

Over a maximum of 10 hours, students research, carry out food science investigations and analyse their results resulting in a 2,000 report which is marked and sent to the exam board.

Non examined assessment 2

  • Food preparation task
  • 35% of final GCSE grade

The exam board issues three task titles on November 1st. Students choose one of the task titles.

Over 20 hours, students research, plan and prepare three dishes that can be produced in a 3 hour practical exam. This assignment is then completed with cost, nutritional and sensory analysis of the dishes.

 Written examination

  • 50% of final GCSE grade
  • 1 hour 45 minute written paper in May  / June.

The written paper will test knowledge and understanding, from the course content from the following sections. Past papers can be viewed on the AQA website.

  1. Nutrition and Health
  2. Food science
  3. Food safety
  4. Food choice
  5. Food provenance 

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public

DFE Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE subject content

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/food/gcse/food-preparation-and-nutrition-8585

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/food/gcse/food-preparation-and-nutrition-8585/subject-content/food-preparation-skills

https://www.ifst.org/lovefoodlovescience

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/

https://www.foodafactoflife.org.uk/

https://www.senecalearning.com/

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/food

Every kid in every school no matter their background, deserves to learn the basics about food- where it comes from, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies

Jamie Oliver

Food is our common ground, a universal experience

James Beard

We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than we are

Adelle Davis

Cooking is the ultimate giving

Jamie Oliver