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GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

Examination Details AQA 8585

Course Specification available here

Assessment Details

Task 1: Food investigation (15%)
Task 2: Food preparation assessment (35%), including 3 hour bake-off

Course Information

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is a new 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.

Topics covered:

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  1. Food, nutrition and health.
  2. Food science – Cooking of food, Heat Transfer and the Functional and Chemical Properties of Food.
  3. Food safety – Food Spoilage, Contamination and the Principles of Food Safety.
  4. Food choice – Factors affecting Food Choice, British and International Cuisines, Sensory Evaluation and Food Labelling.
  5. Food provenance – Environmental Impact and Sustainability of Food, Food Processing and Production.


Food preparation and nutrition (50%) Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

The paper will be made up of 20 multiple choice questions worth 20 Marks and 5 additional questions.

Controlled Assessment (coursework) Information

NON- EXAM ASSESSMENT (NEA): Task 1: Food investigation (15%) Written Report
Tasks set September
Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of Ingredients eg investigate the role of raising agents in cake.  Students will submit a written report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.

NON- EXAM ASSESSMENT (NEA): Task 2: Food preparation assessment (35%) Written Portfolio

Task set November

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.

Students will submit a written portfolio (15 A4 pages) including photographic evidence.

  • Choice of titles provided by the examination board
  • Emphasis on skills and creativity to make a sustainable final product
  • Pupils must photograph their finished outcome and all stages of development and making
  • Tasks are completed under direct supervision

Additional Recommendation

  • All pupils will need an A4 folder and file dividers to bring into each lesson.

Steps to Success in GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

  1. Select your brief very carefully for NEA1 and NEA2.  Choose something that will interest you and about which you will be able to find out some facts. 
  2. For NEA 2 ensure your practical dishes are skilful, well garnished/decorated and will enable you to demonstrate your capability.
  3. Keep up-to-date with your work.  Draft out work ahead of the deadline.
  4. Be concise.  Use font 10 and only write about relevant information.  DO NOT copy out chunks of textbooks or sections from the internet.  (Use your own words to show understanding of the information.)
  5. Attend GCSE clubs and ICT sessions for one-to-one support and advice in 20R.
  6. Use ICT to present coursework and spell check it.
  7. n the examination read every question twice before starting and fill in every question. (Never leave a gap).  Underline the key points in the question.
  8. Check the mark allocation and make sure you have given one fact for every mark available.
  9. When you are revising use a variety of strategies eg notes, mind maps, flash cards etc.

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