Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE Exam Information


Course Overview

This lively and interesting course builds upon the foundation course pupils have studied in Years 8 and 9.

This specification, first taught in 2016 is an exciting, up-to-date qualification that is relevant to the world of food today.  Students will be taught in a mixed classes, with a maximum size of 14.   The OCR course enables students to make connections between theory and practice so that they are able to apply their understanding of food science and nutrition to practical cooking; this qualification aims to bring about real sustainable change, providing learners with the expertise and skills to feed themselves and others with a nutrious and well balanced diet.


Course Content

Students will learn about the following topics through a combination of written and practical work.

  • Nutrition, Diet and Health
  • Food Provenance
  • Food Security
  • Development in Food Production
  • Food Science
  • Practical Food Skills

Practical skills are interlinked with learning the theoretical knowledge of food science and pupils will undertake food science investigations to expand their knowlege and understanding of the functional properties of ingredients.  Through practical work pupils will also have the opportunity to develop their interest in the creative aspects and enjoyment of food.  They will also cultivate proficiency and confidence in using the high level skills necessary in food preparation and cooking.

Skills and Application

The Food Preparation and Nutrition course allows students to acquire a wide range of skills.  Students will build upon the food preparation skilss gained in Years 8 and 9 to perfect the high level practical skills required for success at GCSE.  Students will utilise a range of new techniques and skills and make a selection of new dishes throughout the course.  Students will develop their ability to work with a wide range of equipment and handle and manipulate food.  There is a focus on developing presentation skills in preparation for the final three hour practical exam.  There is one practical lesson each week with the majority of ingredients provided by School.  Good organisation is essential for success in Food Preparation and Nutrition.  Students will focus on advancing their organisational skills through detailed planning and improving their time management through multi-tasking during practical lessons.  The NEA (Non Examined Assessments) tasks provide an opportunity for students to develop their ICT skills.


Reading and Resources

Students will be issued with a reading list. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is a wealth of information that could be read which does not appear on the list at all!  The main thing is that students should read (books, magazines, periodicals, journal articles and newspapers), watch and listen to anything that is relevant.

Keeping up to date with current affairs is also very important as research into nutrition and food is constantly being updated.


The course is assessed by:

  • 50% by the written examination (1 1/2 hours)
  • 50% NEA (Non Examined Assessment), this includes:
  • NEA 1 (Food Investigation Task) worth 15% of the overall qualification.
  • NEA 2 (Food Preparation Task) worth 35% of the overall qualification.  NEA 2 includes a 3 hour practical exam.

The Department has consistently achieved outstanding GCSE results resulting in The Good Schools Award for GCSE Results at an English Independent school for 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The Department has also achieved the highest mark in Britain for four years of the past ten years.

Exam Board: OCR