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GCSE Food and Nutrition - Exam Information


Course Overview

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

This is a new specification incorporating a range of skills, started in September 2016. Students will be taught in a mixed class, with a maximum size of 14. They will also have the chance to attend a patisserie workshop as part of the preparation for GCSE practical work. The OCR GCSE (9-1) specification in Food Preparation and Nutrition enables students to make the connections between theory and practice so that they are able to apply their understanding of food and nutrition to practical cooking.

Course Content

Students will study the relationship between the following using investigation work and food preparation skills

  • Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Food Science
  • Food Safety
  • Food Choice
  • Food Provenance

The practical skills are often used to support theoretical knowledge. The course covers four main topics: food and health, where students will explore the relationship between nutrition and health; characteristics and properties of food, where they will be able to design, plan and cook their own menus and recipes; sensory properties of food where they will use experiments and their senses to analyse a range of food products; and they will follow the rules of good food hygiene and safety.

Skills and Application

The Food Preparation and Nutrition course develops many skills. Students will expand and develop their ICT proficiency during the Investigative Tasks; extend their organisational ability and improve their time management as they learn to multi-task during the practical sessions.

Students will build upon the practical skills gained in Years 8 and 9 and these are of paramount importance. Students will produce a range of new dishes over the course, cooking once a week with the majority of ingredients provided by School. Students will improve their presentation skills; handling of equipment and their food preparation will become more competent.

This will all be utilised during the three hour final practical examination.


Reading and Resources

Students will be issued with a reading list. This is by no means an exhaustive list nor is it, in any way, prescribed, 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% per cent of the marks are through practical assessments. This includes:
  • 15% Food Investigation Task
  • 35% Food Preparation Task; including producing a three course meal in a 3 hour practical examination.

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 eight years.

Exam Board: OCR