GCSE D&T: Food Preparation and Nutrition


AQA, 8585, GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Course content and structure::

Thanks to celebrities like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, it is almost impossible to turn on a television or open a magazine without being cast into the versatile and fascinating world of food.

There can be no doubt that one of the most practical areas of Design and Technology for students in later life, is the subject of food.  Not only is the theoretical and practical knowledge of food a vital life skill, it opens a world of opportunity for employment and recreation.

This new GCSE is an 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. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition. It equips students with an array of culinary techniques, as well as knowledge of nutrition, food traditions and kitchen safety.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

Food nutrition and health, Food Science, Food safety, Food choice, Food provenance.

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries.

The course aims to extend students practical skills, develop confidence to work independently and to understand health issues related to diet. Students will carry out a combination of practical work, relevant theory and enjoyable projects throughout the course, with some input from professional bodies.

Practical work is carried out at least once a week and students will be expected to provide ingredients.

Year 10 course content

The first year of this course will focus on giving the students a firm foundation in the subject. Food preparation skills will focus on 12 skill groups. These will range from General practical skills, Knife skills, Sauce making, Tenderising, Setting mixtures and much more.  These skills will be taught through practical tasks and a range of workbook activities.

Food Nutrition and Health, along with Food Science, Food Safety, Food Choice and Food Provenance will also be taught throughout the year through a combination of theoretical and practical Tasks.

Year 11 course content

In Year 11 students have to complete two independent projects that form 50% of their final marks.

  • Task 1: Food investigation: Students' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this task.
  • Task 2: Food preparation assessment: 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.


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