Food Preparation & Nutrition is a subject which is based upon teaching key life skills through ensuring students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, healthy eating, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, the subject focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.
The food room offers excellent facilities for the teaching of food with a variety of equipment and resources available to all students.
Students complete a unit that teaches the following:
- How to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health.
- How to cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they become skilled in making meals for a healthy and varied diet.
- Competency in a range of cooking techniques including: selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how best to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes.
- The functional properties of food.
- An understanding of the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.
Students can opt to study Food Preparation as a GCSE. This course allows students to develop and extend their practical skills and knowledge of Food Science and Nutrition.
EXAM BOARD: AQA
Subject content – what is covered?
Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:
- Food, nutrition and health – Macro Nutrients, Micro Nutrients, Nutritional Needs and Health.
- Food science – Cooking of food, Heat Transfer and the Functional and Chemical Properties of Food.
- Food safety – Food Spoilage, Contamination and the Principles of Food Safety.
- Food choice – Factors affecting Food Choice, British and International Cuisines, Sensory Evaluation, Food Labelling and Marketing
- Food provenance – Environmental Impact and Sustainability of Food, Food Processing and Production.
EXAM: Paper 1: 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 questions each with a number of sub questions worth 80 marks.
NON- EXAM ASSESSMENT (NEA): Task 1: Food investigation (15%) Written Report
Students’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. 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
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.
Which careers can this course lead to?
Studying food preparation and nutrition can lead to exciting and well paid career options. Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on the food industry to develop solutions for their nutritional needs. This course could lead you into roles such as a Chef, Food Product Developer, Buyer (who travels the world sourcing new food products for manufacturers), Food Safety Inspectors, Nutritionists, Dieticians, Quality Managers, Teacher, Food Engineer, Food Scientist, Food Technologist, Food Photographer, Food Stylist, Home Economist, Hotel and Restaurant Manager, Microbiologist, working in food magazines, radio and television – for more information on food careers please visit www.tastycareers.org.uk
Useful websites and publications
Homework is set on a weekly basis and builds upon students’ classroom teaching.