Food preparation and nutrition equips pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook a variety of different meals, whilst making informed choices about their diet, nutrition and health. Pupils develop vital life skills that will help them to become more self-sufficient, learning how to prepare and cook food safely, using appropriate techniques (frying, boiling, baking etc.). Pupils also learn about how to store food responsibly and the health hazards associated with failing to do so.

Pupils are taught to recognise the physiological and psychological effects of a poor diet and develop an understanding of the functional properties and chemical processes associated with different types of food, along with its nutritional content. Pupils will have the opportunity to follow a variety of different recipes, ranging from traditional British food to international cuisine, to inspire new ideas and broaden their culinary repertoire.

Food Preparation and Nutrition at KS3

Food is taught at KS3 as part of the Product Design carousel where pupils learn basic food skills, hygiene and safety, building up their confidence in using hand tools and electrical equipment. For more information, please refer to the Product Design subject page.


Formal assessment takes place at the end of each Half-Term

Food Preparation and Nutrition at KS4 (GCSE)
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
  • Foundation knowledge and skills
  • Nutrition
  • Macro nutrients
  • Practical skills building
  • Nutrition – micronutrients
  • Energy and health
  • Heat transfer and cooking – functional and chemical properties
  • Continuation of functional and chemical properties
  • Food safety
  • Factors affecting food choice
  • Social, ethical and moral issues
  • Food investigation
  • Food preparation assessment and 3-hour practical exam
  • Exam revision

Examination Board: AQA

Paper 1 – Food Preparation and Nutrition
Overview Focus
  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 100 marks
    • Multiple choice questions (20 marks)
    • Five questions, each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)
  • 50% of GCSE
Assesses pupils’ theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition, covering:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance
Non-Exam Assessment
Overview Focus
  • Task 1: Food Investigation (30 marks)
  • Task 2: Food Preparation Assessment (70 marks)
  • 50% of GCSE
Task 1: Food investigation
Assesses pupils’ understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
Pupils will complete a written or electronic report (1,500–2,000 words) including photographic evidence of their practical investigation.Task 2: Food preparation assessment
Assesses pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.Pupils 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.
Enrichment Offer

After-school sessions are offered to KS4 pupils studying Food Preparation and Nutrition each week.

Useful Resources and Revision Support