Our GCSE specification in food preparation and nutrition will equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and encouragement they need to cook. It will give them the ability to apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating.
Students will be able to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways, and develop vital life skills so that they can feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously.
What do you enjoy about the subject?
Zidan: Basically the cooking bit. All practicals are really fun, and of course you’re going to love Miss Sageena.
Nandini: I also enjoy cooking every week and I like that we get to learn something new every day.
What is the most challenging about the subject?
Nandini: I would say that it’s writing the reports because sometimes it can take a really long time.
Zidan: The reports.
Why did you choose this subject?
Zi Dan: Well first of all, I just really like cooking, and in the future I really want to be a chef.
Nandini: I also think about going to culinary school because cooking is really enjoyable and I still do it in my free time.
Was there anything in the subject that was different from your initial expectations? What
were the main changes from year 9?
Nandini: Yes, because most of my classmates were not aware that we were supposed to do reports and investigations. We just thought it was cooking every week.
Zidan: There are so many coursework to do. Especially once you reach middle of year 10 and the start of year 11, you really die.
How is the coursework?
Nandini: You write two reports. They ask us how to like- so we have like a Master Chef Challenge where we have to cook for three hours and make a three course meal.
Zidan: That’s basically your IGs for food tech. So basically for the coursework, you just gotta - for example, imagine you’re making bread, but you have to make a coursework on making breads so you find different types of flour, find different types of salt - it’s like that.
Is there a difference between the year 10 and year 11 coursework?
Zidan: Yes. There is a huge difference between year 10 and year 11 coursework. So basically in year 10, you learn the basics of it, for example like -
Nandini: We wrote down two reports and we got like two weeks to complete it.
Zidan: Yeah, and for us, our task 1 took us the whole of term 1 to complete it. That was our due date, and we still have more additional [for] doing that task 1 and in which we have to complete it. You have until the next month to finish it, so four months.
How are the lessons like?
Nandini: Yeah, there isn’t much homework and we don’t do really take notes, we’re just supposed to study from the slides before a test.
Zidan: Yeah, that’s why it’s really different from any other subjects. Yeah, you don’t necessarily need to study like any other subject, like History for instance. For history you need to know the dates and stuff. You have to know who killed who, who died because of what, but for food tech if you basically have a good common sense, you can basically pass, but you also need practical skills.
How much homework or independent study will I be doing a week in this subject?
Nandini: Not a lot, yeah, we don’t have much homework.
Zidan: Yeah, there’s basically like 0 homework but once the teachers start giving us - asking us to the presentation task in the coursework and stuff, yeah, you got a lot of things to do.
What are the skills or knowledge you can develop in this subject and why are they
Nandini: You can obviously learn a lot of skills from cooking like knife skills, but you also learn time management because you have to get everything done under a certain time. And you also get to learn a lot of writing skills because of the reports.
Zidan: Yep, practically what she said, so basically we learn so many things that’s it hard to list what we don’t learn in Food Tech. So basically you learn things like how you butcher a chicken properly, and there are so many ways to do it, and there are different types of knives you can use for different things, and you gotta use different chopping boards obvious, and you learn how to wash the dishes, so yea.
Any tips for the new Food Tech students?
Zidan: If you don’t plan on cooking that much, if you plan on taking this subject because you can’t take any subjects, don’t do that.
Nandini: Yeah, only take it if you really have a passion for cooking.
How are the tests?
Zi Dan: It’s actually harder than I thought, but it’s not that hard
Nandini: Yea, they’re quite easy. Sometimes you just have to memorise a lot.
What kind of things are there to memorise?
Zi Dan: So basically you have stuff like saturated fats, unsaturated fats - you got to memorise what they are, where they come from, and what are the deficiencies for the nutrients and vitamins etc.
Will taking any other subjects help me to be successful in this one?
Nandini: No, not really, because it’s quite a different subject. Maybe English.
Interviewer: English for writing?
Zi Dan and Nandini: Yea basically English
Zi Dan: If you don’t take English, you’ll regret it.
Did you have any conflict in subject choice and if so, how did you go about it?
Nandini: Yeah, I was conflicted between drama and food tech, but then I realised that I just like food tech more as a subject and I knew that I would enjoy it more in the future so I decided to pick it.
Zidan: So basically I have got a friend in my class who takes food tech as a backup subject because he didn’t have any other subject to take. So he took that, and he regrets everything but he said that food tech is literally super stressful but it’s like - how do I say - it’s stressful but it’s like the most chill subject because of the teacher.
Nandini: It’s enjoyably stressful.
Zidan: AH, yeah that.
Interviewer: So there’s a lot of work but you still like the subject because-
Nandini: Yeah,you enjoy doing the work because it’s cooking.
Overview by Ms Sageena
Hi, my name is Sageena and I will be talking to you about food preparation and nutrition.
So what are the three words that can best describe my subject? Definitely exciting, experimenting and challenging. And what are the top three skills needed to be successful in my subject? Definitely communication, teamwork and problem solving. And how does my subject promote personal development? I believe self-confidence above everything because you learn through language development, you learn through following instructions and sequencing, you are able to make decisions as well as develop your own judgements. How does your subject promote professional development? You could be chefs, dietitians, nutritionist and even food scientists. So what’s the best thing about my subject? It’s food. You get to cook it, and you get to eat it. That’s all.
Papers in AQA GCSE Food Tech
1 hour 45 minutes
Two sections, with section A being multiple choice and section B short format questions
2 Non-exam assessment reports
Food investigation task report
Food preparation task report
3 dishes and 20 pages report
Less than 3 hours