Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE

Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE

Be creative, collaborate with others and develop your technical skills in this rewarding, practical subject. As well as making delicious food, you will study nutrition to understand the science that underpins cookery and deepen your knowledge of healthy eating.

Why St Mary's

Develop a high level of skill in this creative and practical subject. At St Mary's you will be supported by passionate subject specialists and have access to the very latest equipment and unique learning opportunities.

At GCSE level, you will benefit from increased practical time to hone your skills. You will also study the science underpinning what we eat and different cookery techniques, alongside exploring how to cater for special diets and plenty of scope for creativity and flair.

If you are keen to pursue a career in this field, this GCSE course is excellent preparation for the prestigious Leiths Certificate qualification in our Sixth Form.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Visiting Food Photography expert
  • Additional lunchtime and after-school learning opportunities
  • Optional trip to Italy for food workshops and tasting

Course overview

This course will enable you to:

  • develop an interest in the creative aspect and enjoyment of food
  • make connections between theory and practice, to apply understanding of food and nutrition and food science to practical cooking
  • gain confidence in using high level skills in food preparation and cooking
  • take on an informed approach, to evaluate choices and decisions about your own diet and health

Course content includes:

  • major commodity groups
  • diet and health
  • nutritional and dietary needs
  • macro and micro nutrients
  • food provenance (sources, supply and choice of food)
  • food processing and production
  • food security and safety
  • development of culinary tradition from different cultures
  • food science
  • food preparation skills and cooking techniques


Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE is assessed as follows: 

  • 50% written examination
  • 50% non-examined task which will include food investigation and food preparation

Leiths Certificate at St Mary's Sixth Form

At a glance
  • Syllabus: OCR
  • 50% written examination
  • 50% non-examined task
  • Excellent facilities
  • Optional Italy trip
You will enjoy this course if you ...
  • Enjoy working collaboratively and creatively
  • Are interested in nutrition and health
  • Want a more scientific understanding of food
  • Have a passion for food

What our teachers say...

"Food is a subject for which I have endless passion and enthusiasm. I have always been practical, active and creative and since the age of 14, I have pursued a career centered around flavour and taste, and the pleasure of food and wine."

"As far as I'm concerned we all know quite enough for our own good: that we should eat less red meat, more fish, more veg and stay off cheap bought junk. End of story." Prue Leith

Knowledge of food and the importance it plays in our every day life is changing everyday, as scientists discover more about its role in health. There are really two reasons to learn to cook well. One is for pleasure – for taste, flavour and social interaction. The second is to halt the downward spiral into expensive and unhealthy pre-prepared food, that we are tempted to rely on because of lack of skill or time.

If you are interested in pursuing A Level or university level study in the area of food and nutrition, this course provides a great foundation for further study.

At St Mary's, you will also benefit from access to the unique and prestigious Leiths Certificate in Sixth Form, which offers access to the expertise of tutors from Leiths - the UK's leading cookery school - and leads to a professional qualification.

Our careers department have excellent information on the potential future paths in this creative and growing industry, full of varied career routes including private and corporate event catering, food styling, recipe development and food journalism. With scope to work all around the world, this is a great qualification for those who would like to travel in the future.

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