Computers and wifi for NEA 2?

Can computers and the internet be used for NEA 2 Food Preparation and Nutrition?

These are responses I have received from Eduqas, AQA and OCR

Eduqas – my question and response from Allison Candy WJEC
Me – I wonder how the Nutrition Program can be used for NEA 2 for Eduqas.
Allison – I see no reason why the nutrition program cannot be used to do nutritional analysis if the brief requires it ( not all tasks will)
Me – If they are investigating how to make dishes healthier, can they use a nutritional analysis program or must they use a book to do the calculations?
Allison – Yes can use the program
Me –Portion control must be evident so how will they work out the kcals in a dish and the portion weight – again must this be done without access to the internet?
For sensory evaluation, descriptors are needed for sensory properties. The Nutrition Program has an online Star Profile – is this forbidden to be used and must they draw out the star profile by hand?
Allison – Yes can use the program, as they still need knowledge to analyse what they see.
Me – I have recently been on a food photography course on using a mobile phone but does the JCQ statement mean that mobile phones cannot be used to photograph dishes?
Allison – If centres are happy for learners to use phones in class that’s fine .


This is the response from AQA Customer service adviser

The NEA is not formally supervised (I understand this meaning a formal exam under exam conditions), the NEA is not under formal conditions.
Students are therefore permitted to:
– use the internet for research purposes
– use nutritional analysis software.
– use digital photography, whether this is a mobile or other devise.  This will be at the discretion of the centre’s policy on digital images etc.

This is the response from Gill Taylor, Subject Officer OCR

‘I am aware that the reference to resources and the information related to this in 4.3  in the JCQ guidance has caused some concerns amongst Food teachers. We have produced guidance for the NEA on page 20 of the OCR specification J309 GCSE (9-1) Food Preparation and Nutrition.
We have not stated in our guidance that the use of resources  is tightly prescribed  to candidates preparatory notes and access to the Internet is not permitted and candidates are not allowed to bring their own computers devices and phones.
I am aware that the JCQ statement  4.3 on resources (• the use of resources is always tightly prescribed and normally restricted to the candidate’s preparatory notes; • access to the internet is not permitted; • candidates are not allowed to bring their own computers or other electronic devices, e.g. mobile phones) does stand for other subjects  such as OCR GCSE Computing.
We would wish our candidates to use a nutritional analysis programme in NEA 1 to investigate the chemical (nutrient) structure of food commodities when they are researching. This is useful for candidates understanding and knowledge of the functional properties of food.

For the NEA Task 2 . Our expectation is that candidates use nutritional analysis for consideration and suitability of dishes in terms of nutritional choice. We expect candidates also to use nutritional analysis to assess the contribution a dish makes to a balanced  diet with reference to the governments guidelines for a healthy diet.

In our CPD training we suggest and recommend that teachers and candidates use the Nutrition program (Jenny Ridgwell) or Explore Food (BNF). We encourage the use of sensory profiling in both Task 1 and 2 as a format to convey results. Again we would find it acceptable for candidates to use your program or an excel program.

We require photographic evidence for Task 2 to include a photograph of 3 complete dishes in one photo  and 2 photographs illustrating skills that have been demonstrated. We are not encouraging large photographic journals.

In Task 1 photos can be used  as a format for displaying and demonstrating investigation results. Commentary is required to explain the photo. I think who takes the photos is dependent on individual school policy. We appreciate that teachers are now assessing large groups, it may well become the students responsibility to take the photos in some centres. I hope I have managed to explain our position at OCR in relation to the JCQ guidance on resources.’

The questions were generated due to a report from

These statements are from JCQ’s Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments (new GCE & GCSE specifications)
1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018 Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments 2017-2018(1)
4. 1
Work may be completed outside of the centre without direct supervision, provided that the centre is confident that the work produced is the candidate’s own. Candidates may normally:
• have unlimited access to electronic and printed resources;
• use the internet without restriction;
• work in groups.
Where candidates work in groups, the teacher should keep a record of each candidate’s contribution.

4.2 Advice and feedback
As appropriate to the subject and component, centres should advise candidates on aspects such as those listed below before work begins:
• sources of information;
• relevance of materials/concepts;
• structure of the response (for example, chapter titles and content);
• techniques of data collection;
• techniques of data presentation;
• skills of analysis and evaluation;
• health and safety considerations, including the use of equipment;
• potential ethical considerations;
• security of their work.
Centres must not provide model answers or writing frames specific to the task (such as outlines, paragraph headings or section headings).


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