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Anyone know about new 9-1 GCSE Food curriculum?

(6 Posts)
Cabbagesandcustard Tue 11-Oct-16 15:57:43

Does anyone know anything about the new 9-1 GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition curriculum (first examinations in 2018)??
DD Y10 is a few weeks into her GCSE courses. This week she has come home in distress, because she needs to bring in a fresh chicken for her next GCSE Food lesson so she can learn how to portion it. They'll then send the portions home to be frozen for cooking in future lessons.
She's a keen cook but a lifelong vegetarian (as am I - her dad hasn't eaten meat for 20 years either and is now largely vegan) and we have a wholly vegetarian home. I am loathe by buy and store this bloody chicken in the first place and even more loathe to continue to provide supplementary ingredients week after week for food that will simply go straight in the bin when it gets home - what a waste!
Her KS3 food lessons have always made allowances for alternative diets - it's never been even the slightest issue - and the school is massively multicultural, with children following every kind of religiously specific diet you can imagine, so naively perhaps, it literally never crossed my mind that her vegetarianism would be a problem for this course; it certainly wasn't mentioned by the school when she selected her options. If anything I thought it would add to the classroom debate (as, for example, the multi-faith aspect of the school makes for some brilliantly interesting RE discussion).
Does anyone know how much other meat / fish preparation is involved in this new course? Is it going to continue being a big issue? Her teacher insists that the meat prep is compulsory - is she right, or just unsympathetic? Even if DD grits her teeth and portions the chicken this time around, surely she's going to be hampered in that she won't feel able to taste and evaluate any of her future meaty creations?
I should add that she doesn't have hopes of being a chef but possibly something to do with food development or dietetics. She saw the science side of the paper as an interesting adjunct to her biology studies and the practical side as a bit of light relief in an otherwise entirely academic timetable - but have we made a boo-boo in choosing it?

noblegiraffe Tue 11-Oct-16 16:14:09

No, I don't think she can be required to prepare chicken/meat when this would cause issues on religious grounds - this would be discrimination on the part of the exam board.

The OCR spec talks about 'meat, fish or alternatives' when talking about demonstrating the knife skills required and the sauces that need to be made (page 19). I suspect the teacher has read it as them needing to demonstrate all the skills.

Kathryn2967 Tue 11-Oct-16 21:46:50

I teach that course and it's not compulsory it's just advised that the pupils learn how to portion meat and fillet fish in order to access the higher grades. My vegetarian pupils are encouraged to take part as far as they feel comfortable as it's a good chance to discuss choosing the correct cuts of meat for certain types of dishes which is knowledge which may be required in the exam. However the pupils do not actually need to do the portioning and dishes made with the portions over the next few weeks should be able to be adapted easily for vegetarians. The higher grades for vegetarians can be accessed elsewhere either through sweet products or through correct use of protein alternatives. I hope that helps.

portico Wed 12-Oct-16 04:45:04

I really thought courses such as this had been expunged by Gove's reform of the GCSEs

AndNowItsSeven Wed 12-Oct-16 05:07:43

Is your dd objecting on religious grounds? If not then I imagine she will need to participate fully.

Cabbagesandcustard Wed 12-Oct-16 09:53:17

Thanks all, your comments are very helpful. She's gamely gone off with her chicken today and will see how she gets on .. (I know I couldn't do it!). I will try to contact the teacher and at least read the curriculum for her exam board. The govt have turned the focus away from packaging design etc to make a more robust course for the 21st century - but I'm surprised they haven't had a more 21st century attitude to special diets!

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