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Food preparation and nutrition GSCE - and being vegetarian

(32 Posts)
saladdays66 Thu 22-Feb-18 21:17:02

Does anyone know if you can just cook veggie options for the above gcse, or do you have to cook meat?

Dd is veggie and does not want to cook meat, for obvious reasons.

Thanks!

teletone Thu 22-Feb-18 22:07:28

You can adapt all the recipes to be meat free. The final coursework can also be meat free.

Students do need to know about jointing a chicken and boning fish however but that could be through videos or actually doing the task practically.

No student should not choose a subject they enjoy due to dietary choices/restrictions.

BubblesBuddy Thu 22-Feb-18 22:26:58

What about a vegan GCSE? Where does it end?

saladdays66 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:40:07

What do you mean, Bubbles?! hmm

Thank you, Teletone. We have an appt with a food tech teacher next week but thought I would ask here first.

It’s perfectly possible to heave a healthy and balanced veggie diet so was hoping it would be ok.

Starboo Thu 22-Feb-18 22:47:43

My DD is in her first year of GCSE Food Tech and has so far made everything veggie and a lot vegan too. It's fine to adapt recipes for allergies and different nutritional needs and preferences. By doing so she's developing cooking skills and knowledge and a great understanding of nutrition.

BubblesBuddy Thu 22-Feb-18 22:51:05

What I mean is: at what point does an exam syllabus become so changed that it no longer reflects the intentions it set out to achieve? When do students negotiate their own syllabus? Would, or could, you do that with biology or RE for a strongly held view you might have?

It’s an interesting debate about how you might get a top grade without doing the same syllabus as other children. Maybe if a child will not do part of the syllabus they drop the marks for it? What would a vegan child do? It’s hardly an unusual choice these days is it?

BubblesBuddy Thu 22-Feb-18 22:54:24

Vegetarian and vegan cooking is one aspect of health and nutrition. There are other views that differ and are the majority position. The GCSE should cover all aspects.

thewhitechapelfatberg Thu 22-Feb-18 23:36:46

My DD has almost finished this course as a vegetarian and now vegan. She had a go at boning and portioning a chicken on her (unsympathetic) teacher’s insistence but found it quite a traumatic experience. Other than that, being veggie has not been a massive problem as there seems to be a lot more book work than actual cooking. However, she’s now reached the assessed practical task for which it has been very difficult and uninspiring to create a menu which uses ingredients she wants to cook with and which include sufficient “high skill” tasks to get the top grades she is aiming for. (These seem to be given out mainly for boning and filleting fish and meat.) She has agreed to make a veggie, not vegan, menu which will at least allow her to make meringue etc.
At home, she makes the most amazing, delicious and Instagram-worthy vegan bowls etc - that is how she loves to cook - but it seems that the assessed practical part of the course puts a heavy emphasis on traditional fine dining skills and presentation. Or at least, this is how she has been taught it. It’s been disappointingly rigid really, and in my view is not teaching the skills this generation need to keep themselves and their families well fed and healthy on a budget in the years to come. It’s more suited to a child who wants to work in a restaurant kitchen.
By the way, the nutrition and scientific content has been a shock to all those who picked the subject thinking it was a less academic / easy option (most of the class!) - something to be aware of.

saladdays66 Fri 23-Feb-18 07:57:25

What I mean is: at what point does an exam syllabus become so changed that it no longer reflects the intentions it set out to achieve? When do students negotiate their own syllabus? Would, or could, you do that with biology or RE for a strongly held view you might have?

I see. What are 'the intentions it sets out to achieve'?

The syallabus I saw on dd's options list makes no mention of being able to bone or fillet meat - and I have been cooking healthy, nutritious meals for my family for 20+ years without having to do that either, apart from carving chicken/turkey - so it's in no way a necessity.

In many ways a vegetarian diet is better than a meat one - better for the planet, healthier, more sustainable. Not a bad thing to learn.

I think this GCSE is different to, say, biology - in biology, you're learning facts. This is more creative (at least, the actual cooking side of it).

saladdays66 Fri 23-Feb-18 07:58:27

*It’s more suited to a child who wants to work in a restaurant kitchen.
By the way, the nutrition and scientific content has been a shock to all those who picked the subject thinking it was a less academic / easy option (most of the class!)*

Ooh. That's helpful, thanks. How does it compare to, say, a chemistry or physics CGSE in that respect?

GeorgeHerbert Fri 23-Feb-18 09:42:55

I think it might be difficult to demonstrate high skill dishes as a vegan, but there is no end of veggie high skills options (depending on the brief).
On the AQA website, high skill dishes include, souffle, lasagne, roulades, homemade pasta. savoury choux and lots of sweet pastries/patisserie. HTH

gleegeek Fri 23-Feb-18 10:30:18

I can't answer your question about vegetarianism and food tech but dd is currently in year 10 and loving this gcse. There is a lot of theory - she has 6 periods of food tech per fortnight but only cooks for 2 of those. The less academic dc in the class are really struggling tbh. She is doing triple science - I'm not sure if they are comparable in difficulty but she absolutely adores the food tech theory so is sailing through it. The triple science she is less keen on and finds them all a chore. It's by no means an easy gcse I don't think. Your dd should only do it if she is really interested in the theory side and is OK writing essays.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 23-Feb-18 10:39:24

It's by no means an easy gcse I don't think. Your dd should only do it if she is really interested in the theory side and is OK writing essays.

I am interested in this statement as I am expecting my less able DD to pick food prep & nutrition for GCSE when she chooses her options in a year's time. I am aware that it has got more theoretical under the new specs.

I would personally prefer it if the school (a comp) offered food tech as a BTEC, but they don't. I don't know if that is their choice or whether the BTEC has been de-accredited in the new league tables or whatever.

Anyway, are there any GCSEs these days that can be considered 'easy'? What should a 'less academic' pupil go for that isn't going to be depressingly hard?

gleegeek Fri 23-Feb-18 10:47:26

Sadly I don't think any GCSEs are easy, particularly with the new curriculum and exam demands. It's all a mess IMVHOsad I can only suggest dc do subjects they are interested in as it can feel like unending work and stress. And try to keep to a sensible number of GCSES - dd is doing 11.5 and it's ridiculous and unnecessary.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 23-Feb-18 10:57:17

We don't get an option on how many they do, the school decides.
I'm expecting y8 DD to do:
Mandatory: Maths, 2 English, Combined Science
Options: Geography, Drama, Food tech, + 1 other (no idea what)
Also: Whatever the school insists on for ICT and RE

Not a single one of those is a shoe-in for a pass for her. sad

saladdays66 Fri 23-Feb-18 12:24:19

Thanks, all. DD is doing English, maths, triple science (mandatory), plus one humanity, one creative (food tech), one language and one extra.

thewhitechapelfatberg Fri 23-Feb-18 12:42:34

The pass marks seem to be very low - but it’s depressing and disheartening for a less-able student to feel that they could only complete a third of the paper.

Year11Woes Fri 23-Feb-18 17:11:48

Neither my dd or I am expecting her to pass her Food Tech GCSE because quite simply they haven't covered anywhere near enough of the course be it theory or practically.
NEA Task 2 is under three weeks away but dd hasn't cooked since November PPE's.

orangesticker Fri 23-Feb-18 19:08:41

You need to have a look at the Exam board as the approach varies. Our school chose the WJec which encourages lots of practicals - my dcs cook most weeks and come home with lovely dinners. They have learned how to bone fish and joint chicken, make various pastry types, bread, sauces etc. However, my ds cannot eat wheat and dairy but his food tech teacher is determined to help him learn to cook for his food issues. She told me that if she can't modify what they were cooking she would get him to make something different. They have veggies in their class and they are not forced to cook and touch meat.
Other exam boards like to take one product and do various modifications to suit different dietary requirements - I personally hate this approach but you need to talk to your food science dept and find out what they intend to do and whether they are willing to modify dishes for veggies.

saladdays66 Fri 23-Feb-18 21:01:02

Exam board is AQA. Thanks smile

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 23-Feb-18 21:09:09

thewhitechapelfatberg
She had a go at boning and portioning a chicken on her (unsympathetic) teacher’s insistence

It is part of the syllabus, nothing to do with be unsympathetic.

As long as the skills that they use for the practical tasks are high enough they will get the marks.

There is also a section on alternative protein sources.

thewhitechapelfatberg Sat 24-Feb-18 20:03:28

@BoneyBackJefferson - but would they make a Muslim or Jewish child cook pork? I very much doubt it!

When I said that the teacher was unsympathetic, I didn’t mean she was unkind... I meant that she seems bemused by the very concept of vegetarianism (older lady) and not interested in helping DD explore ways around it, as some previous posters have suggested their teachers have.
Luckily for DD , I am interested and willing to discuss and help her do so.
OP I would very much suggest you speak to the teacher before you commit to the course, to see what his / her attitude is. I think it could be really valuable in a class, to have a committed and aware vegetarian, just as it’s interesting in an RE class to have different faiths and beliefs represented. It rather depends if the teacher has a “one size fits all” attitude.

saladdays66 Sat 24-Feb-18 20:27:39

Thanks all. I have an appointment with the teacher this week for dd to discuss it. Has been invaluable having all your opinions, thank you.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 24-Feb-18 22:13:55

thewhitechapelfatberg

Its not really the same thing, part of the course is to cut and joint meat.

orangesticker Sun 25-Feb-18 08:56:30

Just had a quick look at the syllabus and I'm impressed - so much more challenging than my GCSE in the 80's - so many skills to learn, I can fully see why my dc's food tech teacher is encouraging them to cook at home as much as possible.

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