Who can examine the practical component and what guidance is available for them?
The examiner can be a teacher in the centre who is suitably qualified in Food and Nutrition. Ideally, the teacher should not be the candidates’ class teacher but another Food and Nutrition teacher.
The Practical Test Handbook provides clear, detailed marking guidance and examples, which are vital for the marking of the practical component and the internal moderation of the component within each centre. This can be downloaded from School Support Hub.
A Coursework Training Programme, an online self-study course for the marking of the practical component, is available and it is recommended that the Practical Examiner undertakes this training to ensure they are best prepared for marking the practical component. This can be booked through the Events and training calendar on our public website. Select online training from the event type and IGCSE from the qualification type, then navigate through the list of courses.
Can candidates sit the Planning Session on different days?
All candidates at a centre sit the Planning Session on the same day. The centre should then provide sufficient equipment for candidates to cook in the Practical Test approximately one week after the Planning Session, but there can be more than one Practical Test session so that all candidates have access to equipment.
Can candidates use the internet as a source of information in the Planning Session?
The Planning Session should be held under examination conditions and be treated as a formal written examination, with all the correct procedures in place for such an examination.
The internet must not be used as a resource during the Planning Session but students may print out recipes from the internet during lesson time and add them to a recipe folder which they can use during the Planning Session. Students may use folders of their own, or downloaded, recipes which they have built up during the Food and Nutrition course, as well as recipe books, but they must not include notes.
Should we take photographs of the candidates doing the Practical Test?
Photographs of the candidates’ final dishes and serving table are compulsory. Photographs or videos of the candidates themselves, or the dishes being prepared, should not be provided. The Practical Test Handbook gives further details regarding photographs.
Can the candidates bring in their own ingredients for the Practical Test?
Ideally the school should buy and supply all of the ingredients. Unusual or specialist ingredients can be brought in by the candidates, but a note will need to be made of this. Any items brought in should be checked to ensure they are correct according to the Shopping List.
Ingredients should not be brought from home ready-prepared.
Are candidates allowed to cook only vegetarian food in the practicals?
We do not penalise candidates who choose to make vegetarian dishes as long as the dishes chosen still answer the question set and fulfil all the other requirements of the mark scheme, e.g. balanced meals, variety of foods, variety of cooking methods and skills demonstrated etc.
Most questions in the Practical Test do not require candidates to cook meat (including poultry) or fish, if that is their choice. Some questions still require the use of eggs as these are vital ingredients in many baked products.
Q 1(b) Whisking method, e.g. swiss roll, etc.
Q 8(a) Batter, e.g. pancakes, etc.
Q 8(b) Creaming method, e.g. sandwich cake, etc.
However there are six other questions and examiners need to choose five suitable questions for their Centre so there is still plenty of scope for Centres to cook without using eggs. We do not penalise candidates who choose to make vegetarian dishes as long as the dishes chosen still answer the question set and fulfil all the other requirements of the mark scheme, e.g. balanced meals, variety of foods, variety of cooking methods, etc.
Can students purchase ingredients themselves?
Ideally the school should buy and supply the ingredients wherever possible. This makes the session more economic – all the quantities can be calculated after the planning session and brought in for the practical session. Also, the school can be sure that all the necessary ingredients are to hand when the test begins. Unusual/specialist ingredients can be brought in by the candidates, but a note will need to be made of this.
If a student makes something (e.g. bread dough) and uses it for multiple dishes, are they penalised because they have used one food to make 2 dishes which is less work?
If a candidate makes one batch of dough into 2 dishes, one of the dishes can be marked out of the mark from the mark scheme according to difficulty / skill demonstrated etc. as usual. The other dish must be marked out of a reduced possible mark because the dish uses dough which has already been given a mark in a previous dish. If the second dish has skills not previously shown e.g. decoration, preparation of another filling / topping then the maximum mark for the dish can reflect this. However the dough / pastry / cake mixture can only be marked in one dish since it has only been prepared once. The candidate could use the time saved to make one of the dishes more elaborate than time would otherwise have permitted.
For more information and materials on this syllabus, please visit our School Support Hub here.