Food & Catering

The Food and Catering department provides students with some of the best facilities in food, hospitality and catering and results at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 reflect this - with grades in line with the national averages for similar schools. Students benefit from high quality accommodation and a professional catering kitchen, as well as restaurant provision for evening functions. The faculty encourages a practical, healthy and safe understanding of food dishes and food production. This is supported by homework which is set regularly, to ensure students are well prepared for each lesson.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, work is completed in units of approximately nine weeks. Each unit is taught by specialist teachers in specialist rooms designed for food. Students follow activities that encourage rapid progression from Key Stage 2 levels to the higher levels at Key Stage 3. Student progress is tracked and targets are written onto project folders, to help student progression onto the next level. Students are asked to provide their own ingredients.

Year 7

In Year 7, students are introduced to the food rooms and equipment. Students learn basic food safety and food hygiene and they develop their understanding and knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating through the topic of fruit and vegetables. Practical work is usually completed on a weekly basis, using the rubbing in method as the basic food preparation skill. Students have the opportunity to compete against their peers to be ‘Chef of the Day’ as well as aiming for the nationally recognised award: ‘Active Kids Get Cooking, One Star Award’.

Year 8

In Year 8, students continue to increase their knowledge and understanding of food safety and hygiene through the production of bread and bread based products. Practical work continues to be completed on a weekly basis and students follow a structured programme, culminating in a competition dish which allows them to be creative and independent. ‘Chef of the Day’ continues as does the ‘Active Kids Get Cooking, Two Star Award’.

Year 9

In Year 9, students learn the importance of protein in the diet. They learn how diets can be adapted to suit individual needs - such as vegetarians, and those with lactose intolerance - whilst still providing adequate protein. Practical work is based on the main protein foods and students learn to identify both animal and plant based proteins within a recipe. Food preparation and handling skills continue to be developed, including the making of a Roux (white sauce), making and shaping homemade burgers & scotch eggs, piping cream on trifle, as well as shaping homemade cookies.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 and 11 Hospitality and Catering GCSE – Examination Board WJEC

The GCSE single award course in Hospitality and Catering, offers an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and extend their skills within a vocational context. Students are expected to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The industry – food and drink
  • Job roles and responsibilities
  • Health, safety and hygiene
  • Food preparation, cooking and presentation
  • Nutrition and menu planning
  • Costing and portion control
  • Specialist equipment
  • Communication and record keeping

The units studied within the single award, concentrate on the food preparation and service aspect of the hospitality and catering industry. Students are therefore expected to participate in practical lessons on a weekly basis. The cost of ingredients for the two year course is estimated at £100. Ingredients are provided by students unless there are unusual circumstances. In this case the school can offer some support.

The assessment takes the form of two Controlled Practical Tasks, worth 60%; internally assessed using WJEC set criteria and externally moderated. The remaining 40% comprises of one written paper taken in Year 11, which is externally set and marked. All questions are compulsory and targeted at the full range of GCSE grades.

Students are often surprised by the depth and amount of written work needed during the two year course, and some motivation to work independently is essential. A basic proficiency in literacy and numeracy, plus an aptitude for working with ICT is essential in the production of coursework. Homework is set each week to help students prepare for their final examination and coursework.


Exam board

Exam code


Hospitality & Catering



Year 10

Term 1

Skills development

Term 2

Examination theory

Term 3

Controlled assessment

Year 11

Term 1

Controlled assessment

Term 2

Examination theory & practice

Link to specification: http://www.WJEC/GCSE/HospitalityandCatering/specifications

Key Stage 5

Year 12 and 13 BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality

The BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality aims to prepare students for work or further study in the hospitality industry. At the end of the course students should have:

  • Enhanced their knowledge of the hospitality industry
  • Developed their practical skills
  • Improved their employability skills
  • Achieved a qualification worth 2 A levels.

To achieve a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality students have to achieve 120 credits. The two year course consists of four mandatory units, totalling 30 credits plus 9 to 10 optional units that combine to make at least 90 credits. Typical units covered include:

  • The hospitality industry
  • Supervising customer service
  • Provision of customer service
  • Financial control
  • Food and drinks service
  • European food
  • Asian food
  • Contemporary world food
  • E-Business for hospitality
  • Personal selling and promotional skills
  • Planning and managing an event
  • An industry related project (based on work experience placement)

The BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality is based on 100% course assessment. There are currently no examinations. All units require extensive written work, including research and evaluations. One unit is generally completed each half-term. The units are more academic than the GCSE Catering coursework and do not always involve practical work or preparing dishes. Units can be completed as written reports, PowerPoint presentations, and practical sessions in the catering kitchen or discussion/verbal reports.

Year 12 BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality

The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality aims to prepare students for work or further study in the hospitality industry in the same way as the full Diploma course. However, students studying this course will achieve a qualification worth one A level, rather than the two A levels achieved by studying the Diploma.

To achieve a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality, students have to achieve 60 credits. The two year course consists of three mandatory units, totalling 20 credits plus 4 to 5 optional units that combine to make at least 40 credits. The units and assessment criteria are identical to the Diploma course explained above.