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									                     WELSH JOINT EDUCATION COMMITTEE
                       CYD-BWYLLGOR ADDYSG CYMRU

General Certificate of Secondary Education   Tystysgrif Gyffredinol Addysg Uwchradd

                         EXAMINERS' REPORTS

                                 SUMMER 2005



Catering (GCSE)                                                           1
Statistical Information


The Examiners' Report may refer in general terms to statistical outcomes. Statistical
information on candidates' performances in all examination components (whether internally
or externally assessed) is provided when results are issued. As well as the marks achieved by
individual candidates, the following information can be obtained from these printouts:

For each component: the maximum mark, aggregation factor, mean mark and standard
deviation of marks obtained by all candidates entered for the examination.

For the subject or option: the total entry and the lowest mark needed for the award of each

Annual Statistical Report

Other information on a centre basis is provided when results are issued. The annual
Statistical Report (issued in the second half of the Autumn Term) gives overall outcomes of
all examinations administered by WJEC.

                     General Certificate of Secondary Education 2005

Chief Examiner:            Rhiannon C. Jones, Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Rhuthun, Denbighshire.

4487 candidates from 257 centres completed the examination. The overall mean mark, out of
a possible 200, was:

Foundation Tier:          103.3
Higher Tier:              131.6
Overall:                  114.1

The cumulative percentage pass rates at each grade were:

         Option 01: Foundation Tier                         Option 02: Higher Tier

 Grade         Cumulative          Mark            Grade        Cumulative           Mark
 Point         Percentage                          Point        Percentage
   C              41.0              113              A*             6.5              161
     D             69.8              93               A             31.2             143
     E             88.2              74               B             66.7             125
     F             95.2              55               C             88.9             107
     G             98.1              36               D             98.2                 82
                                                      E             99.2                 69

The cumulative percentage pass rate overall at each grade at the time of awarding was:

A* – 2.5; A – 11.9; B – 25.4: C – 59.0; D – 80.6; E – 92.4; F – 97.0; G – 98.8.

General Comments
Many centres are now including photographs of the dishes made and this is particularly
useful for postal moderation. Annotated mark sheets accompanied the majority of work sent
to moderators, which is extremely useful when moderating.

1.       Centres need to respond quickly to the initial visit letter sent out at the end of

2.       A profile mark should be awarded to all candidates who complete a period of time
         working in a catering establishment.

3.     Half marks should not be awarded in the final column of the CT mark sheets.

4.     Estimated marks should not be used if a candidate has missed an assessment. If
       possible another mark, e.g. mock examination assessment mark could be used and the
       moderator informed.

5.     Please ensure that the name of the centre, candidate and all the candidates numbers
       are recorded on the mark sheet.

6.     CT3 should be completed in numerical order.

7.     CT4 and 5 should be in rank order.

8.     Several centres were late sending coursework this year. Please make full use of the
       pink booklet ‘Instructions for the Administration and Conduct of Examinations in
       Catering and Home Economics’. This booklet provides details regarding dates and
       selection guidelines.

9.     It is important for subject teachers to read the comments provided by their moderators
       carefully and to act upon any requests or advice given.

Practical Coursework

The mean mark for this element of the examination was 57.7 out of a maximum of 84 marks.

Moderators were given a warm welcome by centres (especially new ones) and they used the
opportunity to seek advice and help. Teachers and pupils enjoy the work and welcome the
practical element of the course. The sessions observed were generally well-organised and
caused little disruption to timetables. More centres opted for the group assessment for the
first task this year thus giving their candidates valuable experience in preparing and serving
food on a large scale. A few briefs were adapted to meet local needs and when this type of
task was set it led to an interesting and unusual range of dishes being prepared. The pupils
planning sheets have generally improved due to the pro-fomas given to them. These also
assist them to carry out their tasks in a logical way.

Time allowed for practical work varied but the majority of centres managed to show
progression between task one and task two. Candidates were allowed more time for the final
task and, therefore, produced dishes demonstrating a wide range of high-level skills. It is
important to note, however, that in some centres candidates only demonstrate very basic and
similar skills, e.g. rock cakes and scones or are being too dependant on convenience foods,
e.g. frozen short crust pastry, pasta sauces and white sauce in packets and jars.

Generally, the choice of dishes was sound and answered the briefs appropriately. A vast
range of unusual dishes was selected by candidates reflecting modern trends and patterns.
Some excellent practical sessions were observed with a high standard of presentation taking
into consideration the occasion they were catering for. Practical sessions seen were well
organised by the subject teachers; most candidates worked in a professional and methodical
way. Standards of hygiene were good with centres showing regard for health and safety
measures, e.g. wearing appropriate uniform, sensible shoes and head covering. Only a few
were observed wearing jewellery. Work areas were sanitised before, during and at the end of
the session. Good use was made of the refrigerators and temperature food probes. It is of
concern that some candidates are wasting food especially left over fruit and vegetables.
Candidates are allowed time at the end to decorate and garnish dishes and their serving areas
were often very attractive. A few centres were awarding high marks for low level skills and
inadequate use of time.

Reasons for choice recorded by the more able candidates were detailed and relevant to the
brief set. The weaker candidates failed to qualify statements and the work was superficial
and lacked depth. It is important to remember that candidates should refer to the brief set and
not just comment on the nutritional value.

The majority produced a sensible order of work, dove-tailing tasks. Lower ability candidates
are still only including recipes for this section – a writing frame could assist these candidates.

Mise- en- place not always addressed in detail and reference was rarely made to the final
presentation of dishes, e.g. garnishing and decorating.

The written evaluation section should be meaningful and realistic and based on the brief set.
Costs did not always relate to the number of portions served and the selling price should be
calculated using an acceptable formula for the second assessment. There was more evidence
of a computer nutritional analysis programme being used, however, candidates must
demonstrate an understanding of the data produced in order for this to be a worthwhile
exercise. Excellent use of descriptive adjectives was used to describe the colour, flavour and
appearance of food. Candidates should be encouraged to taste their food at the end of the
session and to make notes, which would be useful for their written evaluation.

Work Experience / Coursework Project

The mean mark for this element was 45.6 out of a maximum of 84.

Work Experience

This is, yet again, the preferred and most successful aspect of the coursework. Centres are to
be congratulated on acquiring so many varied placements. Employers are impressed by the
performance of the candidates a fact indicated by their positive comments and high marks
awarded. This element of the course continues to be very worthwhile. Presentation is of a
high standard with candidates making realistic and relevant use of graphics. The prescriptive
format enables pupils to cover the criteria and generally good results are achieved. Teachers
are using the pro-forma suggested by the board and their marks are clearly justified on the
cover sheet.

Introductions were good. Candidates are producing a detailed Health and Safety section and
points are linked to the actual placement. Plans of kitchens were included, some very
impressive with written comments and drawn on the computer. Menus were included and
many analysed for value for money, choices, etc. Storage of food was covered well with
many referring to the storage of dry, fresh, perishable and frozen commodities. However,
stock rotation and storage temperatures were often omitted.

Quantities used did not always refer to portion control. Interviews were brief and many
failed to find out any relevant information. Some candidates used a questionnaire as a means
of gathering information.

The evaluation section continues to improve and pupils are addressing the criteria, especially
when candidates are given structured headings to follow. Candidates were both critical and
complementary about their placements and made sensible suggestions for improvements.
Many students commented on the value of developing their communication skills and the
experience of working as a team.

Coursework Project

Schools sent in a wide range of topics. Popular topics included Diabetes, Vegetarians and
Fast Food Outlets. Some topics were too wide and led to a superficial investigation with
many failing to establish a link with the catering industry.

Introductions varied with the better candidates giving clear statements of the aims of the
investigation. It is essential for candidates to have a clear understanding of their aims and
also to have a straightforward plan of action, which can be easily followed. Detailed
planning helped candidates to organise their activities. Unfortunately, not all candidates
managed to complete all the activities planned.

There was less evidence of copied notes in the research section this year, candidates had been
encouraged to record evidence researched in their own words. Most candidates completed
surveys and / or questionnaires but the information was not always used to develop practical
investigations. Not all candidates were proficient in carrying out the various methods of
investigation. Many candidates demonstrated a good use of ICT to present the results of their

Unfortunately, many candidates failed to complete the conclusion section and lost valuable
marks as a result of this. All results obtained need to be discussed and linked to the aims set
out in the introduction in order to succeed in this section. Evaluation was only tackled well
by the more able candidates. Schools could adopt a pro-forma using the headings from this
section of the marking scheme to ensure their candidates address all criteria.

Theory Paper

The mean marks for the theory paper out of 60 were:

Foundation Tier:       39.3
Higher Tier:           39.3

Foundation Tier (Grades G – C)

Q.1    Generally answered well. The majority of candidates gained at least 3 out of 5 marks.

Q.2    The majority of candidates answered the questions on personal hygiene relating to
       nails and hair correctly. They could identify why a chef's uniform was white and long
       sleeved. Most candidates correctly identified two points to consider when choosing
       shoes. Many candidates incorrectly stated either black or white shoes as an important
       factor in choosing shoes.

Q.3   The majority of candidates correctly named two beverages available from the
      beverage machine. The benefits did not always relate to the caterer.

Q.4   The majority of candidates stated reasons why it is important to protect food from
      flies. There were many candidates who incorrectly stated that flies could be
      controlled by sprays or sticky paper in a catering kitchen.

Q.5   (a)    Nearly all candidates were able to correctly name three foods that could be
             cooked on a barbecue.

      (b)    Many candidates did not 'name' salads that could be served with barbecue food
             but listed ingredients that could be used in salad.

      (c)    Not all candidates could list two food safety points regarding storing meat
             before cooking. Many wrote that it should be frozen instead of chilled or
             refrigerated. Many candidates stated that when checking meat to see that it is
             cooked thoroughly to cut a bit off and check colour, but did not specify the

Q.6   (a)    The majority of candidates correctly identified calcium as a nutrient in milk
             and knew the function. The naming of the second nutrient caused more

      (b)    Many candidates successfully named Soya or goats milk as an alternative to
             cows milk.

      (c)    Some of the promotional activities that a school could carry out to encourage
             children to drink more milk were very sensible and included competitions,
             visits to a farm or factory free samples, milk tastings, making milk shakes,
             designing posters, tokens on cartons, etc. Other suggestions were not

Q.7   (a)    There were many vague answers to the quality checks carried out on chilled
             desserts and fresh vegetables. Candidates often repeated the question in the
             answer, i.e. check desserts are 'chilled' or check vegetables are 'fresh', without
             reference to specific temperatures or details of crispness, colour, etc.

      (b)    The majority of candidates knew two points for storing flour but not for
             frozen fish. Many candidates gave points to look for in fresh fish.

      (c)    Stock Rotation: A satisfactory response. The majority of candidates stated
             that old stock should be used before new stock, but often did not expand on
             this to gain full marks

Q.8   (a)    Healthy Eating: A good response. Many candidates were able to state three
             reasons why it is important to follow a healthy diet. The most common
             answers were to prevent obesity and heart disease.

      (b)    A disappointing response. Candidates mentioned low fat ingredients but
             failed to give examples. Some candidates suggested serving more fruit and
             vegetables but did not specify fresh fruit or vegetables or give examples of
             how this could be achieved. Many candidates made reference to 'oven' chips
             rather that 'fried' chips or stated 'use grill' instead of 'fryer' for cooking.

Q.9   (a)    Sandwiches: A disappointing response. Many candidates could not give three
             qualities of a good sandwich. Answers could have referred to fresh
             ingredients, a variety of breads and fillings, attractive colours, interesting
             textures, neat presentation, etc. Many candidates just listed a choice of

      (b)    An excellent response. Most candidates successfully named three breads used
             in sandwich making although the spelling of 'wholemeal' bread was poor.

      (c)    Fillings for sandwiches had to have a combination of ingredients in order to
             qualify for a mark. Fish was not allowed as an answer. Reasons given for the
             choice of sandwich filling for a vegetarian were very vague, i.e. 'it's healthy',
             'there is no meat' were common answers. Answers could have related to
             alternative sources of protein, colour, combination, nutritional content and

      (d)    Candidates often referred to safety, i.e. avoiding accidents rather than food
             safety points when preparing sandwiches.

      (e)    Packaging materials for sandwiches: A disappointing response. Foil and cling
             film were the two packaging materials most commonly identified for wrapping
             sandwiches. Candidates often failed to discuss the packaging and just listed
             two or three different materials that could be used.

Higher Tier (Grades D – A*)

The majority of candidates attempted all questions. Many answers were too general and
terms such as discuss and evaluate were often ignored.

Q.1   (a)    Most candidates were able to suggest three main course foods for the
             barbeque. Popular answers were chicken and steak.

      (b)    Popular suitable accompaniments for the barbequed food included garlic bread
             and pasta salad. Many failed to specify the type of salad.

      (c)    Not all candidates could list two safety points regarding storing meat before
             cooking. Many wrote that it should be frozen instead of chilled or
             refrigerated. Many candidates stated that when making sure barbequed meat
             is cooked thoroughly to check the temperature and check colour. Candidates
             were expected to specify colour and core temperature.

Q.2   The comments made on Q.8 on the Foundation Tier are relevant to this question.

Q.3   The comments made on Q.9 on the Foundation Tier are relevant to this question.

Q.4   (a)    A good response. Candidates were able to explain why a buffet style food
             service is a popular choice for both the caterer and the customer.

         (b)       Responses to this question were rather superficial. Candidates found it
                   difficult to discuss the role of the wait staff in a buffet style service system.
                   Many failed to include, e.g. explaining the procedure and advice when to go
                   up to the buffet table, offer bread rolls, clearing the table after each course,
                   replenishing the buffet table etc. as part of their discussion. (Note: the correct
                   term is 'wait staff', not 'waiting staff'. Use of 'waiter/ess' in brackets was given
                   to aid those unfamiliar with correct terminology.)

         (c)       The majority of candidates were aware of the need to apologise for the food
                   problem and to be understanding and polite, however, many stated that they
                   would arrange for the food to be reheated!

Q.5      (a)       Many candidates were able to state at least one reason why people are being
                   encouraged to drink more milk. Calcium and the reference to strong bones
                   and teeth were the most popular response. The protein content and the
                   presence of Vitamin D for the absorption of calcium were rare. This was
                   disappointing for the higher tier.

         (b)       Very good response. Most candidates were aware of customers’ needs and
                   special diets.

         (c)       Rather weak on the whole. Most referred to adding flavouring or colour to the
                   milk in order to make it more appealing for customers to drink. Only a few
                   discussed arranging quizzes or competitions, providing free samples, making
                   posters and setting up a milk bar stand.

         (d)       Many candidates provided a list of dishes using milk rather than milk
                   products. Suggestions in general were weak. Possible responses could have
                   included sauces, quiches, cheesecakes, pizzas, fillings for pancakes and jacket
                   potatoes, dips, mousses, crème brulee, biscuits and cakes.

Q.6.     (a)       Many failed to include examples of technological developments in the
                   production of food and how this is of use to the caterer. A few candidates
                   made reference to partly prepared food and ready-made food but the use of
                   additives, packaging and equipment used to prepare the food was rather vague.
                   Evaluation points were superficial in most cases and generally demonstrated a
                   basic understanding of the use of convenience foods to the caterer.

         (b)       This was the most popular choice and there were a few very good responses.
                   However, the majority were again vague. Many misinterpreted the phrase
                   ‘food store’ and related it to a supermarket (USA). Candidates need to read
                   the whole question. Many candidates discussed how to store chilled and
                   frozen foods and some made reference to dry commodities, ventilation and
                   temperatures. Other points could have included suitable stainless steel
                   shelving, hygiene issues, bins, steps to reach high shelves, etc. Some
                   candidates demonstrated a good understanding of the benefits of running an
                   efficient food store in a catering establishment and made reference to less
                   wastage, controlling appropriate levels of food in stock, keeping a check on
                   the percentage profit and less risk of contamination of food.

I would like to thank all the examiners and moderators for their hard work, also the teachers
for their hospitality when visiting centres.
GCSE Catering Examiners Report (Summer 2005)/AS
Welsh Joint Education Committee
245 Western Avenue
Cardiff. CF5 2YX
Tel. No. 029 2026 5000
Fax. 029 2057 5994

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