Leiths Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine


Through being shown a wide range of professional practical cooking methods and being taught the associated theory, the primary aim of this course is to provide students with a vital life skill for independent living which, should they so choose, could open up areas of possible employment. Students will gain the confidence to cook by making judgements on the ingredients they buy, the dishes they put together in their menus, and the methods they use to cook and serve the food to achieve the best results. By the end of the course, students should be able to show that they can produce specified dishes to the required standard under timed conditions using professional methods. 


By the end of the course students should be able to cook to the standard of quality family food and should be able to: 

  • Read a recipe and follow instructions 
  • Weigh and measure ingredients 
  • Select the correct equipment for the task 
  • Co-ordinate the elements of a meal for a specific serving time at the correct serving temperature 
  • Season food 
  • Recognise when food is cooked, or ready to serve 
  • Work in an organized and hygienic fashion 
  • Have an understanding of attractive food presentation and be able to select the correct serving plates and dishes 
  • Demonstrate and know the basic theory of the following skills 

On completion of the course candidates achieve a basic professional qualification which, if successful, will enable them to potentially gain employment in the food industry during their gap years perhaps or it may even be the starting point of a career as a Chef! We are therefore looking for high levels of commitment to the course. Vegetarians should consider the course very carefully as we will be handling a lot of raw meat, fish and offal. 

As part of the course all girls will be entered for a Basic Hygiene Certificate. This is a nationally recognised qualification in all sectors of the food industry. Girls who successfully complete the course will be eligible to join the ‘Leiths List’. Students can contact them if they are looking for work in the Gap year or during university holidays. 

Leiths School plan and monitor the certificate. A senior member of Leiths staff will introduce the course to the girls and several visits are made during the five terms. On the final visit the girls will be assessed through a practical test. They will also sit a 1½ hour theory examination. 

Assessment and Examination:


The progress of students will be monitored in a variety of situations to ensure: 

  • that the correct professional methods are used 
  • that the pattern of work is efficient and organized 
  • that the food served is of a standard and quality expected by a family employing a cook  
  • that the students will demonstrate their understanding of food and personal hygiene in a catering environment in all practical sessions. 


  • Students are working towards a practical exam of 2.5 hours at the end of the course. 
  • Skills, methods and general theory question and answer sessions will be a normal part of any lesson providing an opportunity to reinforce knowledge and apply this knowledge in a practical situation. 
  • Teachers will do short tests throughout the course or have a more formal end of term testing regime. Test results will be recorded. 
  • Students are working towards a theory exam of 1.5 hours at the end of the course. 
  • Students will need to complete holiday cooking and provide evidence and evaluations 
  • Parents or Guardians will be informed of progress/concerns via termly reporting. 
  • Students will take part in a lesson or mock exam which will be formally assessed in the summer term of LVI/Y12. Leiths School of Food and Wine LTD operates a system of part formal exams (theory and practical cooking exams) and part continual assessment (menu planning, tests, time plans and food cooked in class).

In order to be eligible for a final certificate the student must achieve: 

  • A practical exam mark in excess of 60% 
  • A theory mark in excess of 60% 
  • A continual assessment mark in excess of 60% including an average class cooking mark of 6/10 or above and 5/10 or above in class tests, i.e., a total of more than 60% 

CTH grades are separate from Leiths and are awarded with the following percentages:   

Pass 40-59% 12 UCAS points    
Merit 60-79% 24 UCAS points    
Distinction 80 +% 36 UCAS points 

  • A good attendance record with no more than 5 absences  
  • A basic food hygiene certificate 

Successful students will be awarded with a: 

Leiths Basic Certificate in Food and Wine distinction, merit or pass.
Leiths Basic Certificate in Practical cookery: 

Awarded when the student passes the practical exam but fails the theory paper. An overall mark higher than 60% still needs to be achieved

Leiths Certificate of attendance: Recognition that the student has taken part in the course, awarded at the discretion of the examining body.

Exams Theory: 

•  The final theory exam is set and marked by Leiths School of Food and Wine and as part of the continual assessment requirements, the students will be expected to complete theory tests set and marked internally. 

The student will sit a theory paper of 1.5 hours which will cover all aspects of the course and has been designed to test that the student has a sound knowledge and understanding of cooking methods and terminology for this level of skill. Practical: 

The student is marked on both the method of preparation 

(representing 40% of the total) and the final taste and presentation of the dishes (representing 60% of the total). 

•  The student must pass both these elements. Pass marks are 24/40 and 36/60 respectively.