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Planning

Accreditation period Units 1-4: 2023-2027

Planning advice

The VCE Food Studies 2023–2027 Support materials (incorporating the previously known Advice for teachers) provides teaching and learning advice for Units 1 to 4 and assessment advice for school-based assessment in Units 3 and 4.

The program developed and delivered to students must be in accordance with the VCE Food Studies Study Design 2023–2027.

Developing a program

The program outlines the nature and sequence of teaching and learning necessary for students to demonstrate achievement of the set of outcomes for a unit. The areas of study describe the learning context, knowledge and skills required for the demonstration of each outcome.

Teachers should use the study design and the support materials to develop a teaching and learning program that includes appropriate learning activities to enable students to develop the knowledge and skills identified in the outcomes in each unit.

This study examines food from a breadth of perspectives, with a focus on where food comes from, how it is produced, the complex range of influences on food selection, and the effects of food on the health of individuals and the environment. Teachers should aim to facilitate learning and inquiry by developing programs that enable students to apply and demonstrate key knowledge and key skills in practical ways. Practical activities should be planned according to key knowledge and key skills specific to an area of study.

Each outcome draws on the set of contextualised key skills in the study design, at least one of which has a practical application where students carry out the key skill in a practical activity.

Attention should be given to developing a course that is relevant to students, is contextually based, employs a variety of manageable number of tasks and uses a variety of source material from a diverse number of providers.

Practical activities and records of practical activities

Practical application of key knowledge is an important feature of the study. Learning activities must include practical activities that involve comparative food testing, cooking, creating and responding to design briefs, demonstrations, dietary or nutritional analysis, product analysis, scientific experiments, and sensory analysis including taste-testing and use of focus groups. Practical activities should be carried out in kitchen / school-based settings. When students are carrying out practical activities, consideration should be given to safety and hygiene practices, and use of technical skills.

Online student folios are a convenient way for students to keep their records of practical activities together. There are many different platforms that students can use for developing online folios. Popular platforms include:

  • blogs
  • digital notebook – Evernote and OneNote (part of Microsoft Office) are software tools that can only be shared with others in the school and are not publicly viewable.
The records of these activities could also take a variety of formats, as outlined in the Examples of records of practical activities.

Clarification of terminology

Design brief

A concise statement clarifying the project task and defining the need or opportunity to be resolved. It usually identifies the end users, specifications, evaluation criteria, available resources, timeframe for the project.

Design processes

Processes that involve investigating, generating, planning and managing, producing and evaluating to create a designed solution that considers social, economic and environmental factors.

Food systems

Food systems are a complex web of interrelating components that indicate what happens to our food in its journey from ‘paddock to plate’. The components are:

  • Primary production
  • Processing and packaging
  • Distribution and access
  • Media and marketing
  • Consumption
  • Waste management.

The following table lists these components and provides examples of activities that occur within each. The activities listed in the table should not be viewed as a complete list but as examples of diversity within each component.
These components are not linear or discrete but form complex interactions. For example,

  • waste management can occur at the Primary production, Processing and packaging and in the Consumption components of food systems
  • a farmer might sell their produce to a wholesaler or large supermarket but could also engage in selling at the farm gate or at a farmers’ market, therefore being considered as part of Primary production as well as Distribution and access.

Food systems also operate within the rules and regulations of governments that relate to the safety and ethics of our food system as well as the accuracy of information about food provided to consumers.

ComponentsActivities

Primary production

Agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Growing and harvesting plants for food
  • Rearing livestock
  • Farming fish
  • Harvesting seaweed and marine creatures (such as fish, shellfish etc.)
  • Bee keeping
  • Breeding insects to be used as a source of protein
  • Cultivation of algae as a food source
  • Harvesting salt
  • Implementation of regulations related to ethical treatment of livestock and use of pesticides

Processing and packaging

Raw foodstuffs are modified / prepared and packaged to increase shelf life, to value-add, or to create new food products. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Preserving food through techniques such as canning, freezing, drying, fermentation
  • Creating food products for convenience such as frozen meals
  • Creating new and innovative food products
  • Implementing labelling regulations
  • Packaging foods for marketing to consumers
  • Packaging foods for transport and to increase shelf life

Distribution and access (wholesale and retail)

Transportation, storage and sale of foods both wholesale and retail. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Selling foods at a farmers’ market
  • Purchasing foods at a convenience store or service station
  • Retailing food items at a supermarket
  • Implementing food safety standards in a supermarket deli or in a cafe
  • Storing food at a major supermarkets warehouse
  • Transporting foods from warehouse to retail outlet
  • Shopping online and delivery of food to homes
  • Importing of food items
  • Exporting food items
  • Ordering and delivering fast food or restaurant meals
  • Delivering food boxes for weight loss programs
  • Selling foods through wholesale outlets or health food shops

Consumption

Consumption of food in various locations. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Cooking and eating in the home
  • Eating a meal at a restaurant
  • Serving foods at institutions such as a hospital or schools
  • Eating a picnic in a park
  • Eating a meal replacement on the run
Waste management

Disposal and/or recycling of food waste and packaging. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Farmers implementing food loss management practices
  • Bringing your own bags / containers when purchasing foods at a market
  • Composting food waste in the home
  • Purchasing food with minimal packaging
  • Recycling plastic packaging
  • Purchasing odd-shaped fruit and vegetables in the supermarket
  • Restaurants donating leftover food to a charity
  • Using insects to process food waste and produce a high-protein stock feed
  • Implementation of regulations relating to waste disposal and recycling
Note: waste management occurs in all components of food system.
Media and marketing

The act of communicating about and / or promoting foods. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Primary producers advertising their products, such as Australian beef, bananas or avocados
  • Large companies having social media accounts
  • Influencers being sponsored by food companies to promote their product
  • Supermarkets advertising weekly specials on television and in the media
  • Sharing pictures of foods produced in the home on social media platforms
  • Advertising food products in the media
  • Implementation of regulations related to advertising during children’s viewing hours
Note: the use of media and marketing can occur in all components of food system.

Practical food solution

Food product that has been created for a specific purpose or intention as a result of design thinking and design processes.

Sustainable and nutritious meal patterns

Ability to eat nutritious foods in proportions according to the healthy eating recommendations of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and maintain a healthy diet now and in the future without jeopardising the potential for future populations to meet their food needs.

Examples of records of practical activities

* no cost
** cost involved 
# available on eduSTAR (government digital devices)

ComponentsActivities

Comparative food testing

  • four-minute audio or video recording of comparative analysis between the sensory properties of a commercial and home-made product
    Identifying and categorising words to accurately describe the sensory properties of appearance, aroma, texture and appearance of a particular product using a table in Word# or Excel#; terms could be gathered from a sample of participants and displayed in a word cloud of each sensory property using Wordle* or Tagxedo
  • comparing the sensory properties of organic foods with non-organic foods
  • undertaking a paired comparison to determine which one is saltier or smoother or crunchier
  • star diagram to determine the sensory properties of vegetables
  • The British Nutrition Foundation’s Sensory evaluation tests provide details about different types of comparative food testings that can be conducted; for example, Triangle test, Duo-trio test and paried comparisons. Templates, created in Excel, for these tests are found on the website

Cooking

  • four-minute audio recordings describing the emotional role of food in expressing connectedness or the role of key behavioural principles in dishes prepared
  • photographic record of key steps to show a chemical or physical change that occurs to protein, sugar, starch, fat or oils in food with annotations of each step, using a comic strip creator such as Comic Life*# (also available as an app**) or Thinglink*
  • comparison and evaluation of practical activities using qualitative or quantitative measurements (four-minute audio or video file, Mind Map, for example using Inspiration**# (also available as an app**) or FreeMind*
  • explanation of key steps in chemical or physical change during food preparation or cooking, such as dextrinisation, denaturation, caramelisation, emulsification etc. (for example, using Explain Everything app**)
  • creation of a flowchart using images, video and link to show a principle of heat transfer or the effects on the properties of food of dry or moist health or changes to pH, using Word#
    or PowerPoint#, Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup or Diagram.net*

Creating and responding to design briefs

  • flowchart outlining the key stages in the design process when developing a food product for a scenario, such as in a school or community setting or developing a food product to address a food allergy or intolerance, using using Word# or PowerPoint#, Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup, Diagram.net* or Padlet
  • collection of feedback to class demonstration using a class blog* or website such as Weebly or Wix and analysis of the feedback
  • curation and analysis of ideas on Pinterest* or Instagram to demonstrate inspiration for response to design brief
  • presentation of range of images using AutoCollage*# and analysis of collage to assist with creativity and creation of design options
  • development of design brief that include annotations to identify the specifications that will be used to develop the success criteria using PowerPoint
  • mind map of potential design ideas using software such as Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup or Diagram.net*
  • annotated development of a recipe that demonstrates testing of a prototype and modifications / refinements to the original idea to represent iteration of design ideas
  • use of Padlet to identify and describe inspirations for design ideas or to explain iteration of design ideas
  • annotated photograph of prototype with ideas for modifications / refinements to original idea to represent iteration of design ideas, for example using Word, PowerPoint, Thinglink* or a blog
  • video or audio recording of an evaluation of performance against the set of criteria for evaluation that were derived at the beginning of the process
  • video or audio recording of peers assessing a food product using quantitative or qualitative measures
  • annotate photos and create diagrams, charts and drawings to present design ideas, using software such as Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup or Diagram.net* or using PowerPoint or Padlet

Demonstrations

  • video recording of a live demonstration or key steps in a demonstration in class of the effects of mechanical action or electromagnetic radiation on the properties of food, using devices such as iPads or smartphones. Use the time-lapse function on iPads to condense longer processes.
  • series of photographs and annotation identifying the key steps in a demonstration in class to show physical and chemical changes that occur to protein, including denaturation and coagulation, for example using Thinglink* or Comic Life* (also available as an app**)
  • video recording or podcast using software such as Window’s Video Editor or Camtasia Studio** explaining the relevant principle of heat transfer in the cooking technique or functional role of ingredients in focus
  • provide a voiceover explaining processes related to the effects of enzymes or changes to pH on the properties of food that have been videoed, using Debut Video Capture*# or PowerPoint
  • annotate a photo or video explaining relevant principle of heat transfer in the cooking technique or functional role of ingredients using Thinglink* or a comic creator such as Comic Life*# (also available as an app**)
  • flowchart outlining the key stages in the demonstration and explaining the relevant principles of heat transfer in the cooking technique or functional role of ingredients in focus
  • video or audio recording of feedback from peers using reference-based comments against the assessment criteria about a demonstration or scientific experiment
  • collection of feedback to class demonstration using a class wiki or blog and analysis of the feedback
  • annotate ingredients in a recipe according components and activities of the food system, presenting information as a mind map using software such as Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup or Diagram.net* or using Padlet 
Dietary or nutritional analysis
  • formulate a nutrition label of a recipe from a practical activity using software such as Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Online Labels , Wolfram Alpha or Xyris software** and discuss of contribution of ingredients for satiety or meeting healthy eating recommendations. Discussion could be provided as video or audio files using iPads.
  • Calculate the number of serves of foods of sample diets of individuals according to the Eat for Health’s serve sizes and then undertake an analysis of whether the recommended number of serves from each of the five food groups was met presented as a short video or audio file
  • four-minute audio or video recording analysing a sample diet according to the number of serves of foods according to the Eat for Health’s serve sizes, including recommendations of how the diet might be improved
  • annotate a recipe to demonstrate how a recipe was modified to make it align with healthy eating recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines using a comic strip creator such as Comic Life*# (also available as an app**) or Thinglink*
  • annotate several meal plans to identify how each one addresses the nutritional rationale of the Australian Dietary Guidelines and include suggested modifications with reasons for these suggestions using Padlet or software such as Inspiration**# (also available as an app**), FreeMind*, MindMup or Diagram.net*
Product analysis
  • develop of a food product analysis checklist using Google Forms* or Excel#
  • develop a four-minute audio or video recording of the features of a food product using structured subheadings with discussion under each about the findings 
  • annotate a diagram of a food product with a discussion of the factors that contributed to food choice using Thinglink*
  • develop a four-minute audio or video recording of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a food product
  • undertake a product analysis in regard to information on its packaging such as optional information
Scientific experiment
  • complete a scientific report using the Word template that includes structured subheadings such as title, introduction, methodology, results, discussion / analysis, conclusions and references and acknowledgements. 
  • complete a scientific report using the template or presented in a table or in a MindMap with embedded video, audio, documents or other links using, for example Inspiration**# (also available as an app**) or FreeMind*#
  • develop a four-minute audio or video recording of a set of instructions or procedure outlining how a scientific food experiment is to be carried out to gather a set of food-related data
  • photographic evidence of toasting different types of bread and explanation of findings related to chemical reactions that can cause browning
  • table or chart to show the recording of results such as volume of egg white foam beaten for different length of time
  • diagram of materials that were set up in the food experiment with annotations using Diagrams.net
  • four-minute audio or video recording or a series of photographs to illustrate how the scientific experiment was carried out
  • four minute audio or video recording describing the challenges and pitfalls of the scientific experiment and suggested areas for further research
Sensory analysis including taste-testing and use of focus groups
  • use Microsoft Excel# to create a star profile that shows the preferences of the participants for a new food product such as cricket flour or hemp flour, and discuss findings
  • Use Microsoft Excel# to gather data about preferences of participants for breads made from different types of grains and present rating of the sensory properties as a graph and discuss the findings
  • image (photograph or diagram) of a food sample with annotations using Word, PowerPoint or Thinglink* to reflect sensory properties that are characteristic of a particular culture 
  • ranking a set of products in a chart based on sensory properties such as taste, using Slido’s ranking poll, Menti’s poll or British Nutrition Foundation’s Ranking test analysis with justifications provided as to why the items were placed in that order 
  • conducting a focus group of food sampling and taste-testing or sensory analysis of food and sharing finding on a class wiki or blog
  • The British Nutrition Foundation’s Sensory evaluation tests provide details about different types of sensory tests that can be conducted, including a range of templates created in Excel. For example, use the Triangle test to determine out of the three apples, which two are the same variety.

Resources

At the time of publication the URLs (website addresses) cited were checked for accuracy and appropriateness of content. However, due to the transient nature of material placed on the web, their continuing accuracy cannot be verified. Teachers are strongly advised to prepare their own indexes of sites that are suitable and applicable to the courses they teach, and to check these addresses prior to allowing student access.

AIHW report Nutrition across the life stages

AIHW report Physical activity across the life stages

AIHW biennial report Australia’s Health

Australian Beverages Council Limited

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report Food demand in Australia: trends and issues 2018

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

Australian Bureau of Statistics

ABC Education video Fruit as a meat substitute (11:39mins)

ABC Education video Food wastage (03:06mins)

ABC Education video: Why you should grow tomatoes in a greenhouse (08:09mins)

Australian Food and Grocery Council

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Cancer Council NSW

CSIRO's food innovation centre for industry

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website, namely Farming, food and drought

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Food Innovation Australia Limited

Food Policy Coalition

National Farmers Federation

National Health and Medical Research Council

Nutrition Australia

Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia on Food and fibre education (series of videos)

Public Health Association of Australia

The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

The Obesity Collective

YouTube video The impact of innovation on the Australian dairy industry (03:29mins)

YouTube video Does Australia have food security? (02:15 mins)

YouTube video Growing food in the Australian desert with sunlight and seawater - the Sundrop Farms project (03:05mins)

Employability skills

The VCE Food Studies study provides students with the opportunity to engage in a range of learning activities. In addition to demonstrating their understanding and mastery of the content and skills specific to the study, students may also develop employability skills through their learning activities.

The nationally agreed employability skills* are: Communication; Planning and organising; Teamwork; Problem solving; Self-management; Initiative and enterprise; Technology; and Learning.

The table links those facets that may be understood and applied in a school or non-employment-related setting to the types of assessment commonly undertaken in the VCE study.
Assessment taskEmployability skills selected facets

Annotated visual report

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently; writing to the needs of the audience; persuading effectively)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; articulating own ideas and visions)
Initiative and enterprise (translating ideas into action; being creative)
Problem solving
(developing creative, innovative solutions)

Design and produce a practical food solution

Communication (using numeracy; listening and understanding)
Team work (working as an individual and as a member of a team)
Problem solving (developing practical solutions)
Planning and organising (managing time and priorities; planning the use of resources, including time management)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; evaluating and monitoring own performance)
Initiative and enterprise (translating ideas into action; being creative)
Learning (managing own learning)
Technology (having a range of basic information technology skills; using information technology to organise data; being willing to learn new information technology skills)

Practical activities with records that reflect on practical activities

Communication (using numeracy; listening and understanding)
Team work (working as an individual and as a member of a team)
Problem solving (developing practical solutions)
Planning and organising (managing time and priorities; planning the use of resources, including time management)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; evaluating and monitoring own performance)
Initiative and enterprise (translating ideas into action; being creative)
Learning (managing own learning)
Technology (having a range of basic information technology skills; using information technology to organise data; being willing to learn new information technology skills)

Short written report: Case study

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently; writing to the needs of the audience; persuading effectively)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (developing creative, innovative solutions)

Short written report: Comparative food testing analysis

Communication (sharing information; persuading effectively; writing to the needs of the audience)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; articulating own ideas and visions)
Technology (using information technology to organise data)

Short written report: Media analysis

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently; writing to the needs of the audience; persuading effectively)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (developing creative, innovative solutions)

Short written report: Historical timeline

Communication (reading independently; writing to the needs of the audience; using numeracy)
Learning (being open to new ideas and techniques)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Technology (using information technology to organise data)

Short written report: Product evaluation

Communication (reading independently; writing to the needs of the audience; using numeracy)
Learning (being open to new ideas and techniques)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (testing assumptions taking the context of data and circumstances into account)

Short written report: Research inquiry

Communication (sharing information; speaking clearly and directly; writing to the needs of the audience; using numeracy; persuading effectively)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; articulating own ideas and visions)
Technology (having a range of basic information technology skills; using information technology to organise data; being willing to learn new information technology skills)

Short written report: Structured questions

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (applying a range of strategies to problem solving)

Oral presentation: face-to-face, recorded as a video or podcast

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (applying a range of strategies to problem solving)
Learning (managing own learning)
Technology (having a range of basic information technology skills; using information technology to organise data; being willing to learn new information technology skills)

Practical demonstration: face-to-face or recorded
as a video or podcast

Communication (listening and understanding; reading independently)
Planning and organising (collecting, analysing and organising information)
Problem solving (applying a range of strategies to problem solving)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; evaluating and monitoring own performance)
Initiative and enterprise (translating ideas into action; being creative)
Learning (managing own learning)

Research inquiry report

Communication (using numeracy; listening and understanding)
Team work (working as an individual and as a member of a team)
Problem solving (developing practical solutions)
Planning and organising (managing time and priorities; planning the use of resources, including time management)
Self-management (having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and visions; evaluating and monitoring own performance)
Initiative and enterprise (translating ideas into action; being creative)
Learning (managing own learning)
Technology (having a range of basic information technology skills; using information technology to organise data; being willing to learn new information technology skills)

*The employability skills are derived from the Employability Skills Framework (Employability Skills for the Future, 2002), developed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia, and published by the (former) Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training.