Assessment in practical food and nutrition lessons.

I am a little bit concerned about the new Food Preparation and Nutrition and how it will be assessed. So today, I decided to assess my pupils on their practical skills and some key terms to see how it would go.


The pupils were not aware that it was an assessment lesson until I explained the objectives at the beginning.


The objectives were to


  1. To learn the words coagulation, conduction, and maillard reaction.
  2. To work with high risk foods safely.
  3. To apply hygiene and safety procedures when making a Spicy Meatball and Egg Tagine.


The year 8 pupils had a semi meltdown when they realised it was an assessment lesson but when I  explained that it was all good preparation for the GCSE exam in the future they soon got into the spirit of it.


I showed them the practical assessment sheet and explained what they would be assessed on in terms or practical skills e.g. using a red chopping board for preparation of meatballs, using oven gloves, washing hands after handing high risk foods etc.


I explained that I would like them to try and learn the key words which were written on the bottom of their recipes while they were working and that I would ask them the keywords at the end of the lesson.


So this busily got on with the task in hand and the room initially was silent. They were extremely focused some chanting key words as they went along, most working independently with some glancing across at their peers to check what they were doing. Some even had food rulers out to measure their meatballs so that they were equal in size. I was very impressed. They even washed up eagerly; which is very unusual as this is the job that they usually hate and avoid until very last minute.

For the recipe click below

While their Tagine was in the oven I asked them to sit down so that I could test their key words. The results were impressive with all pupils showing a very good understanding.







So in the next lesson I plan to give each pupil some feedback.


Here is an example of the feedback:


Mary you were very focused and I noticed that you read your recipe carefully which is good practice. It was a great idea to use the food ruler to measure your meatballs. You were careful to wash your hands after handling raw meat and eggs.

Your final dish looked delicious and I liked that you left the yolk of the egg a little runny. Be careful to wash your dishes as you go along and wipe your table between chopping boards to prevent cross contamination.

I was very impressed with your knowledge of the key words although you got some words jumbled up in the Maillard reaction so please go over that one again.

Your target for your next practical lesson is to clear, wash and wipe as you go along.

Well done Mary.


Overall, I feel that this was a very productive lesson which clearly showed that pupils had made progress in terms of their theoretical knowledge and their practical application of that knowledge. One to add to future schemes of work, I feel.

Feel free to comment or email me at if you would like to discuss this blog further.

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