Year 8 Mixed ability Food technology Lesson-60 Minutes. Context: Year 8 pupils are enthusiastic on arrival to the food technology room. Some of the boys in this group are known to be immature in their attitudes to learning in other areas of the curriculum.
Lesson begins with the teacher explaining that hey are to make lemon and honey cheesecakes and that they will compare and contrast this with a bought version from the local supermarket. Pupils prepare themselves by donning aprons and reading the preparation sheets. Pupils are obviously ‘au fait’ with what is required of them from their previous learning.
Teacher deploys the teaching assistant well in helping a boy with learning difficulties. She is also directed to support a girl who has a broken arm and who needs help with the practical aspects of the lesson. The TA also keeps an eye on the group of boys who may behave immaturely.
Lesson is energised. Each stage is met with comments about the delicious aroma produced. Pupils share on-task chatter and demonstrate very positive attitudes. Attentive to advice and instruction pupils are happy to offer comments and answer questions.
After cheesecakes are prepared pupils begin their evaluations. The evaluations involve taking pictures of the pupils at work using a digital camera. Teacher and TA involved in taking the pictures as are the pupils. Pictures are printed and distributed by two pupils (boys) working very well in collaboration to get the job done speedily and effectively. Teacher congratulates them on their performance.
The ‘compare and contrast’ session is exciting and each pupil has a chance to sample the bought cheesecakes and the ‘one I prepared earlier’ made by the teacher. An analysis of the ingredients shown on the packaging of the shop cheesecake elicits an energised discussion on additives and their purpose. Teacher probes pupils knowledge of countries of origin of the fruit etc. and the concepts of Fair trade. She also engages them in a debate about the cost of ingredients against the cost of the shop-bought version and value for money.
Lesson makes an excellent contribution towards pupils’ speaking, listening and reasoning skills. Their approach to the practical aspects show well developed organisational skills. The written aspects show developing report style writing and evaluation techniques. Teacher uses every opportunity to engage the pupils in thinking about wider topics e.g. Fairtrade discussion. TA input provides useful resource; relationships throughout very positive. Overall quality of the teaching and learning demonstrates outstanding practice in lifting the lesson to provide an enjoyable experience for all concerned.