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Ministry of Education.
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  • Question

    Hi all, I am looking for some fresh ideas for AS 91083 for Food. Last year we looked at wedding cakes and combined it into a big unit with AS 91049 External. It was somewhat successful but needs improving. I have attached the booklet made last year. Any ideas or improvements would be so greatly appreciated! Thanks.


    The intention of the processing standards from level 1-3 NCEA is to encourage students and teachers to learn about processing operations and testing for food technology courses. 

    You may wish to reconsider the focus of this unit (i.e. sponge cake) as it provides limited opportunities for students to vary processing operations (e.g. changing temperature and types of baking (fan bake etc.), types of beating, time) and still achieve an acceptable product.

    If you chose a product that has more scope e.g. cakes rather than just sponge cakes it would allow the students to test and trial different processing operations and so develop a more comprehensive understanding of basic concepts used in processing. 

    Biscuits and cakes would allow for a broader range of acceptable characteristics (specifications of a quality product) and would also allow students to experiment with processing techniques such as mixing methods, temperature of ingredients, time of processing, shaping and sizing the final product and baking methods.

    Another suitable product could be a frozen meal for one. Students could trial different processes for preparing the components of the meal and test and evaluate the effect of these changes on the reconstituted meal. For example, vegetables could be blanched or not, prepared in different cuts etc. 

    Technology understandings are more effectively developed when students work on an authentic issue. 

    You could make the understanding purposeful for students if they made biscuits or meals as presents for an elderly group in the community, teachers etc. - or for a fund raiser for their department or community organisation. The video clips below may give you other ideas -they show a school working on community projects with food technology students. 

    For AS 91083, the focus of student’s practical work should be to make a change to the processing of the product, test it and evaluate the effect that this has had on the acceptability of the final product. Students could develop a set of specifications for the final product as a class. They may like to examine commercial products or interview a commercial manufacturer to develop these specifications. 

    It is important to note that the focus of this standard is on the processing and associated testing in making a product and not on the effect that changing ingredients has on the type of product produced. All 4 processing operations as outlined in Explanatory note 4 must be covered. 

    Students need to be given the opportunity to explore a range of processing operations and tests to collect evidence of understanding for this standard. It is worth noting that the practical work is not a requirement of the standard but just a way of growing understandings of basic concepts used in processing. 

    See Technology clarifications for this standard.

    Testing in food processing provides guidance to help students understand testing in a classroom environment. This resource highlights the type of qualities that food technologists could identify and test for when processing products. 

    Some teachers have had success in assessing against AS9108 Implement basic procedures to process a specified product alongside a project with this style of practical work. 

    For 91049 Demonstrate understanding of how materials enable technological products to function, the focus of the teaching and learning should be around the materials. In the case of food, the materials are the ingredients used in the product. 

    The Assessment report for this standard provides further information on the range of ingredients and depth of understanding that is required to demonstrate understanding at the different achievement levels for this standard. 

    The frozen meal context could also provide an opportunity to explore the nutritional value of the meal, its contribution to daily requirements and hence also provide evidence for AS 91049. 

    Students could be collecting evidence for both standards as they explore their product.

  • Question

    A number of NZQA approved assessments state as part of the Conditions "Schedule at least one progress checkpoint during the activity." Could you please clarify the purpose of the checkpoint. Is this to check how much work has been completed or is it to give grades/feedback on the work completed so far? Thank you.


    The use of a progress checkpoint could be for either or both purposes. Technology assessment activities can occur over several weeks and it is good practice to scaffold/support students as they produce evidence for assessment.

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