Cooking in the Curriculum
As part of the School Food Plan, cooking became a compulsory in the curriculum in September 2014 for all children at primary and secondary school up to the end of Key Stage Three. We are really pleased with this development!
Schools are encouraged to take a whole school approach to food, which includes teaching quality cooking skills, as well as through whole school food policies and comprehensive schemes of work. There is also consideration for nutrition and using nutritional, balanced ingredients during cooking activities, instead of focusing on sweet or high fat foods.
Food origin, labels and choice all feature within the guidelines to deliver effective cookery and promote consumer awareness. Portion sizes, allergy awareness, fairtade and ethical sourcing are also part of the curriculum activities.
There is emphasis on children having appropriate skills, such as the safe use of knives, peelers, graters and other such equipment. Cooking activities do not always have to involve cooking using a hob or oven – there are plenty of other options which facilitate a range of skilled learning without heat. Children should also have an awareness of food safety and hygiene processes – such as cross-contamination and hand hygiene.
The primary curriculum guidance document from Public Health England helps to outline what delivery of this subject could and should look like, highlighting the knowledge and skills that children should learn. Similarly, the secondary curriculum guidance document offers the same support.
Cooking can be embedded into the curriculum across all subjects.
English - Recipe and instruction writing; persuasive writing; descriptions; diaries.
Geography - Exploring cuisine from different parts of the world; native cooking.
History - Food dishes from periods in history; bread making through time.
Maths - Weighing, measuring, ratios and scaling, fractions.
Languages - Continental dishes with links to language and culture.
PSHE - Healthy eating links; mental health and wellbeing benefits of cookery; healthy recipes.
Science - Bread making, yeast, measuring carbon dioxide gases produced.