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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 and to help schools implement this successfully we have put together the below information and resources.

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. This includes consideration for nutrition and using nutritional, balanced ingredients during cooking activities, instead of focussing on sweet or high fat foods.

Food origin, labels and choice all feature within the guidelines to deliver effective cookery and promote consumer awareness. This includes a focus on portion sizes, allergy awareness and fairtade and ethical sourcing.  

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 in the Curriculum training is available from Cornwall Healthy Schools in partnership with Cornwall Healthy Weight. This full day course helps teaching and support staff to expand or refresh skills and confidence in cooking activities within school.