Setting up a dedicated cookery room

Resource: Case study Age: All Skills: Cooking
Setting up a dedicated cookery room

Lyndhurst Junior School in Portsmouth has set up a separate cookery room so that each of their 5000 pupils can enjoy cookery lessons at school. Find out how they did it.

Why did you want to set up a cookery room?

We wanted a room separate from our normal classroom space to enable us to have cooking throughout the day with the goal that each one of our 500 pupils will get 12 hours of cookery teaching throughout the school year.

How have you kitted out your cookery room?

It was very simple to set up, all you need is a dedicated space or a room. The Cooking Bus visit was a real inspiration as it showed us what a modern ideal cookery room could look like; from there it was simple to replicate.
The key thing that we noted was that we needed wipe down tables - they give the cookery room a different feel from a classroom. We wanted it to be modern, hygienic and to set the tone of a different learning environment. We fitted our kitchen with cupboards (some of which had locks to keep the knives safe), a fridge freezer, a sink, a couple of mini ovens, and tables of various heights. We had thought we might need stools for the children, but it’s actually better not having any as they would just get in the way. We were also worried about needing rows of sinks for washing hands, but we now know that a washing up bowl under each table with some anti-bacterial hand wash is just as good!

How did you fund your cookery room?

The money came from the PTA and some of our capital money, and cost less than £3,000 overall. The most expensive element was the laminate flooring. We sourced our cupboards from our local DIY superstore, and the Isle of Wight Trust helped us with our appliances.

Are parents involved?

We have had brilliant response from parent helpers coming into help run classes and help with washing up as it’s something that parents feel that they can do and for some more fun than listening to children read.

What do your pupils think of the cookery room?

The children regard cookery lessons as a treat – most of them say it’s their favourite lesson. They are cooking a range of dishes sourced from the Cooking Bus and some that link into the curriculum, including Maths, D&T, History and English. We keep a detailed log of what children have made and key skills learnt throughout their time in the cookery lessons.

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.

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