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Our bespoke space, with height-adjustable workstations, is designed for classes of up to 30 pupils. Our Chef Educators are trained to teach children, from 5 and above, a full cookery education according to the National Curriculum. We offer half or full-day courses.

Our cookery curriculum is divided by the Key Stage groups and covers a full range of basic cookery skills – from preparing vegetables, making soup and bread, learning about meat. We include health and safety, knife skills and knife safety, plus we can teach to cook over fire.

School groups can book half or full-day cookery courses.

Curriculum Statement

The Hackney School of Food’s Cooking and Nutrition curriculum has been developed through a collaboration between the LEAP Federation’s Design and Technology team and our Chef Educator. It marries the goals of the Hackney School of Food and the Primary National Curriculum.

The school’s cookery days, which are adaptable for all ages, are designed to develop the knowledge and skills of children from Early Years through to Year 6. Used in sequence, children carefully build on their cooking techniques from measuring, peeling and grating, through to chopping, slicing, dicing, preparing meat and finally cooking with fire. Underpinning these skills, are the core ideas of a healthy and varied diet with each day focusing on different dishes or recipes that balance an Eatwell Plate. They incrementally build on a fundamental understanding of nutrition, gradually increasing in technical complexity. Throughout the day, in groups of three, the children prepare up to six predominantly savoury dishes to take home and share with their families. The site provides children with an insight into where their food comes from and how it is grown, as well as helping them to understand and explore seasonality by picking and using fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in our extensive garden, orchard and vegetable beds. This field to fork approach underpins the vision of all the courses and training we deliver at the Hackney School of Food.

Whether school cooking days are used together as a block, or as stand-alone days, once children finish their School of Food journey, they will have not only developed a broad understanding of the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, but also developed their skill set and confidence in cooking to an extent that allows them to be creative in the kitchen.

Each sequence of lessons is mapped to fit a body of class-based learning outcomes that can be built around the days to enhance the children’s understanding of things such as nutrition in carbohydrates, whole grains and proteins, as well as necessary food-based vocabulary and the inherent flexibility in creativity and design of following and developing recipe instructions.


Learning Objectives:


  • Simple recipes & food preparation skills
  • Basic measurements
  • Intro to ‘healthy’ – fruits & vegetables etc…
  • Introducing flavours & cooking
Course Description

In this Reception level class we introduce children to tasting ingredients, preparing and cooking food, and what ‘healthy’ looks like.

Using basic measurements, we introduce some simple preparation techniques, such as mixing, combining and kneading; along with scooping, threading and cutting with table knives. 

Working with our simplified pizza base recipe of only two ingredients we begin taking easy steps in straightforward recipes. We then follow through to the end of a recipe by topping the pizzas with a pre-made tomato sauce and mozzarella. Once the pizzas are cooked, the chef will share their pizza and lead a discussion about what has happened in the ‘cooking’ process. 

Healthy snacks are made in the form of cottage cheese and herb stuffed cucumber canoes and fruit skewer rockets. Whilst identifying the fruits used in the recipes we will introduce the concept of healthy and why fruits and vegetables are good for us. 

We will also spend some time in the kitchen garden discovering herbs, talk about the smells and tastes, and how we can use them to add exciting flavours to our recipes.

Lesson A

  1. Simple Pizza
  2. Cucumber Canoes
  3. Fruit Skewer Rockets

KS1 2 hour lessons

YEARS 1 & 2

Learning Objectives:


  • Simple small Knife Skills – cutting, peeling, grating
  • Following simple recipes
  • Simple preparation techniques – measuring, mixing
  • Identifying Fruits & Vegetables 
  • Nutrition – portion size, 5-a-day, eat the rainbow
  • What happens to ingredients when they are cooked
Course Description

 Key Stage 1 lessons introduce crucial kitchen tools in food preparation, learning how to safely handle small knives, peelers and graters correctly to transform raw ingredients into fresh salads and coleslaw. 

We will cover how to follow simple recipes by breaking down the stages in easy to follow segments. Using techniques such as simple measuring and mixing to create nutritious savoury bites such as wholemeal cheese scones or sweet potato savoury muffins. 

We identify different fruits and vegetables, begin to understand portion sizes, and the importance of the ‘5 a Day’ and ‘Eat the Rainbow’ nutritional messages. This opportunity is used to explore different tastes of similar ingredients and acts as an introduction into what happens when we bake.

Lesson A

  1. Cheese & Spinach Wholemeal Scones
  2. Apple & Carrot Coleslaw
  3. Fruit Salad

Lesson B

  1. Sweet Potato Muffins
  2. Crunchy Garden Salad
  3. Baked Fruit

KS2 4 hour lessons

YEARS 3 & 4

Learning Objectives:


  • Knife Skills – Chef’s Knife
  • Following recipe steps
  • Baking – accurate weights & measures, wholemeal flours, baking powder & yeast
  • Seasonality
  • Nutrition – FSS, vitamins, minerals, fibre, balanced plate, carbohydrates, wholemeal
  • Tasting, seasoning – introducing herbs and spices
  • Reducing Sugar in baking
Course Description

Key stage 2 lessons begin with years 3 & 4 advancing their kitchen techniques, honing knife skills, delving deeper into an understanding of nutrition and seasonality.

The foundations of knife skills will cover the correct grip for the standard ‘chefs knife,’ the bridge and claw method of holding ingredients safely, and the most important cutting styles. Practice and repetition of these skills in creating seasonal soups and healthy vegetable snacks will solidify the correct technique. Keeping our recipes in touch with the seasons allows for a discussion about the seasonality of fruits and vegetables, why it’s good for our bodies at the same time as introducing vitamins and minerals.

Being able to identify herbs and spices will aid in the creation of delicious food, and will also reduce the reliance of salt in cooking. By tasting, analysing and adjusting the dishes with aromatics, we begin to establish a core intuition of what makes good food taste good.

Recipes for wholemeal breads and low-sugar bakes will require accurate weights and measures with the use of scales. Using baking powder and yeast in recipes will give the confidence to be able to easily create fresh bread from scratch.

Throughout the lesson, the recipes will provide a platform to advance nutritional knowledge of the eatwell plate, fibre, salt, sugar and fat.

Lesson A

  1. Wholemeal Soda Bread
  2. Seasonal Soup
  3. Beetroot Chocolate Brownie
  4. Healthy Snacks – Crudites & Tzatziki

Lesson B

  1. Wholemeal Bread
  2. Pepper & Bean Stew
  3. Seasonal Fruit Sponge
  4. Healthy Snacks – Fresh Tomato Salsa Bruschetta

YEARS 5 & 6

Learning Objectives

  • Advancing Knife Skills
  • Following multi-stage recipes
  • Creating Marinades and Curry Pastes
  • Creating basic sauces – adapting with herbs & spices
  • Preparing and cooking protein; meat, fish, eggs & pulses
  • Cooking starches – couscous, rice, potatoes
  • Methods of Cooking Vegetables and Seasonality – Roast and Sautée
  • Nutrition – protein and its sources, portion sizes and the Eatwell Plate
Course Description

In years 5&6 of KS2 we advance kitchen skills to inspire confidence in cooking complete meals by following multi-stage recipes, give the courage to adapt a basic recipe with different aromatics, understand the nutrition of the Eatwell plate, and introduce the safe cooking of meat.

 We will create a base from which we make a sauce or marinade, and in the process develop knife skills to finer cuts. Learning the process of marination combined with a wider grasp of aromatics we create dishes that are full of flavour and less reliant on salt. This will establish the courage to adapt and diversify the creation of other delicious recipes. 

The preparation and cooking of meat is an important skill to master. Shaping minced meat to create meatballs and breaking down cuts of chicken, we touch on animal welfare, the safety precautions involved with the preparation, and how to tell when a piece of meat is thoroughly cooked.

Protein is an essential part of our diet, in this lesson we will not only learn how to prepare and cook meat, but great alternative sources as well by mixing and shaping seasonal fishcakes and bean based patties. Eggs are a fantastic protein source, as well as being high in other essential nutrients, we will create delicious egg dishes both on the hob and in the oven. 

 Drawing on the seasonality of vegetables, we discuss the ways in which we can make the most of produce in cooking. Whether slow-roasted in the oven for hearty flavours or quickly flash-fried in a pan for a crunchy bite, the concept of caramelisation is key to creating a depth of flavour in vegetables.

During the day the recipes will be used to help round our understanding of nutrition by introducing protein sources and how it helps to build a strong body. Along with the cooking of starchy carbohydrates and vegetables, we discuss correct portion sizes and balance in a healthy diet. 

 By creating dishes such as curries, marinated vegetables and cooked grains we broaden the ability to follow recipes with multiple stages.  When combined with a knowledge of nutrition, food preparation techniques and an understanding of flavour we will give students the confidence to cook complete meals from scratch.

Lesson A

  1. Basic Tomato Sauce & adapting with aromatics
  2. Preparing Meat – minced meatballs
  3. Cooking Starches – Couscous
  4. Seasonal Vegetable Prep 
  5. Baked Seasonal Fishcake
  6. Cooking Eggs – Spinach Omelette

Lesson B

  1. Curry Paste & Sauce – how to adapt with spices
  2. Preparing Meat – cuts e.g. chicken thigh/breast
  3. Cooking Starches – Rice
  4. Seasonal Vegetable Prep – pan-fried
  5. Veggie Bean Patties
  6. Cooking Eggs – Baked Cheese & Tomato Frittata


YEAR 6 End Of Year Day Out – A FIERY FEAST

Come and celebrate reaching the end of primary school with a truly unique experience: our Camp Fire Cooking class. 

In the morning children will learn to create their own dough from flour, water and yeast, following on in the afternoon by stretching it out for a classic pizza shape, making a simple tomato sauce and selecting their toppings. Once the pizzas are ready they will be baked in our outdoor wood-fired oven for that traditional Neapolitan taste.

We will prepare a flavour packed marinade to make chicken and vegetable kebabs, which we will cook over hot embers in the fire pit in the middle of our raised planting beds.

Whilst in the garden, we will discover and pick the freshest herbs and salad leaves to complement our feast, before seeking the ripest seasonal fruits to make our delectable dessert.

Join us for a fiery feast day to send school leavers off in style.

On the day

  1. Learn to make a pizza from the basics – dough, sauce and topping.
  2. Marinade and prepare Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs.
  3. Learn how to cook with fire.
  4. Look for fresh herbs, fruits and salads in our Kitchen Garden.
  5. Make a scrumptiously tasty, and healthy fruity dessert.


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