Hackney School of Food's Offer to Schools
The unique, bespoke training kitchen and large productive gardens at the Hackney School of Food provides schools with a very special teaching experience and setting, whether this be for whole class Cooking Lessons for children, or Staff Team Building sessions.
Our Food Education Lessons
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 Head Food Educator. It marries the goals of the Hackney School of Food and the Primary National Curriculum.
The school’s cookery curriculum is designed to develop the culinary knowledge and cooking skills of children from Early Years through to Year 6. Used in sequence, children carefully build on their cooking techniques from basic measurements, mixing and baking, peeling and grating, through to knife skills of chopping, slicing, dicing, and finally cooking whole meals. Underpinning these skills, are the core ideas of a healthy and varied diet with each lesson focusing on different dishes or recipes that incrementally build on a fundamental understanding of nutrition, gradually increasing in technical complexity.
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.
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.
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.
Food education links to the wider curriculum
Our Head Food Educator, Tom, believes that learning about food can be a gateway to any other subject, from maths and science, cultural history to literature. We can work with subject leads to design a food experience to suit the needs of the topic.
We have worked with other schools in Hackney to develop bespoke cookery lessons that are linked to their own curriculum topics, from Neolithic barley & vegetable pot stew, to Spanish Paella, via Ancient Roman ‘dice’ breads. These capture the imaginations of children and bring these topics to life, whilst covering the cookery curriculum basics of cooking savoury dishes, nutritional & seasonal knowledge and technical culinary skills.
We can provide training and coaching for teaching staff to upskill their own culinary knowledge and how to deliver lessons in an engaging way to be able to deliver these cookery lessons in their own school.
“Working with Tom is always a pleasure. His knowledge of recipes and techniques that will work for every age group is fantastic. His willingness to weave these together creatively to link in with our curriculum really brings the learning to life for our children. With his support, our teachers are becoming more confident in teaching cooking back at school too which will mean the project will be sustainable long-term.”
Abigail Hopper, Headteacher Nightingale School
Staff Team Building sessions
At the Hackney School of Food, we believe that cooking together is a fantastic way to connect people. It helps to build confidence; harness creativity and we think it’s the perfect activity for teams needing a boost in morale and well-being.
All of our lessons are informative yet informal so you can enjoy yourself whilst you learn how to cook good, nutritious food from around the world, and pick up some professional cooking tips from our Food Educators along the way.
Our kitchen and gardens are adaptable to your needs, with 10 cooking stations in the kitchen, we can support up to 30 adults cooking in teams, and can even cook al fresco, extending the capacity with our outside prep area, wood oven & fire pits.
We can work with you to tailor sessions to suit your team, our demonstration style involves our chefs leading the group as they partner up to cook dishes; whilst our family style means the team collectively prepares elements of the dish to be enjoyed together at the end.
In addition to the cooking, both our teaching kitchen and dining room are equipped with digital projectors, HDMI connectivity and speakers which can be hired for meetings to supplement your team building activities. We also offer the option of bespoke hospitality packages of refreshments, from working breakfasts to homemade snacks.
Some of our most popular recipes
- Pizza Perfection – create the dough & sauce from scratch with a selection of toppings, baked in our very own wood oven served up with a salad picked from our very own gardens.
- Thai Green Chicken Curry, with Sticky Jasmine Rice & Blistered Greens
- Bread Baking – master the art of baking beautiful loaves –
- Mexican Adobado Chicken Fajitas, with Pico de Gallo & Guacamole
- Moroccan Meatball Tagine, Jewelled Couscous & Tzatziki
'We did a pizza and salad session with Tom as a team building exercise; He was fabulous at talking everybody through the recipes and skills required and giving ideas for changes & additions that could be made.'
Sarah, School Food Matters
Find out more about Team Building opportunities at the Hackney School of Food here.
School Chef Training & Menu Design
In collaboration with our partner organisation, the charity Chefs In Schools, we can support and train school chefs in producing meals using fresh, quality ingredients from scratch, as well as in designing rolling weekly lunch menus and working with great suppliers around school budgets to create a variety of great tasting and nutritious meals for the children (and adults!) in school.
Chefs in Schools induction to innovative school food practice, will furnish your teams with an upskilling in culinary knowledge and training in food preparation techniques.