Most children enjoy cooking at school, and that’s one reason why it’s such a valuable educational tool. Find out how practical cookery lessons can help children develop their physical and academic skills, adopt healthier habits and work together as a team.
DEVELOPING MOTOR SKILLS
Infant school children need practice to make the precise, fine movements needed for writing. There are all sorts of activities that can help them develop their fine and gross motor skills, from kneading playdough to building with Lego. Chopping, stirring and decorating culinary creations are excellent, hands-on ways to get those fingers busy.
Preparing food is a multi-sensory experience that involves looking, touching, smelling, tasting and even hearing! Such a hands-on approach to learning can really help children to engage with their learning, and many will get more out of practical activities like cookery than they will from book-based learning.
Measuring and weighing
Weighing ingredients, getting the timings right and even budgeting portions so that everyone gets a share, are all fundamental elements of cooking that are underpinned by basic mathematical concepts. Teaching children to cook is an engaging way to get them involved in these everyday calculations and to demonstrate the relevance of mathematical concepts in real life. After all, there’s nothing like wanting a fair share of cake to motivate you to practise your division!
THE CHEMISTRY OF COOKING
It’s such an everyday process that we don’t always appreciate the science behind meal preparation. But cooking lessons are a fantastic way to demonstrate real-world applications of scientific concepts. Children can observe changes of state from solid to liquid when melting chocolate, or from liquid to gas when boiling pasta. They can explore the properties of gluten and how different proportions of ingredients can create different textures.
To live a healthy life, it’s important to be well nourished with a balanced diet. Cooking at school gives children the opportunity to learn about healthy eating, exploring ingredients and flavour combinations that they might not encounter at home. Young children are sometimes fussy about food, but in a classroom among their peers, they may be keener to try new foods – especially if they’ve had a hand in the preparation.
Safety, hygiene and responsibility
Cooking with kids at school can make them more independent and self-sufficient. As well as food preparation, cookery involves learning about safe kitchen practices and food hygiene, which students can then transfer to their day-to-day lives. By preparing a meal and clearing up afterwards, school children can gain valuable life skills that will help them become more confident and responsible.
TEAMWORK AND A SENSE OF SATISFACTION
Working together in groups to produce something yummy, most children find cooking very rewarding. At the end of the lesson, they can see (and taste) the results of their hard work – a satisfying reward for their efforts! And of course it can be even more rewarding if the ingredients are home grown in a school garden or allotment.
With modern facilities and flexible design, modular school buildings are the perfect environment for school cookery lessons. Contact us to discover how a modular classroom could transform your school.