The benefits of cookery in the early years

Each week, girls in our Nursery and Reception classes enjoy a cooking session; which is very hands on for our school’s youngest students. Over the course of this term, we have followed various recipes including fruit kebabs, five bean salads and banana muffins.

Our older students from Years 3 to 6 have the opportunity to join a Cookery Club once a week after school, as part of an extracurricular activity. Here, pupils enjoy shopping at the weekend for their ingredients with parents, which helps them to prepare to create that week’s dish. Members of this club have made a variety of dishes from Singapore noodles and vegetable rice, to sweet treats like rocky road and marshmallow snacks. During these sessions, girls learn a variety of skills such as how to use knives and cut food correctly and the importance of clean hands and surfaces; whilst not only taking pride in their creations but also in clearing away their work space and leaving it prepared for the next class.

Bringing children into the kitchen environment has many wider benefits. It teaches children to be aware of potential hazards and, by spotting these together as a group, they learn how to avoid accidents and stay safe in the kitchen whilst still having fun. There are many important lessons children learn from cooking that will set them ahead for the future. Creating a meal from scratch gives children a sense of accomplishment which builds their self-esteem, boosts confidence and self-reliance. Cooking will encourage children to be more responsible and prepared for adulthood. Cooking alongside adults expands a child’s vocabulary whilst also covering mathematic and scientific concepts such as measuring and changes in food. These are all important characteristics that cookery promotes and enhances, and it is a joy to watch our school’s youngest people learn and develop whilst enjoying this essential life skill.

Miss Page
Junior School Assistant