Junior Kitchen and School Sessions

What are the children learning and what do we promote?

Reading – Follow steps in a recipe step and reading ingredients

Science – How ingredients mix and blend together to create different smells, tastes, textures and colours, understanding what key ingredient makes bread rise

Mathematics – Measuring out ingredients and calculating how much is needed

History – When specific foods started being discovered, what are the long-term effects of eating certain foods

PHSE – Working together as a team to complete a task, understanding the importance of hand washing and kitchen hygiene, why are fresh ingredients the best

Health and Safety – Keeping yourself and others safe in the kitchen, knowing where the danger points are, how to use equipment safely, how to clean appliances and work surfaces, why do we have use by dates

Problem Solving – How to make different quantities of the same recipe, what alternatives could you use for any allergens, how long does the oven have to be on for, what temperature should food be cooked at

Geography – Where specific ingredients are grown, what conditions are needed to grow food

Currently, only 25 per cent of primary schools have teaching kitchens, which may mean that your child’s cooking and nutrition lessons could be limited by the facilities available. However, there are plenty of ways for children to learn about food, even without extensive facilities. For example, they can practise techniques like peeling, chopping and mashing; use portable facilities like electric hotplates; or prepare food in the classroom that can then be cooked at home, such as bread dough.

The SFP expert panel also points out that the curriculum is lacking in detail about what schools should be teaching, and doesn’t specify how much time should be spent on cooking and nutrition lessons, meaning that the subject may be squeezed out in favour of more academic subjects.

Teachers have also raised concerns about health and safety, especially in Key Stage 2, where it’s less likely that classes will have a teaching assistant as well as a teacher. It’s thought that schools will rely heavily on parent volunteers to help with practical sessions.

Here at Junior Kitchen we believe that by teaching children about leading a balanced healthy lifestyle from a young age they will be more likely to take this into adulthood. They can also encourage their parents and siblings to join in with the fun of cooking healthy food at home.

Our approach to education is built on evidence-based programmes and raising pupil attainment.

Showcasing the importance of healthy eating and looking after our health and wellbeing.

From September 2014, primary school children have had to learn about food, cooking and nutrition under the national curriculum. It’s the first time that the subject has ever been compulsory in UK schools and is a response to the School Food Plan (SFP): a 2013 document put together by a panel of experts, including restaurateurs, nutrition specialists, teachers and school cooks, aimed at improving the quality of both food education and the food served in schools. The SFP recommended that food education should be mandatory for all children in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, a proposal that the Government adopted in its new curriculum.

Cooking and nutrition falls within the design and technology curriculum. The new curriculum aims to teach children how to cook, with an emphasis on savoury dishes, and how to apply the principles of healthy eating and good nutrition. It recognises that cooking is an important life skill that will help children to feed themselves and offers healthy and affordable food, now and in the future, potentially halting – and even reversing – the growth of diet-related illnesses.

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), children will be taught:

  • To use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes
  • To understand where food comes from

Key Stage 2 children (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) will learn:

  • To understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • To prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques
  • To understand seasonality and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed

Junior Kitchen Healthy Eating Campaign

Junior Kitchen believes that national media coverage and celebrity campaigns about cooking and healthy eating are a great catalyst for change, however, we want to have an impact on the lifestyles and skills of the people living in the local community.  We aim to do this by offering sessions that can teach both adults and children the skills needed to make healthy eating choices.

Jamie Oliver is the main advocate for encouraging families to get back to cooking and eating healthily. It links to the Health Service and British Medical Association who are campaigning for healthier lifestyles and diets to combat diseases such as diabetes, which is on the increase.

There is a distinct link between behaviour and what children eat.  A healthy and varied diet is associated with calmer behaviour and better sleep patterns.  We want to be at the forefront in helping schools to deliver this vital educational programme by making a long-term commitment.

These are the 6 things important for children to learn.

Make toast– I do believe this was the very first “cooking” skill my kids have mastered, and are now pretty much professionals at it.

Measure things– I haven’t met one child who doesn’t like to help with measuring things!

Make their own lunch We have specific foods they can add to their lunch of course, but they do it all themselves.

Cutting & Chopping! You don’t have to give them the big butcher knife, but they really can cut certain things from early on.

Washing  produce.  Kids can do this as young as 3 years old.

Clean the kitchen! How can you teach cooking skills without the most important part, cleaning up?

The national curriculum doesn’t give specific guidance about how it should teach cooking and nutrition, so it’s up to individual schools to decide how to deliver their lessons

Primary school children may learn about cooking and nutrition through activities such as:

  • Preparing and cooking a variety of dishes, including hot and cold meals, desserts, packed lunches, salads, etc.
  • Using a variety of cooking equipment: scales, knives, utensils, etc.
  • Growing and harvesting fruit and vegetables
  • Writing meal plans and shopping lists
  • Taste-testing different foods, including foods from different cultures
  • Learning about food hygiene and safety, including getting their food preparation area ready, and clearing up afterwards
  • Learning to read and understand food labels
  • Learning about farming and agriculture
  • Learning about nutritional principles such as a balanced diet, five-a-day etc

The Children’s Food Trust recommends that children spend at least 24 hours in each Key Stage studying cooking and nutrition, with most of that time focused on practical cookery. It’s also recommended that practical lessons are delivered in groups of no more than 18 children.

School Workshop Programmes

We will create a series of workshops tailored to suit the educational needs of your pupils.

Our aim is to provide these workshops for up to 16 children per session, with each session lasting 90 minutes. We can accommodate 2 sessions each day and will provide all the equipment, ingredients and materials.

We will deliver the lessons by adopting a kinaesthetic teaching approach to include visual and practical demonstrations.

Home Schooled Children

Please Contact Junior Kitchen direct to cater for your needs


Portion Control

Portion control and the correct food combinations are a crucial part of our sessions.

An easy to follow menu card and notes will be available at the end of each session to take away.

The programme complements the school term so you won’t miss any sessions. Topics will be varied to ensure all elements of food and nutrition are covered.

Who runs Junior Kitchen sessions? 

Junior Kitchen is run by owners and co-founders Sue Martin and Andrew Howden. All those who work with us and the children are DBS checked and hold the certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety to level 2.

What is the staff to Child Ratio – This is normally a 2-to-16 child ratio but can be increased if specific groups of children need additional support.

Will parents and carers be informed about their child’s involvement at Junior Kitchen?

Following each session, all children are encouraged to take home the food they have prepared along with a wipe clean recipe card so that they can recreate the recipe at home for their family and friends!

Where is Junior Kitchen?

We are situated in Albion Street in Morley and consists of a purpose-built kitchen classroom with the latest, state of the art kitchen appliances and equipment.

We will consider delivering our workshops in the classroom or school hall if required. We don’t need an oven but we do need access to a sink.


Junior kitchen is providing a unique learning experience for home educated children, where they can work as part of a team in surroundings that can’t easily be replicated at home.

Andrew and Sue have created an environment that is relaxed and fun, while challenging and encouraging the kids to explore and improve their cooking skills. My kids have joined in regular workshops at Junior Kitchen and I have noticed an improvement, not just in my son’s eating habits but also their general confidence. It goes without saying that it is a great place to make new friends.

Andrew and Sue have been more than willing to accommodate and tailor their workshops to the unique needs of home educating families, including mixed age and ability groups. They can put together a progressive programme to build on the knowledge gained each time or run one off workshops. I have arranged both and the kids have loved it – a real success.

Sarah Watson – (Home educating Mum of 2)

Home School Reviews

I think that was a very successful day! My son was extremely happy (and the bits I’ve tasted were lovely!) thank you so much … I have a very happy teenager! 😁

What a lovely time they’ve  had, My daughter loved it yes she would like to come Wednesdays are great for us thank you for organising.

My son absolutely loved it!!

Very apparent they’ve all had a great time. Brilliant to hear about their behaviour 👏

My daughter loved it too , big thumbs up! Please put us down for Feb…either date is good for us..Thanks!! X

My son and daughter came back buzzing from this, they loved it, couldn’t be more impressed, please put them down for Feb, and any Wednesday is good for us:-) thanks so much xx

My daughter really enjoyed today 😁

Just wanted to say how much we appreciate all your hard work coordinating all this. Joel had a great day on Wednesday at Junior Kitchen and what a fabulous pie ! My son polished off what was left of it for breakfast the next day!! He’s under pressure to get ready for GCSE’S beginning in May but I think it’s really good he has something completely different to look forward to. Thanks again love. Hugs xx

She loved it and my son was so upset he could not go.