Starting them young – PGCE students learn to teach cookery

June 2018

A group of School Direct teaching students has been shown how to teach young children to cook – and why it’s so important to do so.

The Department of Education recently published a report advising that “instilling a love of food in pupils will open a door to one of the greatest expressions of human creativity”.

With that in mind, Food Development and Innovation lecturer Mandy Lloyd and PGCE tutor Gerard Doyle teamed up to deliver an intensive workshop training teachers to give primary school children a passion for food.

Covering everything from health and safety to trips to farms and local supermarkets, the ‘Food in the Curriculum’ session gave students the language, skills and techniques to nurture a child’s passion for food. 

Gerard and Mandy also worked closely with students to help develop dishes that were quick, easy and satisfying for even the youngest students to make in class and at home. From banana and blueberry muffins to ‘Easy Peasy’ pizza, all recipes involved fresh, healthy ingredients, little cooking time and, most importantly, plenty of chances to touch, smell and taste the food as you go along. 

With workshops lasting a full day, sessions were broken down into teaching, design, making and evaluation. There were also classes devoted entirely to slotting food and cookery into the broader curriculum – in more ways than you might expect.

“I think the skill building session was very useful,” said PGCE student Jess Parr. “I really liked getting a breakdown of events before cooking - it made it easy to imagine the way it would be taught.”

Lecturer Gerard Doyle concluded “at UCB, we believe our student teachers should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to teach children to cook healthy and nutritious food.

“The practical collaboration between academics from our teacher education programmes with those from the College of Food was a perfect combination of the expertise we are renowned for. It’s great to see that all of our student teachers are now prepared tzo inspire the children they teach to lead healthy lifestyles.” 

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