Marcliffe Primary School

May 7, 2024

Marlcliffe Primary School truly are one of our success stories! Embracing our offer of free training, funding AND resources, and with the help and support of an amazing, enthusiastic teacher, Marlcliffe now have their own Cooking Club!  Read on to find out more…

In November 2023, Marcliffe Primary School applied for funding as part of the Eat Smart Sheffield Small Grant Scheme. They wanted £150 to spend on cooking equipment, utensils and ingredients so they could set up an after-school cooking club with the aim of teaching their pupils life skills as well as giving them an introduction to a potentially undiscovered hobby or passion.

The idea was that children would be taught how to cook nutritious, healthy recipes involving transferable skills that can be used in DT lessons as they progress with the national curriculum, as well as outside of school. They would be taught a range of cooking, food prep, and hygiene skills such as how to handle raw meat and how to safely chop ingredients, and use basic kitchen tools so that recipes can be replicated at home. The cooking equipment will also be used by the school during lessons and to continue offering the club to different children throughout the academic year so that it can positively impact as many children as possible.

Following on from this, teacher Glen MacDonald, attended the Food for Life ‘Teaching Cooking Confidently in the Classroom’ training – a practical cooking course to share teaching tips and ideas and enhance everyone’s confidence to lead cooking activities in primary schools. This free session covered a range of practical and theoretical topics including age-appropriate food prep, organisation and management of cooking classrooms, and links to growing and farming.  As Glen was going to be the one running the after-school cooking club, this massively helped to improve his confidence, knowledge and motivation to make it happen and….


… fast forward a few weeks and the club was up and running!


During the first 5-week half-term, the children practised a range of skills, including chopping, peeling, grating, and mixing, using different techniques. They tried their hands at cooking bread rolls, three types of soup, savoury scones, vegetable-based sweet muffins and two styles of pancakes – amazing! They swapped ingredients where they could, making healthy adjustments to simple ideas, like incorporating wholemeal flour instead of white where possible. Some of the recipes were chosen to give ideas for healthier snacks and some were chosen because they can be easily adapted. For example, they made different muffins, containing either carrot, apple or courgette, to try and show how flavours could work in unexpected ways.

The children were given chance to be creative and it was so successful that the sessions are now running again with another group. And it’s so great to see the recipes were inspired by the Food for Life training and resources, with the ingredients and equipment funded by the Eat Smart Sheffield Small Grant.

Teacher Glen MacDonald said, “It has been fantastic to see the children develop confidence and independence and many of them have recreated recipes at home already. Hopefully, this has helped start them on the road to becoming fantastic cooks and inspired them to continue exploring the world of food”.

Ella (11) said, “Once you learn how to do it, you will have that skill for the rest of your life. My mum has been using my recipes as well.”

Ifee (11) said, “We had a lot of fun braiding the bread.”


By Lisa Aldwin, Programme Manager, Eat Smart Sheffield