"Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together." - Guy Fieri

Cookery is part of the Art, Design and Technology Department at New Hall.  We strive to inspire students to foster and develop an essential life skill.  Cooking does not only allow students to be able to produce food for themselves, family and friends.  It also enables them to critically discuss the typology of a balanced diet, deploy plant-based substitutes and embrace sustainability.

Besides being an enriching part of the curriculum for all children from Year 5 to Year 9 and a series of popular co-curricular sessions across all year groups.  A highlight of this provision is collaboration with other subject areas, notably the Languages Departments, to create innovative and memorable learning experiences.

Cookery at New Hall empowers the next generation to be inventive and adventurous in their food choices.  It also teaches our students to try new things, embrace different cultures and to develop their palates.

Year 9 boys enjoying practical activity outside of the timetable in the Cookery Department

Our central aims are:

  • to provide an enjoyable, fulfilling and successful experience for both students and staff, as well as the local community
  • to develop students’ confidence and creativity
  • to develop students’ ability to research, critically analyse and problem solve
  • to enable students to be confident to cook their own food and to develop a lifelong interest in this essential life-skill
  • to provide a range of opportunity for enrichment through the co-curriculum and boarding activity program

Year 9 boys observing a teacher demonstration


Sixth Form student at work as part of the School’s enrichment programme

Cookery has a well-resourced teaching room with 9 work stations, each equipped with a full range of gas and electric units.  The facility is situated close to the School Farm and herb garden, allowing important cross-curricular links to be made.  The specialist Cookery Assistants lead sessions, supported by a Cookery Technician and the Department is able to access a generously-stocked store of ingredients.  The Department is also close to the main Refectory and we work closely in collaboration with the School caterers.

All teaching staff receive an iPad and a laptop to assist in their delivery of the subject.  Each student from Year 3 to Year 13 is given their own iPad.

The Curriculum

Students in Key Stage 3 learn the importance of a balanced diet alongside how to cook healthy dishes, without compromising on flavour.  The curriculum starts with basic recipes, building up to more complex dishes by the start of Year 9.  Ingredients are supplied by the Department and all dishes are prepared from scratch, with an emphasis on the use of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The curriculum includes a variety of sweet and savoury dishes, enabling a wide range of cooking practices to be acquired, throughout the academic year.  Students, are also taught correct knife skills, how to keep their stations clean during food prep and other elementary skills that are essential practice in the kitchen.  Example Key Stage 3 dishes made in class include turkey burgers, chocolate chip cookies, stir-fry noodles and fajitas.

The lesson plans for Key Stage 2 are slightly more basic and include an introduction to Health & Safety, hygiene standards and basic care while in the Cookery Room.  They even learn how to wash their equipment properly!  Recipes for Key Stage 2 include bread making, apple and berry crumble, sponge cake, pin wheels and salad.

The Cookery Department is very well aware of students with special dietary requirements or allergens, and will always have an alternative for ingredients a particular student does not eat or is allergic to.  This is also discussed on a regular basis with students, during demonstrations and students are regularly tasked with research in order to find substitutes for certain ingredients in a recipe.

Pictured right- Teacher demonstrated for a Year 8 teaching group

The Co-Curricular

There are regular after school cookery sessions for children in the Preparatory Division.  Students learn how to cook simple yet exciting dishes such as sausage rolls, jam tarts and scones.  For older students, there is also a cookery club, which is run in collaboration with the Languages Department, where students can explore a variety of foods from different cultures.

Year 9 girls producing cupcakes in aid of the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning

Leiths Academy: Introduction to Confident Cookery

This is an exciting year for the Cookery Department as for the first time, New Hall School is collaborating with Leiths Academy.

A small cluster of schools have been selected by Leiths to participate in a pilot program, delivering an array of new courses.  The Introduction to Confident Cookery course is aimed at Year 12 students and is delivered over three terms.  The participants will complete a Level 2 food hygiene and allergens assessment and will cover 33 lessons over the academic year.  The recipes are ‘go-to’ dishes, which are essential if students decide to do a gap-year travel experience or simply want to host their own dinner party while at university.

The cohort have a weekly demonstration lesson followed by a double practical lesson and we have regular visits from leading members of the Leiths team.  Following their final assessment, which gives students an opportunity to showcase the skills they have learned, they receive ICC certification.


Notable Cookery alumni includes: Amy-Beth Ellice.

Whilst still studying at New Hall, Amy-Beth became Britain’s youngest published cookery author in 2014 at just 16 years of age when her first book hit the shelves of numerous stores, ‘Amy’s Baking Year’.  Amy-Beth has continued to publish and has written regularly for OK! Magazine.  Her own brands of cupcake have received widespread celebrity endorsements, featuring on the Big Brother TV set and film premieres such as Twilight.  When at New Hall, Amy-Beth raised £200 for charity in just 40 minutes with her sales of her scrumptious creations to students and staff.

Britain’s up and coming baker Amy-Beth Ellice, including her book promotion at Harrods


For further details regarding Cookery at New Hall School, please contact:

[email protected]


Head of Art, Design & Technology: Mr G Hughes BA Hons Fine Art (Coventry), MFA (Master in Fine Art) (Reading), PG Cert Leadership & Management in Education (Sheffield), FRSA