MASTER SKILLS

Inspire students aged 5-14 to practise skills with our free Team GB-inspired resource.

Only 16% of millennials say they learned to cook at school. Master Skills activities equip students with the tools to practise and refine their food preparation skills. 

Key questions

  • What does it take to master new skills?
  • What different knife holds can help when cutting food?
  • How can we develop our cooking skills?


Key learnings 

  • Mastery of skills and techniques share much in common with the practice and training of elite Team GB athletes.
  • Cooking skills and techniques, including knife skills, can be practised and developed over time. 

FILM DISCUSSION POINTS

Watch our Master Skills film. 

  • What tips does Jacqueline share for learning new skills?
  • What different steps does Jacqueline follow when preparing her food for cutting?
  • Can you name the different cuts/holds Jacqueline uses on her vegetables? What do you notice about them?

ACTIVITY IDEAS

  • Create a skills corner in your classroom. Have simple equipment and items available to practise measuring, spreading, mixing and cutting (jugs, weighing scales, bowls, spoons, plus flour, lentils, beans, pasta, crackers). Use photo guides to remind the students of the correct way to use the equipment. For extra challenge, move onto more skilful items and equipment.
  • Display the Olympic Cooking Skills Record or Advanced Olympic Cooking Skills Record (see Student Resources below) on the wall, and use rewards and stickers for each new skill learned. For extra challenge, list the skills to show those that everyone will be able to do by the end of the term, and those that some may progress onto. You may wish to broaden this out into a whole school activity, celebrating and rewarding the class that masters the most skills, or creating school awards for ‘best craft skill’, ‘most improved skill’, ‘best skills mentor’, ‘fastest at peeling’, ‘least peel wasted’ and so on.
  • Ask students to work in pairs to produce a step-by-step video or presentation of a skill they have learned (for example, mashing banana or cooked potato, using a knife to cut soft fruit, kneading and rolling out dough). As a class, you could create a class guide to cooking, creating an array of videos for different skills. Match the skill to be shown to the ability of the students.
  • Challenge students to prepare a fruit or vegetable each day, and see how the students improve over time (you could take a photo to show how much more skilled the result is, or note the time taken – both should improve).

Student Resources

Skills Masterclass

This comprehensive presentation discusses what it means to master skills in life – whether sport or cooking. It provides the perfect introduction to using knives, discussing the bridge hold, claw hold and fork secure.

Resource type: Presentation

Learning focus: Life skills – tips for learning new skills; Cooking – developing knife skills

Recommended age group: 5-11

Olympic Cooking Skills Record

This A3 activity sheet lists can act as a either a pupil or class record of progress towards developing key cooking skills. Three clear steps are outlined for each skill, helping to move pupils towards independence.

Resource type: Activity sheet

Learning focus: Cooking - trying new skills; Life skills - developing independence

Recommended age group: 5-7

Advanced Olympic Cooking Skills Record

This A3 activity sheet lists can act as a either a student or class record of progress towards developing key cooking skills. Three clear steps are outlined for each skill, helping to move pupils towards independence.

Resource type: Activity sheet

Learning focus: Cooking - trying new skills; Life skills - developing independence

Recommended age group: 7-14

Potato Peel Waste

This cooking and maths activity explores the amount of waste created when peeling potatoes. Students compare the flavour of mash potato when the potato isn't peeled, peeled with a vegetable knife or with a peeler. This activity is ideal for practising knife skills and introducing the concept of food waste.

Resource type: Activity sheet

Learning focus: Maths – weighing, estimating; Cooking – food preparation, knife skills, reducing food waste

Recommended age group: 7-14