Licence to Cook

Licence to Cook

Learn more about Licence to Cook.

Sessions 1 to 5

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for sessions 1 to 5.

Sessions 6 to 10

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for sessions 6 to 10.

Sessions 11 to 16

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for sessions 11 to 16.

Getting started

Four videos to introduce getting ready to cook and weighing/measuring.

Using equipment

Four videos showing how to use small pieces of electrical equipment safely.

Preparing ingredients

Thirteen videos showing how to prepare a range of ingredients safely - including knife skills.

Using the cooker

Four videos showing how to use the cooker safely, including draining away boiling water (after boiling on the hob).

Using flour

Five videos showing how to rub-in, form a dough, roll out a dough, fold a mixture and spoon mixture into cases.

Making a sauce

Two videos showing how to make a white and a tomato sauce.

Extra Session 1: Biscuits

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for the extra biscuit sessions.

Extra Session 2: Bread

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for the extra bread sessions.

Extra Session 3: Pancakes

Access teachers' notes, lesson plans and recipes for the extra pancake sessions.

Additional resources

Resources to support the teaching and learning of food preparation and cooking

Nutritional analysis

Explore food is a user-friendly online nutritional analysis tool for secondary school students

Licence to Cook is based on students experiencing a minimum of 16 hours of practical cooking. For ease, the resources provided have been developed into 16 x 1 hour cooking sessions.

To aid progression and flexibility, these have been divided into 3 modules. Modules should be taught in sequence, but the cooking sessions within each module can be taught in any order. The sessions and recipe suggestions are a minimum. They have been created in response to teacher and student feedback, and accommodate current ‘custom and practice’, while also showcasing ideas with student appeal.

Within each session you will find comprehensive guidance, suggestions and jumping-off points for extending activities. For each session, 2-3 recipes and accompanying lesson plans are suggested. These are provided as they help you to teach particular skills and techniques, e.g. using the hob safely. However, if you have established lesson plans and/or recipes, which support the aims and objectives of these sessions, feel free to use them instead. Look at the support materials provided within this session as they may well be useful in your own lessons, e.g. worksheets, PowerPoint presentations.

Sessions can act as a stand-alone lesson or can be integrated into a series of lessons. Ideas are provided in each session. There is also lots of room for students to be creative through the recipes suggested. You could get your students to use a recipe writing frame to develop their own ideas. The students’ own recipe creations could then be prepared. Through experiencing these 16 sessions, students should be confident and competent in preparing and cooking a range of different dishes, plus have the skills and knowledge to adapt these for the future.

During each of the three cooking modules, students’ practical capability canbe assessed in preparing and cooking a range of dishes, using different pieces of equipment. This observation could be carried either throughout the module or at the end.  To help, an observation sheet for each of the three modules is provided. Each of these sheets is based on the aims and objectives of the sessions within a module, providing a platform to monitor and address progression. 

The observation is based around 5 key criteria:

  • Organisation;
  • Hygiene and safety;
  • Food preparation skills;
  • Cooking;
  • Final dish.

There is no need to grade each of the 5 criteria - simply indicate that the student has met each criterion. For students with special educational needs, you will need to judge that they have experienced aspects of the 5 criteria. Your professional judgement is final. 

The observation sheets can be used in lots of different ways. Some teachers have asked students to use it to record their own progress, while others have used it for peer-reviewed work. You may have your own ‘tried and tested’ observation/recording form. If so, you are free to continue to use it.

DfE 2007-2011 Licence to Cook programme resources

Licence to Cook was funded by the Department for Education in England to provide all secondary school students with the opportunity to learn how to cook, as well as make informed decisions about their diet and health.

The information provided in this Cooking module is provided under the Open Governemnet Licence. Terms can be found at:

This resource was developed for the DfE Licence to Cook programme 2007-2011.


© Crown copyright 2011