children growing food in their school children growing food in their school

Food Discovery

Growing, cooking, tasting in school playgrounds, classrooms and on farms

In our Food Discovery sessions, led by experienced Country Trust Coordinators, children grow their own food, learn cooking skills and how to make some nutritious, cheap and delicious recipes.

They explore all aspects of food through farm visits, meeting food heroes, running a playground market and even preparing and sharing a Harvest Feast. We provide a safe environment for tasting food so that children develop food confidence, and we build and share knowledge that helps children to begin to make informed food choices. 

We work alongside schools to create a Food Discovery programme which is tailored to the needs of each individual school and take place over an academic year.  Our Coordinator will usually work with one year group, per school, for the whole year. We offer CPD and can work with parents too.  

91% of teachers agree that our programmes allow them to learn something new about their pupils
Country Trust Impact Report

The number of sessions varies depending on several factors including the number of classes taking part and the needs of the school, but could include:

Up to 6 growing sessions:

Children learn how to sow, transplant and care for a variety of different crops.

2 - 3 cooking sessions:

Children build confidence in tasting new things and learn to cook different dishes which they can take home and share with their families.

A farm visit for each class:

Children visit a real, working farm and spend time getting to know the farmer and learning about what a farmer's life is like. We help them to see the connection between the countryside, farming and the food they eat, and what they been growing at school.

A playground market for each class:

Children run a mini farmers' market at school for parents. They conduct research to decide what will sell best. Having promoted the market, the children order the produce they wish to sell, weigh it out, price it and sell it!

A local 'Food Hero' session for each class:

A local farmer or food producer comes to school to talk about the work they do (and hopefully bring samples to taste and touch!).

A learning journal session for each class:

Children reflect on what they have learnt and experienced. They keep journals with photos, notes, pictures and keepsakes.

A Harvest Feast:

At the end of the year, pupils harvest the fruit and vegetables they have grown and cook them up to share a feast together!



The Country Trust is a charity dedicated to supporting the most persistently ;disadvantaged children. Schools and groups that meet our eligibility below, qualify for our support.

1. School is above 25.5% Free School Meals (EVER6)

Click here to check your schools current EVER6 percentage

2. Schools which don't meet the EVER6 criteria but are one of the following.

3. Non-school groups supporting:

  • What Key Stage does Food Discovery support?

    We work with Key Stage Two classes (Year 3 – 6) in schools with an above-average number of children receiving Free School Meals* in areas of high deprivation.  

    *We use 'Free School Meals EVER 6' data. The current average is: 25.5%

    See our eligibility criteria for more information.

  • What does a school need to take part?

    Most importantly, enthusiasm to embrace the programme throughout the academic year!  

    Ideally you will have an existing growing space, or be willing to create a growing space in your school grounds – it doesn’t have to be fancy, but you’ll need to dedicate enough space (and resource to creating that space) for us to use to grow crops over six sessions for the harvest feast.  

    If you don’t have a school kitchen, we can work with you to find a suitable solution, however we will need access to a space that can be used for cooking (even if that’s a classroom!) and for washing up. 

    We ask that at least one adult from the school is present during all sessions and sufficient supervision to meet our required ratios is available from the school (usually 1:8). 

  • How much does Food Discovery cost?

    The Country Trust aims to fundraise to enable schools to take part in our activities. Where possible we ask schools to contribute towards the cost of the Food Discovery programme. Generally schools would contribute between 5% and 40% of the total cost – however some schools are not able to contribute financially at all, and we work very hard to make sure that cost does not need to be a barrier to participation.  

    We do ask schools to pay for the cost of transport for farm visits, but aside from that everything is included in the cost of the programme – coordinator planning and delivery time, ingredients and materials etc. 

  • How does my school / group get involved?

    If you are interested in Food Discovery for your school, and you meet our eligibility criteria, contact us at  

    It helps if you can tell us a bit about your school, what you already do with regards to cooking and growing in school (if anything) and how you think the programme could benefit your pupils, staff and school as a whole. Please let us know if you have a particular year group in mind and number of classes in that year group. We will let you know if we have availability in your area, or add you to our waiting list and advise you on other ways you can get involved with The Country Trust’s activities in the meantime. 

Girls picking onions Girls picking onions

“I really liked trying all these foods. I didn’t even know what some of them were called until today.” Pupil, North Denes