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School projects don't get much better than this. Building their own cob oven empowers children and gives them an extraordinary experience they will share forever.

Building a cob oven is a complete outdoor learning experience. This is at the heart of The Fabulous Cob Oven Company's activity - it is where I started, and I am a passionate and enthusiastic workshop leader. I have worked with schools across England, Wales and Scotland, and over 8500 children have dug, mixed, built and baked!

The School Cob Oven Project can link with many parts of the Sustainable Schools National Framework: Food and Drink, Energy and Water, Purchasing and Waste, Building and Grounds, Inclusion and Participation, Local Well Being, and Global Dimension.

Once built, your school cob oven becomes an asset for fund raising too; at the very first school I worked with, over £500 was raised by the PTA selling pizza at the summer fete!

"That was the best school week - EVER!"

Early Years School oven workshops usually run over four or five days. I often work with 400 children in one week. Everyone - including teaching staff and TAs - get involved in the fun.

The week starts with a full school assembly where we talk about building with the earth under our feet: What do we use to build our homes? How do we cook food? Where does the enrgy we need come from?

There are many ways a school cob oven project can be linked to your curriculum: Art and Design, Design and Technology, materials, energy, architecture, numeracy, science... global living, culture and food, sustainable living... the list is as long as your imagination is wide.

clay huntAn Early Years School Cob Oven Project Diary.

"Before we can start we need some clay.
Matthew said
it can often be found in the school grounds -
so we
went on a Clay Hunt!"
You will be able to connect to the landscape by using the earth under your school. On rare occasions this isn't possible, but you should not have to travel far to find local clay. It will have characteristics unique to your area, particularly colour. Your school oven will reflect your landscape by showing off the colour of your soil - we've built ovens that are yellow, red, grey - even blue!clay hunt

"Then we set up a Clay Station, where we remove any stones, roots or wiggly worms! Let's put those lovely worms in the school compost or on our vegetable beds."


clay hunt 


"We made a sand former. We all love a day at the beach, and we made a beautiful big Sand Castle!"

clay hunt 


"We will need lots of
cob mixed, so we got busy with the
Cob Dance.
Come on Teachers,
you know you want to join in!"

clay hunt 



"We're Cob Builders!
Can we build it?
Yes we can!

clay hunt 




"How many pizzas
can we fit in here?"

clay hunt

Give yourselves a
big cobby hand!




"Are we finished? Then let's get cooking!"

clay huntclay huntclay hunt

Call Matthew Lloyd on 07974 955196
or email : cobovenman@me.com to get started.

"A week on from our cob oven making experience I just wanted to write and express our sincere gratitude for running the project here at Ledbury Primary School.
The pupils were so engrossed in making the oven, using their values in a focused
context and enjoying pizza - they almost forgot everything else.

Parents and members of our school community have all given very positive feedback and want to know when we will be running events with the oven. I hope this will be soon.

For us as a school it was great to work with a professional who understands our ethos. 
The independence we encourage in our pupils was evident and their ability to co-operate.
Matthew, you empowered the pupils to do this during their time with you, thank you."
Mrs Julie Rees
, Head teacher, Ledbury Primary School, Herefordshire.


IMG6594clay hunt

This is the website for Matthew Lloyd trading as The Fabulous Cob Oven Company.
Established in 2011, based in Ludlow, Shropshire. All material on this website is ©Matthew Lloyd t/as FCOCo.

FCOCo is an award-winning member of the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme, plus these organisations

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Photography, website design and graphic design by Matthew Lloyd t/as Think Graphic

FCOCoschoolbrochureDownload a PDF of a School Cob Oven Brochure here


THE SCHOOL cob oven PROJECTSteiner Oven

2011 We built ovens at the
Hereford Steiner Academy for
the Kindergarten children,
who bake bread every day.

Mach Oven

2012 Ovens were built in
Mid Wales with support from a
Soil Association project.
At one school some 200 children helped build their oven!

Rushbury oven

2013 Ovens were built at
four schools in Shropshire with
support from the
Shropshire Hills Sustainable Development fund.
This is Rushbury school's fine oven ready to start baking.

Brighton ovenHillingdon Oven

2014 In March Longhill School Brighton were the lucky recipients of a competition prize in the form of a FCOCo Cob Oven Workshop, and in June I ran a week-long workshop with 300 children at Oak Farm Infant School, Hillingdon.

Rushbury oven

Three school ovens built this year including St. John's School, Midsomer Norton, who enjoyed a full week of cob oven building in March. We topped the week off with an all-day pizza party for 400 children!

2016 I worked with St. Joseph's Specialist School and College, Cranleigh, Surrey, Feckenham Primary School near Redditch, Worcestershire, Harlow Green Primary, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, Oldcastle Primary, Bridgend, South Wales, and St. Margarets Academy, Torquay, Devon.

2017 at Flowery Field Primary, Manchester, Pine Ridge Academy schools x 2, Camberley, Surrey, Abbot Primary, Manchester, Busby Primary, Glasgow, Scotland, Garway Primary, Herefordshire and Barley Close Primary, Bristol... and onwards!

what they sayClee Hill Primary School,

Straw bale studio
"We have used our oven four
times this term, with all Key
Stages as part of their Forest
School sessions for making
pizzas, and we made flat breads
last week to accompany pumpkin
soup. I know that our Forest School leaders will be using it too. We use it for about three hours per session.

We had some raised beds
built near the oven to grow vegetables and herbs which will be used in our recipes.

The PTA have also kindly offered
to donate some money to pay
for a gazebo structure
near the oven so that the children can use the oven in all weathers!"

Clunbury Primary School,

Straw bale studio
"It is really interesting how
attached everyone is to
our school oven. There must be something hard-wired in us to find outdoorcooking deeply satisfying.
Children, staff and parents are
really keen to use the oven
whenever we have an event,
such as Sports Day, our
Autumn apple pressing or
visitors to the school, because
of the fun and buzz that seems
to surround it.

We used the oven yesterday to
great effect. We sold dozens of
pizzas and the oven provoked lots
of interest, discussions etc.
There were pizzas in the oven
from the start to the end of our
Fair, and our shelter was a
happy little hub. We really enjoyed using it, and I like the way the children feel great 'ownership' of it."


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