Auchenblae pupils have a s(o)uper time

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AUCHENBLAE pupils battled it out in the culmination of an “Apprentice style” challenge last week.

The S(o)uper Apprentice has seen the Primary 4/5 children take part in a variety of business related tasks over the past nine weeks to produce a new healthy soup made from locally grown produce, and during the final on March 30 the pupils found out who was “hired” and who was “fired”.

The challenge was arranged in association with local food ingredients manufacturer Macphie, the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health (RINH) and the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF).

Producing a soup may sound like a easy enough task but, as the pupils have discovered it is anything but simple. In order to come up with a finished product that could be sold in shops, the youngsters have had to learn what it takes to run and work in business.

They worked in teams to form their own companies and develop company names and branding, receiving support from Macphie, RINH and SFDF on a number of activities to help them with their tasks.

These included a visit to Macphie to find out how a food company operates and how the experts at Macphie make and promote their products.

RINH visited the school to teach the pupils about the science of food and how to make products healthy and nutritious, whilst SFDF informed the pupils of the wide range of exciting career opportunities on offer in the food industry.

The pupils made their final presentations to the Apprentice Board last week including the final soup, packaging, marketing materials, and their learnings from the project, with the winning team being“hired” to make their soup for a specially invited audience at a celebratory lunch.

Moira Stalker, National Co-ordinator of ‘A Future in Food’ said: “This project aims to use the food industry as a focus to teach the pupils core skills like literacy, numeracy, team work and communication. It will also give them an insight into the industry and encourage them to think about a future career within it.”

Dr Sue Bird, Knowledge Exchange Manager at the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute said: “I was so impressed by the energy, imagination and resourcefulness of children involved in the project. They have clearly gained practical skills in team working, design and presentation, food preparation and cooking. I’m also glad to say that all the soups showed a clear commitment to healthy eating and buying local food.

“All the partners are delighted that this project so clearly meets the objectives of both the Curriculum for Excellence and Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy. Special congratulations must go to Dorothy Duncan, the class teacher, who so ably guided and planned the project. I do hope that many other schools will consider undertaking a similar project.”

Elsie Young, Head Teacher at Auchenblae Primary School said: “The children enjoyed the challenge which provided creative, innovative and enterprising ways of learning across many curricular areas.”