Barnetts Biscuit Challenge

Waid Academy pupils

About the Project

Local Artisan baker, Murray Barnett is passionate about his craft and keen to share his passion and enthusiasm for bakery with his local school. Through this passion he aims to promote the industry and encourage more young people to think about a future in the food industry.

Enterprise is a core part of the ethos at Waid Academy. A Future in Food provided an opportunity to encourage active and co-operative learning into a wider industry context. The project ran over a school term with a group of 80 S2 pupils. Murray set students the challenge to produce a new type of biscuit that can be sold in his five local bakery shops. One of his stipulations was for students to source and use local produce.

I enjoyed developing my own product in a group and I was given a good insight into how to run a business.

Pupil, Waid Academy

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Anstruther

  • Address not available

  • Showcase the range of skills required by the industry
  • Promote the bakery industry
  • Raise awareness about the company and its products in the local community
  • Raise awareness of the development processes behind well-known local brands
  • Provide industry context for learning
  • Integration with curriculum planning.


Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) – The School identified relevant CfE Experiences and Outcomes and the company looked to match their input to meet these.

Improved awareness - The school, Murray and the pupils all agreed that the project improved their awareness of the food and drink industry, the company, their products and how a business operates demonstrating the breadth of food and drink operations.

Industry input – was crucial to the success of this project, having real people to set pupils a challenge makes a real difference to the pupils perception and enthusiasm towards the task and helps to introduce students to dynamic, changing, competitive and economic environment of industry.

Terminology - The project provided a context for not just the process but helped in understanding some of the food related terminology

How we did it

Learners were divided into groups of four, each with a specific task to do. Additionally, the task was divided into two areas:

  • Business Management where students undertook all of the business related activities including costing, profit and loss, and final sales price.
  • Home Economics where students devised a new recipe using local produce; had a lesson on sensory appraisal where they taste tested products the biscuits that each group have produced and compared them with those produced Barnett's. They also had a lesson on labelling to establish the information required by law to put on their own labels.

Additional input from the company also included:

  • Speaking to all S2 students about the challenge and what Murray hoped the class would achieve (including a Q & A session).
  • Donating a sample of the handmade biscuits that the company sell in their shops, so learners could see the types of biscuits already available, packaging used as well as labeling information. The challenge was then to come up with something a bit different.
  • Murray also visited the school to share the basic recipes used in the shop and was able to give the pupils some ideas on how to add flavour into ingredients.
  • Murray has offered to attend careers events and to speak to pupils about careers in bakery with the school which is local to his business.

The results were showcased at a final event held in the school and attended by Murray and other key individuals from Scottish Bakery.

What we learned

Awareness of food production and links to industry - by engaging a real industry partner and having them speak to pupils to set a challenge made the activity much more realistic for the pupils taking part. Many said that this made them work harder and they enjoyed the experience much more.

Many pupils also stated that they learned a lot about how a business is run and the costing and financial aspects of business were quite new to them and involved more detail that they had expected.

Market research – the amount of market research required and how to promote your products was also a surprise to many.

What next?

Inter-department - Think about including other subjects such as art, science, design technology.

Planning - Introduce the project early in the term.

CPD – An ideal opportunity for staff to extend their knowledge of industry.