North Lanarkshire Junior Dragon's Lair

North Lanarkshire Junior Dragon's Lair

About the Project

Working with North Lanarkshire Learning and Leisure Services industry partners including Warburtons, Muller Wiseman we developed an authority wide competition for all primary schools in North Lanarkshire.

The competition was based on a similar format to the popular television programme “Dragons Den”. A very successful Dragons' Lair for secondary students already takes place annually in North Lanarkshire and it was our ambition to provide a similar experience for the primaries that would give these pupils a similar experience and support progression in the curriculum.

Pupils from participating schools were asked to put their creative skills to the test and design an innovative advertising campaign to promote a new healthy Scottish food or drink product with particular focus on athletes or visitors to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In fact the event was so successful that it ran again in 2014.

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Develop relationships with business partners and the local community
  • Provide pupils with real life experiences and active engagement with industry
  • Help pupils to gain practical skills and understand the links between subjects and careers in food and drink
  • Support delivery of the wider curriculum, including Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and Numeracy
  • Promote creativity
  • Enhance skills for learning, life and work


Supporting the curriculum – by encouraging pupils to focus on health and wellbeing and examining local produce, supported their understanding of what they eat and how it affects them and develops an understanding of what food is produced in their local area.

Learning, life and work – working with local companies enhanced understanding of local employers, what they do and the types of jobs available.

Understanding business skills – setting the pupils a challenge and asking them to present a business focused solution enabled pupils to better understand all the different processes and considerations companies face when developing a new product and running a business, it also helped them understand how decisions are made and how to work with others.

Enhanced skills – pupils learned and developed skills including ICT, investigation, literacy, team working, communication, problem solving and organisation. The programme also helped to foster creative and enterprising attitudes in the students.

How we did it

A brief was developed with the partners and sent to all primary schools in North Lanarkshire inviting them to participate and submit their proposal for an initial judging session.

Initial paper based entries were submitted and judged based on set criteria that included Health Promotion/Scottish Product/Packaging/Promo/Logo/Commonwealth Games 2014.

Shortlisted schools were invited to participate in a final event. Preparation for the final included visits from industry personnel from supporting companies, Warburtons and Muller Wiseman, to provide specific support and industry input for pupils and teachers.

A final showcase event was held and the shortlisted schools were asked to attend to present to a team of Dragons. The finalists were also asked to bring along marketing displays and their promotional campaign. This could include powerpoints, jingles or other props and was at the discretion of the pupils.

What we learned

Enhanced understanding of health and wellbeing – pupils investigations provided them with a much more detailed understanding of health and wellbeing relating to diet.

Awareness of the food and drink industry – the number of job roles and different skills required to run a business came as a surprise to the pupils. Many did not realise how many different jobs were involved and how difficult it can be to develop and market a new product.

Collaboration - the children's skills improved in terms of working in a team, communicating and sharing their ideas.

The winner of the 2014 competition also used their entry to enter a competition run by their local butcher, which they also won. The butcher made and sold the winning product helping to enhance Enterprise Skills in the pupils.

What next?

To include more schools and companies in future years – widen access to the challenge.

Promotion of activity as a CPD opportunity – involvement in this partnership provides an ideal opportunity for school staff to improve their knowledge of the industry working with industry on specific projects.