The Story of a Fish

The Story of a Fish

About the Project

Supporting the local community and promoting the fish industry and the jobs and careers that it can provide are key to the Corporate Social Responsibilities of MacRae in Fraserburgh.

Given its commitment to working with the local community MacRae was a natural partner for Crudie Primary School to help them to develop a whole school project looking at “The Story of a Fish”.

A Future in Food provided an opportunity to develop and extend partnership links for the school to help the pupils investigate an industry that has historical links to the area and that provides employment to many in the North east of Scotland.

Working with an industry partner also enabled the school to put enterprise education into a wider industry and community context to support active and co-operative learning.

The project ran over two terms with the whole school, from nursery to P7, taking part.

I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health

Student, Crudie Primary School

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Address not available

  • Scotland

  • Make connections between learning at school and real life industry skills.
  • Provide pupils with real life experiences in order to substantiate their learning in school.
  • Supporting the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence
  • Using and enhancing pupils skills.
  • Develop pupils awareness of value of healthy eating.
  • Develop pupils awareness of food chains and life cycles.
  • Develop stronger links with and work as part of the local community
  • Help pupils to understand the links between subjects studied in schools and careers in food and drink.


Understanding business – the process enabled pupils to better understand all the different processes involved in catching and processing fish and helped them understand “the jobs people do”.

Co-operative learning – by encouraging older pupils to support younger students supported co-operative learning.

Collaboration, communication and relationships - The children's skills improved in terms of working together, communicating and sharing their ideas. The programme also facilitated building relationships with others in school and outside of school.

Community Support – the school benefitted from inviting parents and other members of the community to the school to share their expertise and knowledge with the pupils and staff.

How we did it

The project followed the pupil's investigation of the journey that a fish makes from sea, to fishing boat, to market, to processor and the consumer.

The journey started with a visit to a pelagic fishing boat, to find out how fish is caught and landed, including seeing all the machinery and computers that help to run the boat.

The pupils also were lucky enough to visit the local aquarium. Back at school, pupils focused on healthy eating, looking at the Eatwell Plate, different food groups and creating healthy menus, supported by a parent who is also a chef.

“The Fish Doctor”, a marine biologist and parent, visited several times, to look at different species, lifecycles and anatomy. Following these investigations the pupils put on a display, inviting parents and guardians to come to school to allow the pupils to tell them what they had learned, the Product Development Chef at MacRae hosted a cookery demonstration for the audience and this was followed by a tasting for all of those attending, of a range of products developed and produced by MacRae.

MacRae then hosted a visit to the factory for the pupils, where they got to see how fish is processed and meet the different people involved in processing fish.

What we learned

Awareness of the food and drink chain – the number of job roles and different skills required from catching to processing fish came as a surprise to the pupils. Many did not realise how many different jobs were involved and how many different parts of the food chain contributed to getting the fish on their plate.

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

Healthy Eating – pupils learned about the value of healthy eating and also about the impact that diet has on health and wellbeing, they also learned the importance of eating fish.

Learning about Scotland – pupils found out about the importance of the fish industry to Scotland and the links the industry has to their local area.

What next?

To extend the project into more schools – MacRae have committed to working with more schools in the area to run similar programmes. The Head teacher is moving to a new school and plans to re-create this activity in the new school.

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 through site visits and working with industry on specific projects.