Nairn's - The Story of an Oat

About the Project

Nairn's had previously worked with their local primary schools to develop “The Story of an Oat' DVD in which pupils describe the growing cycle and production of oats from seed to oatcake.

Building on this partnership, A Future in Food became involved in helping to develop an interdisciplinary programme of activity to support the continued use of the DVD and use Nairn's as a context for learning in the classroom.

In an area of significant 3rd generation unemployment, young people are being given an opportunity to see that the food and drinks industry offers 'skills for all.

Teacher, Castleview Primary

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Build an awareness of careers in the industry
  • Help create a work ethic
  • Provide a vehicle for new ideas
  • Design new products
  • Support local communities
  • Encourage cluster working
  • Develop co-operative learning
  • Put CfE into practice


Presentation skills. A 'trade show' and judging event concluded the project where the children provided presentations that demonstrated their products and business ideas. A group of Castleview Primary School pupils also displayed and talked about the project at the Edinburgh Learning Festival.

Bringing the industry to life. The pupils were invited to see the production of Nairn's products in real life, gain an insight on the types of jobs on offer and speak to staff about the skills required.

How we did it

A teaching plan was prepared and provided to all schools. This outlined learning outcomes, activities, resources and CfE strategies for delivery.

The teaching plan was used by each of the four primaries in the weeks leading up to the challenge to ensure that pupils were prepared for the final event.

A further extensive pack of curriculum related materials and ideas has been developed by Castleview Primary and circulated to each of the schools. The schools used these materials plus the Nairn's DVD 'The Story of an Oat' as an introduction to the topic prior to the final event.

During the final event, representatives from Nairn's provided an introduction to aspects of making and promoting a product, plus a presentation on healthy eating. Castleview Primary School hosted the event with Primary 5 children from all of the four primaries in their cluster.

The children were divided into groups with each group having a mix of pupils from across the four schools. The pupils were tasked to:

  • Design a new biscuit and associated marketing collateral
  • Design packaging and a logo
  • Write and perform a jingle
  • Cost the product

A trade show and judging event concludes the day where the children provide presentations that demonstrate their product and business ideas. A winning team was announced.

What we learned

Learning linked to real life. By using Nairn's and their experiences, the pupils were able to link learning in key areas to real life – for example how numeracy skills relate to pricing products.

Teamworking. As this partnership involved four local primary schools, the pupils interacted with pupils in different schools, which facilitated team working and communication.

What next?

Cluster plans - All schools in the Cluster should include the project in their curriculum plans.

Get established - Having a well-established project helps embed it into the curriculum. Everyone knows about it and wants to be part of it. Also it allows for older pupils to help the new and younger participants.

Extending the project - With the involvement of the primary schools the secondary school now want to look at extending their project to build on what is being introduced at Primary level and include input from the secondary to the primary event.