Tattie Tastic

Tattie Tastic pupils

About the Project

Health and wellbeing, sustainability and an appreciation of the land based industry that surrounds them are core parts of the ethos at Glamis Primary School, so developing a partnership with Agrico Ltd., the Scottish based seed potato company was an ideal partnership that helped a class of pupils extend their knowledge and understanding of the food and drink industry “from farm to fork”.

A Future in Food provided an opportunity to extend the pupils education into a wider industry context. Running over a school year the partnership has involved a class of Primary 6 & 7 children joining the business for a series of interactive lessons run twice a month during term time. These industry based sessions were designed to teach them all about potatoes; how they are grown and multiplied, their health and nutritional benefits, how they are marketed and supplied and their place within the food supply chain and also covering a number of related job roles. The sessions were developed to run in parallel with what the pupils were learning in the classroom.

These lessons give the children a better understanding of potatoes, and in the wider context of the food and drink industry as a whole in Scotland. They always look forward to them and are very inquisitive, asking lots of questions.

Teacher, Glamis Primary School

Project Partners, Aims and Objectives

  • Build an understanding of the whole food industry from farm to fork
  • Help to develop an appreciation of health benefits of local produce
  • Support a local school and the local community
  • Highlight the range of skills needed in the whole of the food and drink industry and the jobs available
  • Promote and raise awareness of the need for sustainability
  • Provide a local and societal context for learning
  • Support CfE within the school
  • Developing skills for learning, life and work

Outcome

Pupils learnt about:

  • The science of food through input from the company and the teacher using potatoes as a context for learning; potatoes as a science; density, battery, clock, density and pressure, discussing and re-enforcing potato process, planting, fertilisers etc.
  • How food is developed, produced and marketed thanks input from Agrico, regular visits to the company developed the pupils awareness of the industry and the company and also helped to improve pupils confidence.
  • Developed a joy of growing your own food
  • Developed a “can do” attitude within pupils, who are happy to get their hands dirty and get on with their planting and harvesting
  • Job roles and skills required to work in the industry

Additional outcomes

  • The programme won the top award in Angus Council Education Departments Education and Employer Partnerships Excellence Award
  • Re-establishing links with Eco Schools through their support of the programme
  • Positive parental feedback

How we did it

Following a timetable developed in partnership between the school and the company, the project began in January, with children planting four different types of potato, nurturing and monitoring them as they grew, with the competition of, 'whose is growing the fastest or tallest'. Potatoes were also been planted in differing soil and climatic conditions to enable pupils to compare which grow best. To support this activity pupils also undertook an examination of the science of soil.

The academic year ended with a cook off, during which when pupils cooked and ate their potatoes and took part in a sensory evaluation of their own potatoes.

To complete the story the pupils will also go on farm visit to see for themselves how potatoes are planted and harvested.

As well as growing, the children have learnt about the different jobs in the potato industry, from logistics and stock control, to marketing. They've even designed promotional potato posters for the 'Athlete' variety which saw potatoes running, and even flying, as part of their creative thinking.

Back in the classroom, the 'tattie tastic' concept continued, with potatoes contributing to a variety of lessons, including science and using potatoes as a battery the children have been making their own potato powered clocks, demonstrating the versatility of this product.

What we learned

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

Understanding the whole of the food industry – The pupils awareness of the different aspect of the food industry was developed. Many pupils are from rural / farming backgrounds so this has opened their eyes to the wider food industry and enabled them to see the opportunity throughout the wider industry.

Science – input from the company and the school ensured that potatoes were used as a context for teaching pupils about science and how this affects the food we eat.

Literacy – Diary writing recording key events, designing posters, writing blogs, sensory evaluation.

Skills for learning, life and work - Project fits within developing Skills for Learning, Life and Work and forms an ideal IDL project. Pupils were able to identify job roles, training required and also how qualified people working within the industry are.

What next?

Sustainability – Glamis Primary have successfully applied for and received funding from Climate Challenge and have ambitious aims to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing classroom waste.

The school is also establishing an eco-community through Eco Schools. The next steps as a school is developing activities that build on teaching greater awareness and understanding of sustainability and energy reduction.

Developing a cluster – The school plans to develop a partnership with another local primary to extend this activity to another primary.

Transition – Potential for links to strengthening their connection links with the local secondary school and developing a transition activity, potentially a Health Day.