Enterprising primary pupils at Mount Florida Primary in Glasgow turned to a Scottish events company to help them organise a community festival celebrating their area's cultural diversity.
FloFest `09 was organised by the P7s and supported by principal teacher Anna Moore, Clare Harker from the council's Determined to Succeed team, and Sera Miller, managing director of Material, a Scottish events company.
Earlier this year, the company ran a competition, "Fresh Material", for P7 classes, challenging them to come up with an event which would demonstrate an understanding of market research, management and budgeting. Material provided all five shortlisted schools with Pounds 5,000-worth of support in kind. Mount Florida's project was the most ambitious and required significant funding.
Ms Miller participated in meetings and, via email, helped pupils sort out licensing, health and safety, and environmental health issues. But, to a great extent, the P7s were trusted to direct themselves and solve their own problems. To attract funding, they emailed council, community, political and business leaders, and, under supervision, cold-called businesses in the area.
"By the time it got to the final few days, it was so frantic that they were self- and peer-correcting, firing off emails, writing invitations, and composing press releases with very little technical support," says Ms Harker.
"FloFest was incredible - exhausting, exciting and buzzing. Working with a clerical support assistant, the pupils had organised a full timetabled programme of workshops including dance, visual art, percussion and Polish and Gaelic storytelling. There were stalls of traders, catering, fair- trade and community organisations to inform and interact. The stage was choreographed to the minute with nine professional performances in four hours, including Celtic folk, salsa, Taiko drumming, Chinese opera, Asian fashions, belly and street dancing and rock."