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Made in Shetland

There may be only 14 names on the school roll but enterprise projects run by pupils at North Roe Primary in Shetland have realised profits of more than pound;3,000 in just five years.

The head of the one-teacher school is Hazel Cranie, who admits she had her doubts about enterprise education until she saw how much the children got out of it.

A native Shetlander who has taught at North Roe since 1999, Mrs Cranie says: "I thought enterprise was going to be all about making money and, although all our projects have made a profit, that's not why the children enjoy it. The fun for them is learning new skills, getting around problems, meeting new people, all of which comes under A Curriculum for Excellence and the promotion of independent learning.

"The children prefer to work on a big project and because that takes up so much of the school day, we can only afford to do it on a bi-annual basis.

They still organise the school Christmas concert and fund-raising raffle every year and the old folks' Christmas party."

Past projects have included a Viking board game, based on Shetland's history and legends, and a Shetland weather calendar, illustrated by the pupils and annotated with local weather sayings and words contributed by parents and other members of the community.

"The children decided they wanted to do an animation based on a Shetland folk tale. 'Da' is what one of the pupils calls his grandfather, and 'trows' is the Shetland name for trolls," says Mrs Cranie.

Figures for the 2006 project show that sales of the children's "Da and the Trows" DVD and mugs made a profit of more than pound;220.

DVDs of the five-minute animation and the mugs were sold locally and from a stand at the shopping centre in Lerwick just before Christmas. "Profits are used for school trips and donations to charities we're supporting in India."

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