One year later, pupils decided it was time to call it a wrap

13th November 2009 at 00:00
This is Enterprise Week and we would like to hear what your school's best enterprise event has been. At Leith Walk Primary, it was a healthy eating project which ran and ran

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver might have had difficulty weaning the school weans off their reformed chicken shapes, but pupils at Leith Walk Primary in Edinburgh had few qualms about getting their teeth into houmous, salami, sun-dried tomatoes and even jalapeno peppers, described by one pupil as "so hot and spicy they burned my mouth".

The boys were particularly keen on the jalapenos, with one declaring that, despite the peppers feeling like "a firework exploding in your mouth", they had been his favourite among the many new foods tried during a project which started as part of a week-long event in June 2008 and ended up lasting a year.

Cultural co-ordinator Andi Ross, of Edinburgh's creative links team, explains: "My colleague Lucy Kendra and I got a call last June from Leith Walk, saying they were holding a Community Focus Week and did we have suggestions that could link up a P4 class with a local business or two? "We both know the area very well and, after making some calls, came up with a plan that involved the P4s visiting the local fruit and veg shop, Tattie Shaws, and one of its regular customers, a nearby health food cafe called Embo.

"The idea was that the kids would speak to Tattie Shaws' boss, James, about his business and product range, then take some ingredients across the street to Mike at Embo to make fresh smoothies, talk about his business and sample some food from the `wraps' menu."

Cultural co-ordinator Lucy also took photographs of the visit and that might have been the end of what was supposed to be a brief exercise. But the P4 pupils had enjoyed their close encounters with new and exciting foods so much that word soon spread around the school and, before the summer term had finished, an Embo smoothies demonstration had been organised for children, teachers and parents of the nursery group.

Staff at the school were recognising the potential for a cross-curricular project linked to enterprise and healthy eating, so much so that last autumn, the P1s, assisted by older pupils, held a "wraps and smoothies" event with the classroom turned into a cafe, complete with handmade menus and paper tablecloths.

Meanwhile, the original Community Focus Week class, now in P5, were asked back to Embo to write captions for the pictures Lucy had taken and to design a poster for an exhibition of the photographs in the Leith Walk cafe. In addition, pupils were invited to create their own wraps - after another tasting - which would then go on sale there.

But that wasn't the end of the story. In March this year, a further element was added when the P5s co-hosted the official launch of Finger Buffet, a touring exhibition from the Travelling Gallery which is managed by the City of Edinburgh Council. Pupils helped serve food - including the wraps they had invented - to guests who got a chance to see not just works of art on a food theme, but a booklet about the school project written and illustrated by the P5s.

In June, Finger Buffet travelled to Leith Walk Primary where the occasion was marked by a real buffet of healthy food and drinks, prepared by the pupils. And at that point, the project came to an end.

But then again, you never know.

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