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Whole-school lunch took an uneasy course

When the teachers at Humbie Primary discuss goals, they ask pupls questions like: "What do you want to learn?" and "How do you want to learn it?"

The answer from the 12 pupils in P1-3 was that they wanted to make lunch for the school - a tall order for some establishments but, with only 20 pupils altogether, a "very do-able" option for Humbie.

The first step was to set a date and advertise it to the school. The pupils then had to count how much they had to spend (some children couldn't do the final sums because they were not at that stage of their learning, so Mrs Stratton helped them out).

For a change, they had real money - not pretend money - to work with. That offered some new learning opportunities - making rubbings of the coins and a discussion about who the Queen was.

Next came a customer survey - the P3s questioning the "top" class (P4-7) on what everyone liked to eat. Based on that information, the P1-3s suggested making pasta with tomato sauce. But, as they soon discovered, the survey had asked the wrong question. Not everyone liked tomatoes; they should have found out what pupils didn't like. So they re-surveyed and came up with a new menu of soup, sandwiches and milk pudding, matching it to the different food groups.

Again, this offered opportunities to practise numeracy skills. To ensure they had enough food for everyone, the children had to multiply the quantities for the recipes they had for four people. Then they had to write a shopping list. Rather than spend all their budget on the lunch, they decided to give whatever was left over to the Children 1st's Kilts for Kids charity.

Pupils were divided into a soup group, a sandwich group and a pudding group, each being given Pounds 10 to spend in the supermarket. As they were buying the food four to five days before cooking it, they had to ensure it was all within its use-by date. They checked their mental calculations against the supermarket scanner.

Back at Humbie, they went to the park to do some active maths. Using a see-saw, they investigated what a kilogramme in weight was, searching the playground to find things that weighed about a kilogram, and carried out a similar exercise for volume (litres and millilitres).

Their newfound knowledge came into its own when they made stock for the soup and measured milk for the pudding.

The end result? A profit of Pounds 94.15, which the headteacher Therese Laing made up to Pounds 100 - and an enjoyable way for everyone to meet the measurement and data-handling experiences and outcomes in A Curriculum for Excellence.

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