Class 1 have been really busy taking part in an ‘Enterprise Project’.
We were extremely lucky to be awarded a grant to develop our knowledge of business and enterprise across the school. Children of all ages have taken part in the journey so far.
We began in Class 1, with our older children, writing to a local business woman to ask if she could give us some support and guidance. Mrs Laxton, from Otter Vale Chutney, came in and did some taste-testing with the children and she talked about the many different aspects of setting up and running a business. She worked with four key groups: labelling and regulations, packaging, recipes and food hygiene.
In February some of Class 1 went to Powderham Farm Shop and Sainsbury’s, in Dawlish, to do some market research on chutney. They wanted to find out different makes, packaging, cost and look at the variety of flavours.
The children thought it was interesting that the farm shop chutneys tended to have labels that included images of farmyards or countryside related items, such as, wellington boots, hedgehogs or grass. This prompted a discussion about ‘buying into a life-style’. This changed our thinking about the name and brand of our product. We wanted to create a strong image that reflected the area in which we live.
We also discussed pricing and how supermarkets are able to supply goods cheaper because they are catering to a mass market and buying their ingredients in bulk, hence making the final product cheaper.
Also, as part of our research, the children compiled questionnaires that were sent home to family and friends and these results have now been analysed and used to inform lots of decisions about packaging and making sure we pitch the cost of our product at a sensible level.
We found it hard to decide on a particular recipe for our school chutney. We wanted to use be inventive and use products and flavours that are not currently on the market. Class 1 spent quite a bit of time researching the local history of Cockwood and Cofton to try and find some inspiration to connect our product with our local community.
Once we had come up with some ideas for ingredients we researched traditional chutney recipes from the 1930’s and 40’s. We took a vote and decided to make a trial batch of three different flavours, using the recipes we had found but adding a tweak to include our new ingredients.
In the first instance we made about 4 jars of each flavour.
Some of our older children attended the enterprise event at Dawlish School to see what some of the Year 11’s have been doing towards their business and enterprise scheme. The children went prepared with lots of questions, such as, what is your profit margin? What are your key selling points? How did you decide on your product?
Class 1 were really keen to taste the first batch of our chutney. We tried all three flavours and gave them a mark out of ten. It was a split decision and no one chutney stood out over the others. The children were really proud to see their ideas and recipes actually developed into a product!
Our next step was to decide on packaging. The children looked closely at the data we had gathered and this informed their choice of jar and size.
We have welcomed Victoria, from Devon County Council Enterprise Team and David, from Zenen Education into school to tell them about our progress and journey so far. In their house teams the children had to present our business to David, in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style – they had to talk confidently and passionately about our product. Our guests really enjoyed hearing from the children the range of business skills they have developed over the past term, including: team-work, resilience, perseverance and confidence.
The children have been keeping a video diary and we all enjoyed watching them for the first time. Before they left, we treated our guests to a tasting session and we were delighted they loved the products enough they wanted to put in a pre-order!
Click on picture below for more details on our upcoming Farmers Market.