Case Studies

Aldourie Primary School

Aldourie Primary School

Aldourie Primary School

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Key Facts

As part of the school's project 'Bridges of Inverness' the school invited the Moray Firth Dolphin Organisation in to talk to pupils. As a result pupils from across different year groups wanted to help support the dolphins in danger and learned that to do this they had to raise £4.00 per month. To raise this money the pupils decided to set up a social enterprise tuck shop.

Pupils participating in the social enterprise develop a range of schools in 4 key areas - Thinking & Learning, Leadership, Enterprise & Employability and Skills for Learning, Life & Work. Pupils are developing core skills - numeracy, literacy, communication, working with others, using information technology, negotiation and problem solving. They develop a 'can do, will do' attitude and begin to recognise need and opportunity. Key attributes include increased self-awareness, optimism, open mind set and planning for personal development.

How it developed

With no shops in their village and to fit in with a school wide healthy eating initiative, the pupils decided to make their tuck shop a healthy eating tuckshop which was an ideal way to incorporate a social enterprise project that fitted with cross curricular themes.

The tuck shop started off small but was soon selling smoothies and toast daily. Their product range has also expanded and they now sell fruit, yoghurts and homemade jams amongst other products but they always ensure their focus is on healthy eating and that their profits are at least £4.00 per month to support the dolphins.

Outcomes and what pupils gained

Pupils participating in the social enterprise have to be prepared to take full responsibility for running and developing their businesses. As a result their confidence is boosted and they are developing a range of skills that will help them in the future.

Through social enterprise they are thinking about new and creative ways of doing things, regularly evaluating the results and using that information to make important decisions that affect the future success of their business.

They have learned to listen to each other and value others opinions. They are encouraging one another to think differently, seek the highest standards from themselves and each other and to lead the action. Pupils are developing a 'can do, will do' attitude. They don't shy away from problems but confront them and find solutions. They have developed great team skills, take responsibility for their own work and hold each other accountable. They show initiative and drive, communicate well with each other, the wider school and community and they use practical skills to develop their business. Their IT skills allow them to make their business more successful and to reach wider audiences.

Their social enterprise is not only helping them to develop skills for learning, life and work but is allowing them to help others. They are being empowered, changing other people's lives and changing their own.

Enterprise and Employability Skills

  • Recognising need and opportunity
  • Taking the initiative
  • Adaptability + Resilience
  • Team Working and leadership
  • Setting and meeting roles and expectations
  • Self Awareness, optimism and open mind set
  • Evaluating risk to inform decision making
  • Determination to succeed
  • Influencing and negotiating
  • Planning for personal development
  • Building confidence

Leadership Skills

  • Determination to achieve high standards
  • Show initiative
  • Actively pursue objectives
  • Exert Influence
  • Value others' contribution
  • Listen

Thinking Skills

  • Evaluate
  • Apply
  • Analyse
  • Create
  • Remember
  • Understand


As this social enterprise is run across year groups there is a sustainability element built in with the younger pupils moving up into more responsible roles as they move up the school. Being pupil led the children have committed to supporting local dolphins and have an invested interest in this topic. The tuck shop is also providing an indispensable service to children and families and this is evident in its popularity.


The support from the Social Enterprise Academy is free and initial start-up costs were provided by their local Tesco who gave them a grant of £30.00.


The Social Enterprise Academy and Moray Firth Dolphin Organisation.

Contact details

Mrs Janice MacBeath & Mrs S Johnston
Aldourie Primary School
By Inverness

Telephone: 01463 751272

Other useful information

What is social enterprise?

Social enterprises are dynamic businesses with a social purpose that reinvest their profits for community benefit. It is a great way of doing business, contributes to a stronger economy and community and often promotes greener ways of working.

Well known examples of social enterprises include The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen, and the fair trade company Divine Chocolate.

The sector includes co-operatives, credit unions, housing associations, development trusts, social firms, and community businesses.

Social enterprises operate across a diverse range of areas including: fair trade, recycling, catering and hospitality, renewable energy, health, social care, leisure, community transport, housing and childcare.

So what does social enterprise look like in a school?

They are connected to their community - School social enterprises have explicit social and/or environmental aims and their profits are used for this purpose. This can either be locally or linked to a community abroad.

They are entrepreneurial - They have a clear trading activity and are directly involved in producing goods or providing services to a market.

They are led by young people - They are driven and run by pupils with support from teachers and parents. There will also be awareness of the social enterprise across the whole school.

They are dynamic - School social enterprises aspire to make a positive and responsive change to people's lives.


  • Social Enterprise Academy- helps develop excellence in and understanding of leadership and management in social enterprises
  • Social Enterprise Scotland - the lobbying and campaign voice of Scottish Social Enterprises
  • Senscot - the social entrepreneur network for Scotland.
  • Firstport - offers free business support and awards to social entrepreneurs who are just starting out
  • Fairtrade - learn more about the Fairtrade movement, products and recipes
  • Socialearth - a fresh socially minded weblog for business who are doing good

Some well know social enterprises:

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