Plastics R Us
Primary 5, Burgh Primary School
Part of whole school approach to World of Work and Finance Week
World of Work and Finance Week was organised by Karen Burnside, Principal Teacher, for the whole school. The key focus of this week was:
- To provide pupils with an insight into a variety of career prospects
- To develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the skills for learning, life and work
- To provide pupils with an opportunity to work collaboratively with others to further develop their skills
Primary 5’s topic this term has been focusing around plastic and the environment. The children have all been extremely enthusiastic about this topic and had little prior knowledge about the impact that excessive amounts of single-use plastic has on the environment.
Due to this topic being such a success and in response to following the childrens’ interests, we decided to focus our enterprise for World of Work and Finance Week around reusing and recycling household plastic items. We created a video advert, posters and a jingle to encourage other pupils within the school to come and visit our business on sales day. We created plastic bottle piggy banks and flowers in a vase from plastic bags and plastic bottles.
We also created games for the children visiting our business to play to show them how easy it is to reuse and recycle plastic items to create fun at home! We cut plastic bottles open and created a game we called ‘sweet-pong’ (bouncing a pingpong ball across a table to try to get it into a cut open plastic bottle to win a sweet) and a bowling inspired game in which we painted large plastic bottles, filled them with sand with the aim being to roll a ball to knock them down.
How It Developed
Pupils in Primary 1-6 were tasked with opening a class business with a £40 budget. Primary 1 opened a ‘Chill Out Café’ where pupils and parents/carers could relax with a drink and a biscuit. Primary 1/2 sold Halloween decorations and designed a bowling game. Primary 2/3’s business ‘Boxes of Luck’ was a complete sellout! They made boxes and filled them with surprises, one even had a £5 in it! Primary 3 gave away lots of amazing prizes at their ‘Toyshop Tombola’. Primary 4 offered a Sweet Treat café. The chocolate covered faces showed who was tempted by the chocolate fountain! Primary 5 were kind to the environment with their ‘Plastics R Us’ business. They showed excellent creativity in their design of a bowling game and ping pong game. Primary 6’s Carousel business offered fairground fun with ‘Beat the Goalie’, a golf game, popcorn and a raffle.
Throughout the week, the whole school had a wide range of visitors speaking with pupils about their job and/or leading activities with learners; including Police Officers, Royal Bank of Scotland, Professional Football Player, Nationwide, Vet, McDonalds, Financial Education Partnership, Nurse, South Lanarkshire College (Construction) and Young Enterprise Scotland.
Primary 3-7 pupils also participated in a workshop held in various locations throughout Glasgow.
At the end of the week we had a whole school assembly which parents/carers were invited to and classes were asked to deliver a ‘Sales Pitch’ to encourage pupils from other classes and parents/carers to visit their business. Following this, we had a ‘Sales Morning’ where classes opened their door for business. As a grand finale to World of Work and Finance Week we held ‘Burgh’s Business Awards Ceremony’. The awards were for the following categories:
- Most effective advertising campaign
- Commendable customer service
- Business leader (1 pupil per class to be nominated)
- Commitment to company values
- Most profitable
- Most innovative
- Most entrepreneurial
We were delighted to raise a total of £550.58 for the school!
Primary 5’s Enterprise was a great success and we sold out of both piggy banks and flowers on the day. The games were also a hit with both the parents and the children visiting our classroom. The children loved it, and were extremely proud of the business they had created and its values as a company committed to recycling, reusing and trying to reduce plastic waste.
During the award ceremony within the school P5 received two awards: the most Eco-friendly business and the most innovative business! The children were over the moon with both awards and felt it reflected the our values as a company.
What Pupils Gained
As their topic was plastic and the environment, the project created the opportunity for learners to apply their knowledge in a real-life context. This reinforced the learning through the creation of a product which would help to reduce plastic pollution and the negative effect that it is having on the environment.
The pupils gained an insight into what is involved in setting up and running a business and were encouraged to draw on their creativity, develop their problem-solving skills and work in a team. These are all valuable life skills. They came up with fantastic ideas and had to make them come to life. They discussed the different roles necessary, such as production, sales and marketing which would allow them to work to the deadline.
Here is some feedback from pupils throughout the school about their highlights:
“The visitors – McDonalds and Police.”
“Running our class business.”
“Lucy came in to do inventing/junk modelling.”
“SSPCA. We liked the stories and hearing about the animals.”
“Visitors. Really enjoyed hearing about working in different places.”
“The business awards.”
Is the project sustainable? How do you see it developing in the future?
This definitely could be an ongoing project for the school or for a club within the school. The children were all highly engaged with the topic and used what they had learned to form the company values of reducing plastic pollution and caring for the environment. Plastic to recycle or reuse is readily available in any home/school therefore the project could expand as creativity has no limit!
World of Work and Finance Week has taken place every year for the past few years. This is a sustainable project, which will hopefully help to guide pupils in their future career paths and provide them with valuable financial education knowledge.
Did you incur any costs?
We were given £40 to spend as a class to make the vision come to life. As this is not a huge amount of money, we focused on recycling and reusing plastic household waste to allow us to spend money on prizes and paint to make the vases and games look more appealing.
Each class were given a £40 budget to set up their class business. Once this money was repaid to the school after sales morning, there was a total profit of £550.58.
Did you get other organisations/partners involved?
Primary 5 did not have any other organisations/partners involved in their individual project.
But throughout the school, we had a range of local businesses and members of the community, such as Police Officers and parents/carers of pupils, involved in World of Work and Finance Week.
Do you have any advice for practitioners thinking about organising something similar?
My advice to other practitioners would be to utilise opportunities to bring learning to life and explore learning in a real-life context whenever possible. Through linking this enterprise project to the topic, it reinforced the learning, allowed the children to create something which they were proud of and promoted the development of skills for later life.
Miss Emma Christie
Burgh Primary School