Torbain Primary School, Fife
What is your role?
To support the WoW Ambassadors when planning and organising the community cafes. To ensure parents and children are aware of up and coming dates through letters and Twitter.
Buy necessary ingredients and equipment for the café.
Target children from Primary 5 – 7 have been given the opportunity to develop a number of skills and qualities through PEF funding.
The key focus for the children is to continuously develop skills for learning, life and work while being part of a focused group.
The children all bring different personalities to the group which allows them to be successful together. We have the chatty ones who are easily distracted by the customer and the more shy children who like to keep busy and focus on their job. This also works well when we are setting ourselves targets, we try to be creative with our ideas but also consider we have to be realistic with what we can achieve in school, with the time frame we have.
The Community Café covers multiple areas of the curriculum:
- Literacy – listening and talking to customers, creating posters and signs.
- Maths – the children are dealing with money, working within a timescale and estimating if we have enough tables/chairs/baked goods based on the replies we receive.
- HWB – becoming more aware of their own and others emotional wellbeing and what they can do to support and improve this. The preparation involved when baking and preparing baked goods for the customers to enjoy, including hygiene rules.
- Technologies – the running of a business. The children are learning to priorities what is important for the development of the café. From this they are planning next steps and evaluating what has worked well so far. They are becoming more aware of profit and loss and necessary expenditures.
How did the project develop?
The school recognised success in our Friday morning Breakfast Club and saw this as an opportunity to expand parental involvement in the school community. As well as this, we were able to strengthen existing links with Newcraigs Church and our elderly community.
We developed the enterprise further this year by giving our Pupil Voice ambassadors the opportunity to be involved in the cafes and share their learning/experiences with the café guests.
What did pupils gain from taking part in the project? How effective was the project?
The WoW children from last year were awarded the Social Enterprise Award – this is something we will work towards again this year.
So far from this experience the children have developed…
- Their confidence – in school when they are meeting new parents and careers. Out of school when presenting their idea to the Dragons.
- Self-esteem – the children recognise they are a small group of children from the whole school who have been selected to be part of a large initiative.
- Communication – the children are able to discuss and share their ideas. They are learning to value everyone’s opinion. We have adapted or altered each other ideas so that they all have an input.
- Trust – the children are working with the parents and partners of the school. They know expectations are high so that the café is run professionally in a safe and welcoming environment.
- Creativity – for each of the cafés we have additional ambassador groups working closely with the WoW ambassadors, such as Eco, RRS etc. This allows us to have something specific to share and discuss at the cafes. The children have and will continue to be creative when thinking of ways to share information or set out the café.
- Helpful – the main aim of the café is to give back to the community. At Christmas and Easter the children will prepare and deliver hampers for the elderly residents who regularly attend the cafes.
Is the project sustainable?How do you see it developing in the future?
This project has been running since August 2018.
For the school year beginning August 2019 we altered the running of the cafes so that every year group would be able to participate throughout the year. When organising some of the dates we were selective and used the school calendar to support. For example our first café introduced the new Primary 7 house captains and the last will focus on transition from nursery to primary 1.
The cafés are proving to become more popular with parents and local community. We invite elderly residents from the local churches as they enjoy spending time at the cafes and hearing what the children have been doing.
Did you incur any costs?
The main costs of the café are ingredients and equipment. We regularly try to restock and bulk buy so that we are keeping costs down. The café runs on donations only.
Did you get other organisations/partners involved?
The children decided they wanted to share their successes with parents and the local community.
Newcraigs Church – Wendy is the school and community worker for the church. She regularly attends with the older residents.
Thank you to everyone who made it along to our first Community Cafe of the session & for all the donations towards our festive hamper.
— Torbain PS & Nursery (@TorbainPS) September 12, 2019
Do you have any advice for practitioners thinking about organising something similar
Local businesses/supermarkets – provide products they can no longer sell. We use these to make soup, bake treats or decorate the hall.
Start off small for the first year. Allow the café time to become popular and develop before expanding it further.
Don’t be scared to ask local supermarkets if they would like to support the project. We have received lots and always found a way using them wisely.