- Written by Education Team
Find out more about the incredible social enterprises being run by St Bernard's and St Denis' primary schools!
After much anticipation, The Big Issue Schools Special 2022 is finally here and available to buy! As with every Schools Special edition of The Big Issue, this year's magazine takes a closer look at the amazing social enterprises running in schools across Scotland, as well as some of the social enterprises happening further afield around the globe.
Pupils at St Bernard’s Primary and St Denis’ Primary have been doing some incredible work as part of Social Enterprise Schools.
St. Denis' Primary School:
The pupils at St Denis' Primary have two social enterprises running, the first is known as C.F.R Veggie Tin where they plant vegetables in tins to then give to people in their community who might need the food.
One of the pupils behind the social enterprise said "We collect these tins from food shops, then we plant things like pea shoots and other little plants in them and watch them grow. We then give them away to members of the community so they can get food for free. We thought it would be good for the environment and would really help those who need the food".
The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the process of running their social enterprise too.
"My favourite part was planning everything and how we came from our original idea of making little bookmarks all the way up to where we are today. It was also great to get to attend the Dragons' Den event and show off everything we had done and achieved".
They weren't shy about giving advice to fellow social enterprises either.
"Try to think about your idea first and plan it out, instead of jumping straight in. And no matter what, keep going. Even if you mess up a few times, which will happen, just keep going with it and eventually, you'll get better at it".
The second group at St Denis’ run a social enterprise called Team TALENT, which stands for ‘Talk About Love End Negative Thoughts’ which aims to help fellow pupils through the invention, design and creation of their own mindfulness products, such as mindfulness jars, comic books, bookmarks and CDs. It started off as selling products to raise money for the charity ‘With Kids!’ but they are now focusing on running a free lunchtime club in the school for pupils to come together and have fun.
A pupil explains, “Our mindfulness jars were made using simple ingredients like glitter, water and PVA-glue. We also used recycled jars and bottles. The glitter represents your worries and when you shake it, the glitter goes all around the jar and this means your worries are going away!”
“As well as this we also made bookmarks which were all designed by us! When you are reading you will be calm and happy when you see your fun and colourful character on the bookmark! These products are sold at our stall for the rest of the school and we also invite our families into our class so we can raise more money, sell more products and also share our learning with everyone!”
“Our social-enterprise matters to us because it helps us to work together as a team as well as teaching others about mindfulness and knowing that it is ok to have worries! We also enjoy making the products at our lunchtime club and our social enterprise is exciting because we get to teach others about why it is important to keep calm”.
St. Bernard's Primary School:
While St Denis' have been busy with their C.F.R Veggie Tin and Team Talent social enterprises, the pupils at St Bernard's have been getting on with their sustainable water bottle social enterprise.
Last year, the pupils initially came up with the idea of selling reusable sanitiser bottles known as "Santatisers" to be sold at Christmas. They used one of the teacher's personal Cricut machines to do that and they made so much profit that they were able to buy their own Cricut machine! This year, the group are using their Cricut machine to create personalised water bottles.
"We came up with the idea because we were concerned about the environmental impact of single-use plastic water bottles. The first thing we did was go around the school playground and carry out market research to see how many people were using single-use bottles and if they would consider buying a personalised, reusable bottle".
The pupils knew they wanted to use the money they are making for a good cause and are donating their profits to the environmental charity Changeworks. The work of the pupils at St Bernard's is also being recognised elsewhere. "Magic Torch Comics reached out to us and put our social enterprise journey into a comic strip".
Ms Lennox, a teacher at St Bernard's said "The kids have just been amazing and shown so much resilience throughout the pandemic. Newspapers wanted to write about everything that we had been doing during COVID. We worked with The Moon newspaper and The Glasgow Times. Just seeing how excited and proud the children were of what they've done just made me feel so proud as well".
Today, the pupils from St Bernard’s and St Denis’, along with pupils from Greenhill Primary, met with a Big Issue vendor in the Glasgow area, to help sell the magazine and find out more about what it means to be a Big Issue vendor.
Star, a Primary 6 pupil at St Denis’ Primary, said of the experience “I really loved looking at all the international magazines and it was great to chat to all the people who worked there."
To read more about the incredible social enterprises running in Scotland and beyond, grab a copy of The Big Issue magazine from your local vendor this week!
Find out more about the social enterprises at St Denis' Primary and St Bernard's Primary: