Numbers add up for Mallaig Primary School’s enterprising youngsters

Cultivating seedlings to sell was one of the enterprising projects. Photograph: H MacNeil.

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Some of the artwork produced by pupils.
Photograph: D. MacPhie.

Mallaig Primary School’s Gaelic Medium 4-7 class has delighted everyone with the success of its enterprise project after a £55 investment was grown to nearly £800 in a matter of weeks.

The 11 pupils in the upper Gaelic Medium class in the Lochaber village outstripped their own expectations, growing their initial investment by nearly 1,500 per cent.

Each pupil established their own personal business for the duration of the project and their creativity was equally as impressive as their business sense. Seedlings, artwork, crafts, baking and even quizzes were amongst the money-making schemes adopted by the children and their teacher Dougie Beck was amazed and delighted by their efforts.

He told the Lochaber Times: ‘Enterprise is a valuable and regular curricular event and although we did the groundwork last term, Covid unfortunately knocked things back a little.

‘Rather than running a class-based project, it was decided to send the learning home. I loaned each pupil £5 from my own pocket with a simple instruction: bring it back towards the end of the term…but make sure it has grown.

‘The work we did in class prepared the children well for what they had to do and the learning has been fantastic.’

To round the project off, the school was visited by local author, councillor and businessman Angus MacDonald who praised the pupils for their efforts and gave them tips and advice for future enterprises.

BBC Alba also visited the class with pupils delighted to see themselves on TV talking about their experiences.

Pupils have agreed a charity will get a lump sum from their takings and that their classroom or school will get some extra resources.

As a reward for their efforts, pupils will also get a well-earned treat for themselves.

The local community has also taken a huge interest in the project and a local adult entrepreneur, Catherine McDonell of Mallaig Marine, has put up a generous award for the best-executed enterprise project. This will be decided in the last week of term.


Cultivating seedlings to sell was one of the enterprising projects. Photograph: H MacNeil. NO_F26_MallaigPrimaryEnterprise_Seedlings_H MacNeil

Some of the artwork produced by pupils. Photograph: D MacPhie. NO_F26_MallaigPrimaryEnterprise_Hearts_D MacPhie