Inspiring co-operative enterprise through education

Calderglen High School

Calderglen High School

Name of Project

Making Our School A Cooperative School

Key Facts

Calderglen High's Vision and Values [illustration below] demonstrate the following common themes with the Cooperative Values & Principles


How it developed

Through our partnership with the Co-operatives we set up a Fairtrade Enterprise Project which was led by an S3 Business Management class. The class organised and ran an event which had S1 Home Economics classes baking Fairtrade cakes to sell and they hired a Smoothie Cycle machine which was operational throughout the course of the day for all S1 pupils.

The class organised the whole event by implementing co-operative values and principles, where everyone was included in democratic participation and inclusive decision-making processes.

Just Trading Scotland attended the event which was another great way for us to work in partnership with a co-operative company. The event was also a great opportunity for interdisciplinary learning between Business Education and Home Economics.

What pupils gained and how effective the project was

There is total alignment with the ethos and values of Calderglen and cooperative values and principles which allowed us to adopt a cooperative ethos based on these values.

Noel Thomson and Emily Bell, S3 pupils said:

"A co-operative business objective is not to make a profit; it is to benefit the employees. Throughout this project we learned how work together as a class to organise an event".

The pupils gained confidence in their own ability to make informed choices and decisions and how to negotiate and delegate as well as take responsibility for their own actions.

They also were able to see how the learning in one area of the curriculum could be used and transferred to another, particularly through Home Economics and Business Education working together.

Is it sustainable?

Our school and Faculty Improvement Plans for the next 3 years include further opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work as well as interdisciplinary learning. We are firmly committed to young people's entitlement to positive and sustainable leavers' destinations.

The pupils involved in organising the event demonstrated enhanced organisational and social skills which will have benefited them in this area.

The pupils really created a positive and inclusive ethos throughout which was further enhanced through becoming certified as 'A Scottish School of Co-operation'. Now that we have that award we need to maintain our status through continuing to develop pupils voice and democratic participation of the whole school and its community..

Did you involve other partners?

To raise awareness of co-operatives we had 3 members of staff visit co-operative companies Media Co-op and Clansman Dynamics which has helped increase knowledge with staff and also create new business links. We have already used Clansman Dynamics to assist in events within the Modern Languages faculty.

Kim Dundas, Physics Teacher said:

"The focus of my visit was to find out how Clansman Dynamics works as a Co operative company. I was given a tour and then Mr Jim McManus talked us through the history of the company and how the director changed his company to a co operative, with the agreement of the employees. This was extremely interesting as I had no prior knowledge of co operatives and how they worked. It also allowed me to find out how important having the ability to speak different languages would be in the world of engineering.

"Finally it helped me build links with this local company and invite them to the business breakfast on the 9th of June in Calderglen High."

What support did you get?

The Co-operative Education Trust Scotland provided support in obtaining the Smoothie Cycle as well as advice. They also organised an awards ceremony in Hamilton, where the students had the opportunity to showcase what the schools had achieved as well as receive our Scottish School of Co-operation Award.

The Co-operative Businesses we visited were also facilitated by CETS

Calderglen High School

Calderglen High School


Clansman Dynamics

Media Co-op

Greencity Wholefoods

Just Trading Scotland

Scottish Fair Trade Forum