Ambitious Houghton Regis pupils have opened a school shop and cafe – and would like to invite the public along to browse for bargains and enjoy some delicious treats.
Older students at The Chiltern School, which caters for pupils with a range of special educational needs, have been developing their business and enterprise skills with their new venture.
Every Thursday from 9.45am, the hard-working classmates at Kingsland Campus will open the shop and cafe to members of the public, raising money on behalf of both its campuses.
Jo Scott, leader of Phase 3 and work related learning said: “ The support from members of the public has been fantastic and by having customers, pupils are able to learn about customer service, display and till operations, and cash handling skills. They have also been able to develop skills in roles that teach them to stock check, take and organise, advertise, create promotions, keep accounts and gain experience of banking – as well as learning how to forecast and learn about sales trends.”
Pupils taking catering qualifications produce and serve food and beverages to members of the public in the cafe, which was recently awarded a five star hygiene certificate. Meanwhile, pupils taking horticulture qualifications grow fresh produce at their allotment, selling their harvest in the school shop, which also offers new and nearly new clothing, as well as craft items such as hand crochet pieces.
Jo added: “We are constantly trying to drum up business and ask members of the public to drop by. Our young people have high aspirations and want to go to work just like everyone else.
“They want to show that they can, and they are committed to developing their work skills to enable them to be in employment in the future.
“In addition, the pupils are thoughtful in wanting to give back to society.
“They have organised events to raise money both for their school, which is a registered charity, as well as Macmillan and Children In Need through cake sales and staff car washes.”
The school’s other campus is on Beech Road, Dunstable.