School storms one of Scotland’s Hidden Treasures with ‘Kids Takeover Day!


Visitors to Castle Kennedy Gardens were in for a surprise this today!

Primary 6 & 7s from Castle Kennedy Primary School were found in charge of several of the Garden’s operations in one of the region’s top visitor attractions during a ‘Kids Takeover Day’. Mini managers  adopted senior roles such as Head Gardener, Shop Manager, Tearoom Manager, Nature Trail Developers and Marketing as part of a community engagement programme run by Stair Estates.

The roles are based on real positions held at Castle Kennedy Gardens and children have ‘applied’ for the different positions available, depending on their genuine interest and passions, during a visit by Lady Stair to the school last week.

The Head Gardener had the opportunity to talk to the Garden’s permanent Head Gardener, John McArthur of that Ilk, receiving invaluable advice from an expert with more than 25 years experience working at Castle Kennedy Gardens. The role will involve them sowing seeds, planting pots and flower beds, edging grass and weeding in the Walled Garden as well as watching a tree being felled. Other pupils will take over the Shop Manager role where they will be responsible for setting up the till and cashing up at the end of the day, welcoming visitors, managing stock items and displaying goods as well as watering plants in the plant centre.

Nature Trail Developers explored the Gardens identifying and mapping  their favourite spots and producing a fun trail which will then be professionally printed and distributed to other young people visiting the Gardens.

Those with a passion for food and drink took on the role of Tearoom Manager, taking customer orders, preparing food, washing up and keeping the Tearoom tidy with lots of helpful advice from permanent staff member Jane Stanistreet. The children will be also have the opportunity to be involved in Marketing the Gardens creating an advert to promote the day, drafting social media posts and a blog post that will go live on the Garden’s own website as well as writing up reports describing each of the ‘take over’ positions.

Alana from Primary 6, Castle Kennedy Primary School, said;

“If you are going to Castle Kennedy Gardens on Wednesday the 15th of June you are in for a really big shock because its takeover day and I am really excited to take over the Gardens for one whole day. I love the sound of all the jobs we can apply for like being in charge of the shop, being a waitress at the tearoom and gardening. I can’t wait to get the day off school and meet lots of people from the public and work with others”.

Mary Downie, P6 & 7 Teacher at Castle Kennedy Gardens, said:

“I’m delighted the children are having this opportunity to learn about real jobs which I believe will give them a meaningful experience in an interesting business environment which is both stimulating and historically significant. Day to day people skills are invaluable and adopting roles as such in a Kids Takeover Day is a fantastic way to learn skills for life and possibly introduce ideas of the kind of work they may like to do in the future.”

Lady Stair of Stair Estates, said;

“It’s wonderful the kids are so up for this day which I hope they will love and it will be exciting to hear about their experiences and read their reports. We’re passionate about including children and teenagers at the Gardens. The Kids Takeover Day helps young people look after the general public and is just one way we can work more closely with the local community. We’re keen to become a community resource and offer the children an opportunity to get involved and to have responsibility for running a business such as this, hopefully inspiring them and providing them with an introduction to these kind of positions.”

Around fifteen young people will be picked up from Castle Kennedy Primary School in a landrover belonging to Stair Estates and briefed at Castle Kennedy Gardens Tearoom before they take over for the day this Wednesday 15 June. All Garden admissions will be donated to Castle Kennedy Primary School.

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