Be our guest

Firpark's Raymond Walker (left) gets some advice from Cardinal Newman's Nathan Williamson (centre) and Brian Murphy.
Firpark's Raymond Walker (left) gets some advice from Cardinal Newman's Nathan Williamson (centre) and Brian Murphy.

PUPILS from Firpark Secondary in Motherwell have been learning some ‘tricks of the trade’ as they prepare to open their own bistro next week.

Following a meeting of the school’s senior management and North Lanarkshire Council’s vocational development officers Michael Dolan and Catherine O’Keane, who is on secondment from being depute head at Cardinal Newman High, it was decided to implement the ‘Big Push’.

As such third year pupils from Firpark were invited to work at the successful Snapdragon restaurant at Cardinal Newman to get a feel for the roles and responsibilities they will be asked to take on.

Some elected to stay behind the scenes learning to prepare, cook and present dishes in the kitchen, while others asked to be front of house learning table settings, napkin folding, serving techniques and how to do bookings.

Each Firpark pupil was aided by a buddy from Cardinal Newman to keep them on the right track.

This work is part of the Dynamic Youth Awards set up as vocational work takes on greater significance in the Curriculum of Excellence.

The new bistro will be opened on Friday, December 14, by the council’s executive director of learning and leisure services Christine Pollock.

Firpark teacher and event coordinator Elaine Sweeney said: “A chef visits the school every Friday and the youngsters have been running a small cafe, but we have decided to open it out and accept bookings from outside.

“We have a great new headteacher in John Morley and he is really pushing the vocational side of education as it not only helps the pupils in their school life, but teaches them valuable skills to use at home too.”

It isn’t just hospitality Firpark is looking at as the school will also be opening a beauty salon on the 14th, with pupils having been receiving visits from a lecturer at Coatbridge College.