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Pupils at Malvin’s Close school in Blyth have been given a special insight into the world of work thanks to a visit by high profile local employers.

Representatives from businesses including multi-national Nestlé and The All-in-One Company – which spearheaded the onesie fashion craze – set children business tasks during the school’s second STEM week.

Head teacher Alison Nicholson said: “The aim was to show them how the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – have real relevance throughout their lives.”

Pupils created and sold their own brands of chocolate, designed T-shirts and –following a visit to the Blyth Tall Ship and Port Training Services – built prototypes of a new amphibious vehicle to transport passengers across road and sea.  They also worked with Amble-based Crazy-Pix who supply photo booths for weddings, parties and corporate events across the UK.

“We talked about building the booths, how they work, advertising and props. The children were so switched on and it was an absolutely fantastic morning,” said Julie Miller from Crazy-Pix. 

Kate Dawson, founder of The All-in-One Company, told pupils how her business started after she could not find suitable onesies to keep her daughter warm at night.  “The company began in 2008 in the middle of the biggest recession for decades, but it shows that if you have a good idea nothing can stop you,” she said.

Making onesies – just like any manufacturing process – required an understanding and use of STEM subjects, said Kate.

“Science and technology have created our website, which is at the heart of our business, engineers have designed and built our sewing machines, and our cutters and machinists use maths to ensure they follow the pattern,” she explained.


Lindsey Knox, who works at Nestlé’s site in Fawdon, said: “We gave an overview of Nestlé, our roles and, via a fun and interactive sensory session which forms a vital part of our quality process, got the children engaged in understanding more about the confectionery business. This linked directly with the projects they were set for the week and involved getting dressed up in correct clothing for working in a food environment, using their sight, smell and taste to understand how our senses play a critical part in confectionery manufacture and delighting consumers.

She added: “The children were fantastic to work with and we were really impressed with the level of engagement and quality of questions. We look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.”

Malvin’s Close teacher and STEM week organiser Hannah Tincombe said: “We are so grateful to our visitors for giving up their time and providing real life examples of how important these subjects are. 

“Our pupils, from the youngest upwards, had a week they will remember for a long time.”

We received a lovely thank you email from Lauren, who works at Malvin’s Close school as well as a tweet complete with a fabulous picture collage;

Stem Tweet

'Hi Kate,

I just wanted to say thank-you for taking the time to come in and talk to the children about your company. 

It really helped inspire the children with their projects. I have attached a photograph of a letter written by the children. It was a very a successful week, made better by being launched by yourself! 

Thanks once again!