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Build Up To Burns Night

With Burns Night just around the corner our ‘Neeps & Taties’ project is in full swing as hundreds of schools, right across Scotland, have been requesting copies of the book and resources to use in classrooms.

Written entirely in Scots, and created by author Carey Morning and illustrator Anna York, ‘Neeps & Tatties’ tells the story of two warring vegetable tribes who are finally encouraged to put the past behind them in the interests of a better future. The book examines issues such as discrimination and prejudice, highlighting how old grievance can be overcome by a new generation. The charity has devised a series of classroom games and activities based around the story that will encourage children to explore different cultures, including looking at the significance of food and festivals in different traditions.

The project has received significant support from the public and private sector as well as donations from leading charities. These include South Lanarkshire Councilmaking copies of the book available in every one of its primary schools and nurseries and a £2,000 donation from the Templeton Goodwill Trust means teachers working within a Glasgow postcode can access free copies of the book. The Barrack Trust has also ensured that schools in Aberdeen can have free access to the book.

Businesses are also stepping up to support with donations from firms including Bosch and Experiential Play, which specializes in training early year staff for nurseries across Scotland donating copies to local primary schools in their areas. Nil by Mouth aim to have the book used in over 1,000 schools across Scotland during January with thousands of children using the book to better understand difference. To receive a free digital copy teachers need only contact:

Staff from Experiential Play have donated to help spread the message

Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:

‘This project has gone from strength to strength since it was launched during Covid in January 2021. To date more than 700 schools have taken part and we are hopeful that we will hit the 1,000 mark before Burns Night 2023. Neeps & Tatties is a simple, yet effective, way of helping children explore the things that make us different whilst also provides them with an opportunity to discuss their own culture and beliefs in class. We’ve seen so many lovely examples of learning as a result of the book including families cooking different types of food with religious or cultural significance and sending it in to class to be shared. We get so much more out of life when we join together and learn more about one another.’

Experiential Play’s Carol Scott said:

‘We’ve worked with Nil By Mouth for a number of years now and the charity has delivered talks and training to hundreds of our students over that period. We wanted to give something back and when we heard about ‘Neeps & Tatties’ we decided to donate copies to schools across Glasgow and Lanarkshire to help encourage children to talk about what they have in common but also what makes them unique.’


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