PUPILS at a York school are being encouraged to become the Alan Sugars of the future with a new business venture.

Knavesmire Primary has come up with an enterprise project that sees a group of children taking it in turns to run a coffee shop for parents.

The coffee shop project forms part of school maths lessons, and currently involves 60 pupils from two Year 5 classes.

It is hoped that the initiative will expand to the rest of the year soon, although all pupils are involved back in the classroom with the monthly profit and loss accounts and discussions into how the coffee shop works as a business.

Profits are currently ploughed back into the mini-business's running costs, but it is hoped that eventually they will contribute towards other school projects such as resourcing for a new outdoor library.

Head teacher Adam Cooper said: “This is real maths in the real world rather than just abstract maths in a classroom.

“It helps them to develop skills for use in real situations.”

The idea for the coffee shop evolved over time after suggestions from parents and teachers, and has been operational since the beginning of December.

It currently opens in the school playground before and after school on Thursdays and Fridays, but if there is demand it will open more often.

As well as being a social event, the coffee shop gives parents and teachers the chance to discuss any issues they may have in a more relaxed setting.

Operations are overseen by Year 5 teaching assistant Lucy Goulden, who organises the rota and supervises the children.

Ms Goulden said: “It's great to have the opportunity to work with pupils in a real setting, using the skills we learn in the classroom.

“And, of course, our coffee and hot chocolate is the best on this side of the city!”

Hot chocolate is, apparently, a favourite of the junior baristas, who particularly like serving it with squirty cream and marshmallows.