A PROJECT aimed at teaching Forth Valley school pupils the importance of eating locally-sourced foods has been hailed a huge success.

The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) is rolling out the initiative across the whole of Scotland following a trial in the Forth Valley region.

Called the Reindeer Dust School Project, it provides schools with free kits and training sessions to make 'reindeer dust' – a combination of Hamlyn's porridge oats, Halley's timothy chaff and other secret ingredients provided by the local Tesco stores.

Each packet of reindeer dust is then packed into paper bags provided by Booker Wholesale in Stirling.

The project aims to teach pupils how farmers grow food people and animals, how food grown locally is better for them and the planet and how eating the right food can make everyone strong and healthy.

Sessions will be delivered in the classroom and will provide an opportunity for pupils to try some healthy food, teach them how to make environmentally conscious choices around food and will be an overall fun and interactive lesson.

For younger nursery students, there will be a Christmas-themed activity provided.

The project was launched in mid-September with more than 75 classes and 2,300 children signing up to participate after just a few days. The teacher training sessions are running throughout the second week in November.

On November 11, the session will take place at the Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College between 3.45pm and 4.45pm.

Tuesday, November 12 will see a session at Alva's Cochrane Hall at the same time, before the final one takes place the following day at the Raploch Community Centre, Stirling, at 3.45pm.

The idea for the project came from Hamish, a 4-year-old Shetland pony who wanted to be one of Santa's Reindeer.

An email from Santa sent Hamish on a journey to discover how reindeer live, grow and fly. He learned from the "farmer elves", that a healthy diet and correct environment are important for all animals.

The story of this pony's dream to be the 10th reindeer gives the project a festive and engaging theme.

It has seen such interest in the Forth Valley area that it is now fully booked for the rest of the year with the RHET now looking into running similar projects across Scotland.

RHET's learning and development co-ordinator Sara Smith said: "These hands-on teacher workshops are a great way to get children thinking about food production as well as promoting the benefits of making a reindeer dust without glitter."

Anyone interested in bringing to their local school should get in touch with RHET on 0131 335 6290.

To stay up to date with developments follow RHET on social media or visit rhet.org.uk