Woolworths launches mini supermarket in school with heartwarming goal: 'So great'

A mini Woolworths store has been launched at a school for children with complex learning needs in Sydney's West, providing students with access to a new and practical learning experience.

Teaming up with Woolworths and Fujitsu, the William Rose School is now home to a fully operational mini supermarket dubbed William Rose Fresh Food.

The new addition to the school of 84 students located in Seven Hills aims to help children gain hands-on learning experiences through running a "real" supermarket.

From stacking shelves to scanning products on an operational register, students will participate in hands-on learning activities throughout their own in-school store.

Student at Mini Woolworths school store
William Rose School student Luke using the new mini Woolworths supermarket. Source: Supplied.

Just like a real store

Complete with baskets for fresh food, grocery shelving, ticketing, signage and Woolworths-branded uniforms, the mini supermarket gives students the opportunity to experience what it's like working in a real Woolies store.

The school, which caters to children in kindergarten to year 12, will use the shop for developing literacy and numeracy, language, communication, and problem-solving skills.

“We can’t wait to see the ongoing benefit that this new mini Woolies will contribute, particularly for all our students’ confidence and independence, which is crucial for those with complex learning needs so they can engage and transition in their communities,” Nicole Parker, Principal at William Rose School said.

Staff cutting ribbon to celebrate the opening of the Woolworths mini supermarket
The William Rose Fresh Food store is now open for students and will facilitate a number of new learning experiences. Source: Supplied.

Ms Parker added that Covid had made a real impact on students' learning abilities over the past two years, with many of the school's community access programs – where students go out into the community – cancelled.

"Now having William Rose Fresh Food installed on our school grounds, the accessibility is far greater and more convenient to use," she said.

Already making an impact

Students have already had the opportunity to trial the new facility, with Ms Parker saying it’s already benefiting student learning.

“We have already seen the impact this is going to create through the testing of the mini supermarket over the past few weeks, with a student who has significant needs including language disorder, speaking with staff and peers while learning how to use the cash register. It was so great to see it creating an impact so quickly,” she added.

Student serving a customer at the Mini Woolworths supermarket
"We're really proud of our new mini supermarket at William Rose School and the opportunities it will create for students," Woolworths Technology Director for Replenishment, Product and Logistics Nicola Clague said. Source: Supplied

The mini Woolworths is the fourth to be established across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

All four schools specialise in educating students with intellectual disabilities, sensory disabilities and autism.

Woolworths and Fujitsu are now working to roll out additional sites with the aim of educating thousands of students in the inclusive education program over the coming months.

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