Written by: Peter Fowler, Lead Teacher of Mathematics, Junior School Diamanthorst
Enterprise Week began in earnest back in December, but the snow was very inconsiderate and we lost a day and a half of crucial time!
As a result, Enterprise Week and Market Afternoon were pushed back to January, so as to ensure our students had optimal time to dedicate to it properly.
Having planned and seen the impact an Enterprise project can have whilst working at a previous school, I was keen to push this opportunity here at Junior School Diamanthorst.
Making the experience real and impactful for the children of Key Stage 2 was the core driver. For that reason, linking with a charity here in The Hague became a must. This came in the form of Juliana Kinderziekenhuis – the Juliana Children’s Hospital – a charity that our children could make real links with and one that we could involve throughout the process. Alongside this, allowing the children to receive real loans from the school in order to prepare their business was a vital cog, once again, in allowing them to be absorbed into the project.
Year 3 and 4 would prepare a service to offer on Market Day: each class received a loan of 50 euros. Year 5 and 6 would prepare a product to sell: each class received a loan of 75 euros. All classes were lent the money with the provision that they will be paid back from their profits after the Market Day! (fingers crossed)
Assemblies kicked-off the week(s), with Gordon Willoughby, CEO of WeTransfer, and Adam Lowmass, Project Manager for Shell, talking to the students about how to run a successful business; it was really inspiring stuff!
We were also able to invite Simone, from our chosen charity Juliana Kinderziekenhuis, to talk to the students about the hospital and how the money that they raise will have a positive impact on the experience children have whilst in the hospital.
During the week, the students have been working through some of the stages required to ensure that their business is a successful one:
Stage 1: Enterprise was launched, with students being set homework to begin generating ideas for their products and services.
Stage 2: Identifying the key skills required to be a successful entrepreneur and self-assessing their own strengths. Forming groups and looking at possible business ideas and names for their business.
Stage 3: Costing their service or product and looking at potential profit margins.
Stage 4: Advertising and Marketing – this involved the students looking at the impact and effective use of colour and word play, designing their business logo and coming up with a name. They also worked on pitches that they would later deliver to other year groups to entice them to their business on Market Day!
Stage 5: Manufacturing – Students began making and preparing their products and services. Team work was at the very forefront during this stage! They also spent time looking at the art of selling and how to treat customers on Market Day!
Stage 6: Market Day! This involved the children selling their services and products to parents, staff and children, with all money – after the loans are paid back – going to our charity.
Stage 7: This will see the charity re-visit Junior School Diamanthorst, where we will hand over a cheque for all of the money raised. Some students may also take a trip to the hospital to see where their hard-work will have an impact.
Enterprise Week has been such a rewarding experience for the students. The overriding opinion from the students is that the experience has been ‘real’ and that they have loved going through each stage in an effort to have fun and support a charity. As teachers, witnessing the opening of eyes to, perhaps otherwise unknown, talents is what has made this project an overwhelmingly successful one.
To unlock a talent in a child who may find day-to-day elements of school particularly challenging is worth every effort. There will most certainly be a rather large handful of young entrepreneurs to watch out for in the not-so-distant future.