The following post is from James Protheroe, teacher and ICT Leader at Darran Park Primary School, Rhondda Cynon Taff. James is also one of our Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators for 2015, and as such is active in sharing his ideas, stories, thoughts and best practices with the other members of the MIEE network, as well as the broader education community at large.
Enterprise Troopers: Our Journey So Far…
Last term the Year 5/6 pupils from Owl Class took part in an enterprise project. The aim was to design, produce and sell a product at the Christmas fair. Initially the children organised themselves into groups by looking at their strengths and skills. Once the children formed five different groups, they allocated specific job titles to each child – based upon their strengths. Then the children brainstormed possible products in their groups. The children decided upon: a school newspaper, recycled jewellery, salt dough decorations, mobile phone cases and handmade soap.
After choosing their final design, the children began producing their products. Throughout this process each group used ICT effectively to help organise their businesses. Pupils created adverts by taking photographs, recording video footage and using Moviemaker to compile everything. Each group used Excel to create a business action plan and keep up-to-date accounts to keep track of their expenditure and income. They also used Excel to analyse their market research and produce graphs. In addition, the school newspaper was created using Publisher. Pupils also used a range of ICT to produce posters to advertise their businesses.
Each company sold their products in the Christmas Fair in December. Their stall was very successful, with some groups completely selling out of their products! It was then time to calculate the profit. Each group used Excel to deduct their expenditure from their income and between them the class made over £360 profit. Generously the pupils decided to donate 10% of their profit to Pont, a local charity which works with schools in Uganda. As the children had used the Surface Pro throughout the project, they decided they’d like to buy some tablets for the class. Subsequently, they decided to buy two Linx tablets out of their profit.
Due to each group’s phenomenal success, the class was shortlisted for the Enterprise Troopers regional final, a competition created by Big Ideas Wales for the Welsh Government. Pound Perfection, the handmade soap company, were chosen to represent the class project. During the final the children were interviewed by four judges, who were all successful entrepreneurs. The pupils also displayed their products and their work on their own stand. The judges were very impressed by the products and profit each company and made. As a result the whole class was awarded with the ‘Business Engagement Award.’ Amazingly, Pound Perfection were selected to go through to the Welsh Final on March 19th in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.