It’s never too early to engage pupils in enterprise
Picture the world of business and you might conjure up images of a cut-throat workplace, aggressive negotiations and hard-nosed decision-making. A decidedly adult world, many may think. But business skills are increasingly finding their way into the education narrative as industry leaders call for better quality workforces – not just in secondary education, but younger classes too.
Young Enterprise, a financial education charity that works with pupils to help them start up small, temporary businesses has long been the preserve of senior schools. It is, however, starting to become an interesting proposition for prep schools seeking to expand their activities programmes. So at what age is it wise to get children involved in such a venture? Can they be too young? According to Young Enterprise, the answer is a resounding “no” as there are programmes to suit children from the age of four. St Andrew’s prep in Pangbourne became the first IAPS school to use Young Enterprise a few years ago. Its pupils started up trade selling hoodies, key rings and beanie hats in 2014.
Instead of finding it necessary to prepare the children for cold commerce, teachers found that the experience actually drew links between all the subjects and disciplines with which pupils were already familiar. They discovered talents they didn’t realise they had.
“Communication skills were demonstrated by some of the pupils by their ‘gift of the gab’ while selling their products and by others through their eloquence when reading their persuasive business plans,” said headmaster David Livingstone. “It was also interesting to note that those who may not have shone as natural leaders in other classroom situations, finally found their platform.”
Kirsty Stokes, the member of staff who initiated the venture, added: “Interestingly there was never conflict over the different managerial roles. Each pupil’s skills – whether they involved numeracy, creativity or organisational abilities – led them to choose a different role. Many surprised themselves after filling in the questionnaire that they were guided to managerial roles very similar to their parents’ careers.”
Read more at the Telegraph by clicking here
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