A View from the Classroom

Posted in Blog by EE Team with No Comments

Mar2015 05

West Drayton Primary School in Hillingdon are running an Enabling Enterprise taster programme this year. Debby Mitchell has been leading the programme in school and has run the “Number Crunching” project, where students create a new chocolate brand, with a group of Year 5 girls. Education Associate Alanna Hume catches up with two of the students and their teacher…

An Interview with their Teacher

EE: Why did you decide to work with Enabling Enterprise?
Debby (teacher): The head teacher and I were looking for extension and enrichment activities for the more able students. When I looked at the Enabling Enterprise projects I realised it would also be perfect for a group of girls that had been identified as disengaged with Maths. All the projects looked really fun and practical and there were some numeracy-specific ones which were perfect to get this group of girls excited and interested in Maths again.

EE: Have you noticed any changes in the students since starting the programme?
Debby (teacher): Confidence in capital letters! Some of the students are quite shy but since starting the project they are now willing to get up in front of others and share their ideas. They are talking about their learning and they want to tell everyone about what they are doing in the “Number Crunching” project. They can’t wait until the next lesson!

There have also been a few “break-through” moments where a Maths topic they have previously found difficult has finally clicked. An example of this is the lesson where the girls turned their chocolate brand market research into graphs; some of the girls independently worked out how this data could also be represented as fractions, a topic they had previously struggled to understand!

EE: Aside from the “Number Crunching” project, the students also went on a trip to Oliver Wyman. What do you think the students got out of this trip?
It was a great opportunity for the girls to go into a business environment and learn the etiquette of being in a professional space, which is a real life skill. I think it was fantastic for our students to have the chance to work with other adults that are non-teachers and to feel really valued and listened to by them. It was a really supportive experience and made the world of work a much less scary prospect for them.

There is a student in the group who was particularly shy and the trip to Oliver Wyman at the start of the year was a real turning point for her. On the trip students were challenged to set up and market a new airline and it was amazing to see her working with students from a different school and volunteers from Oliver Wyman. At the end of the day she stood up with her team and presented her ideas back to a big group of largely unknown people which was a huge achievement. Back at school, her teachers have said she has much more of a presence in the classroom since doing the Enabling Enterprise programme.

EE: As a teacher, what has been your experience of Enabling Enterprise?
Debby (teacher): I have found myself referring back to the 8 Challenge Skills in my other lessons such as literacy and have found them to be a really great way to engage all students; you don’t have to be the most academically able in order to be a good leader, listener or team player. All students can develop these skills.

We are also planning to run our own project with a group of Year 6 students in the summer term linked to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the “Number Crunching” project has given me some great ideas for how we could structure the project and what kind of activities we could include.

What the students think

Two of the Year 5 girls that are taking part in the Enabling Enterprise programme at West Drayton share their thoughts on what they have enjoyed and learned.

EE: What has been your favourite bit so far about your Enabling Enterprise programme?
Phoebe (student): I really enjoyed going on the trip when we worked as a team with people from a different school. I was a bit shy at first but then I got on with it.

Tarsa (student): I liked when we have worked in a team on the project. There was a lesson where we had to make a poster with all our ideas for our chocolate bar on it and each person in the team was in charge of a different part of the poster.

EE: Is there anything you think you have got better at or found easier since doing your Enabling Enterprise programme?
Tarsa (student): At the start of the project we decided who would be best at which different role. I was chosen to be the leader and it was quite difficult at the start to make everyone in the team listen to each other’s ideas and they all had great ideas! I think I got better at being a leader because later in the project I made sure we sat in a circle and went round one by one so that everyone had a chance to speak.

Phoebe (student): I think I have got better at speaking in front of people. After the trip (to Oliver Wyman) we had a Children in Need assembly and I felt more confident about speaking up. I think I put my hand up more in lessons now too!

EE: Would you like to do another Enabling Enterprise project after “Number Crunching?
Phoebe & Tarsa (students): Yes!

West Drayton Primary School have been working with Enabling Enterprise on a lesson-time project and business trip. If you’d like to find out more or get involved, just contact us.

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