After weeks of preparation, the day of the GEW Challenge finally dawned and the EE team travelled to all corners of the country, ready for an epic enterprise competition. Arriving at our four schools – BACA and PACA near Brighton, DACA in Darwen and Writhlington near Bath – we were greeted by excited students and teachers, all eager to see set forth on their challenge for Global Entrepreneurship Week. Students were to work in teams to create and plan a project that would have a real positive social impact on their school or community. They would then show their work off at a trade fair held at the schools in the afternoon, to which community members and teachers were invited to vote for their favourite projects.

In their teams, students became social entrepreneurs for the day as they thought about how to tackle challenges faced by their community. The morning kicked off with a video which introduced the challenge and showed footage of students from each of the schools. Competitive spirits were running high and the day had hardly begun! The morning was then divided into sections, taking teams through the stages of project planning; from generating ideas all the way to creating materials for their stand.

Circulating around the classrooms, it was clear to see just how imaginative and forward thinking the students were. Ideas ranged from creating an organic garden near BACA for the whole community to enjoy to a Christmas Fete at Writhlington. The ‘Determinators’ from DACA suggested piloting a programme where students had to swap place with parents for the day, teaching them about responsibilities and the importance of not taking anything for granted. Another team from PACA wanted to organise a ‘Skills Swap’ club at school, where people could come and share their expertise, from playing the guitar to origami. It was fantastic to see just how varied the teams’ ideas were; a truly inspirational indication of what young people are capable of.

As the afternoon drew to a close and students finished pitching their ideas at the trade fairs, a team from each school was chosen to take their idea forward for the grand final, which will take place this Friday. All students should feel extremely proud of themselves, having demonstrated real creativity, teamwork and thoughtfulness. Stuart McLaughlin, Principal of PACA, said of the day that it was ‘an excellent event that really pulled our learning community together’ whilst Phil Hogg, BACA’s Principal, described it as ‘a really great day’ – and we heartily agree!

Well done to all the students involved and a huge thank you to the staff at school and to The Aldridge Foundation for helping to make it such an inspiring and memorable day.

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