The School: Longlands Primary School

Students from Year 5 and 6 at Longlands Primary in Bexley, South East London have been doing Primary enterprise projects for the past two years. Last year, they applied skills such as Sharing Ideas and Problem Solving whilst setting up their own political parties during the Day in Politics Challenge Day.

Today, fifteen lucky students had the chance to apply their enterprise skills to a new Human Resources themed challenge at ‘Supermarket of the Year 2016’ winner, Waitrose.

The Business: Waitrose, Canary Wharf in London

Waitrose is a chain of supermarkets, which forms the food retail division of Britain’s largest employee-owned retailer, the John Lewis Partnership. Waitrose has 322 branches across the UK and was founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor. Waitrose began as a small grocery store, Waite, Rose & Taylor, in Acton, West London.

Employees from HR and Customer Services at Waitrose volunteered throughout the day to share how they use enterprise skills in their day-to-day jobs and offered expert advice during the recruitment challenge.

The Challenge: Recruitment Race

Students began the day learning about the history of Waitrose and interviewing the employees about their jobs. They also went on a fantastic tour of the shop floor, learning what it takes to be great at customer service. Then, students took on new roles for the rest of the day, working as a Human Resources (HR) team to consider applicants for vacancies within Waitrose. By looking at the job descriptions for three vacancies, they were Using Imagination to think about what the ideal candidate would be like. They then needed to be Listening Carefully to the applicants’ interviews before Sharing Ideas and Working in a Team to decide which job they considered each candidate most suitable for and deciding on the ideal person for each job.

The Results:

Volunteers were truly impressed by the students’ ability to problem solve by considering the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. They were also fantastic at sharing their ideas during team meetings and the final presentations at the end of the day.

What they said:

  • “The Waitrose volunteers have been fantastic – it was really great for the children to work with such engaged and enthusiastic people. Thank you!” – Teacher, Longlands Primary
  • “The kids were so articulate and mature – really impressive!” – Volunteer, Waitrose
  • “We worked together to find the best candidates for each role. I’ve also learnt that listening is important in customer service.” – Student, Longlands Primary

Thanks to Waitrose for such a great trip day, and to Years 5 and 6 from Longlands Primary for coming along.

Enabling Enterprise are working in partnership with schools and businesses to support students to build enterprise skills and aspirations. Find out more by contacting us or visiting

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