The Schools: Friern Barnet and Harris Academy Peckham

Friern Barnet in North London, have been working with Enabling Enterprise for four years combining in-school challenge days, lesson-time projects and visits to business to support embedding enterprise education into their school. Today they chose students from Year 9 to come find out more about careers in engineering. Harris Academy Peckham in South London brought along a team of five keen Year 10 students from their Business Studies class for their first experience of Enabling Enterprise.

The Business: Atkins, London

Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. Recent projects include Crossrail, Birmingham New Street Station and the diagonal crossing at Oxford Circus.

The Challenge: Brilliant Builds

After finding out more about Atkins through volunteer interviews and tour of the offices, students were set the challenge to redevelop a brownfield site in the town of Bogsby and create a space that would meet the needs of the local people whilst also benefitting the environment. Having researched and planned their designs they then had limited time to construct a model of their design and pitch their ideas to the judges from Atkins.

The Results:

It was fantastic to see how passionate each group were about their final designs and to see how they developed their confidence and enterprise skills throughout the day. More confident members within each group learnt to reflect on how they could use their leadership skills to support others in their group to take a more active role. Whilst some of the usually quieter students focused on developing their communication presentation skills and really pushed themselves out of their comfort zones with their final pitches.

What they said:

  • “The activities we’re well pitched and the competitive element made students really focused. Today students learned a lot about what engineering entails as well as the importance of group work.” – Teacher, Harris Academy Peckham
  • “It’s been really good to see how much progress in possible in just a few hours – they were so much more confident and professional by the end of the day.” – Volunteer, Atkins
  • “The skills focused on today are very important in our industry – today gave students a valuable opportunity to grapple with: time management, leadership, communication and teamwork.” – Volunteer, Atkins
  • “I’m most proud of how our team approached the challenge today. We we’re able to combine different team members ideas and really pulled together to complete the project in time.” – Student, Friern Barnet
  • “I’m most proud of our presentations to the judges – we were positive, confident and all of use spoke well” – Harris Academy Peckham

Thanks to Atkins for such a great trip day, and to Year 9 from Friern Barnet and Year 10 from Harris Academy Peckham 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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