The School: Benthal Primary School

Benthal Primary School, based in Hackney, have been taking part in the Enabling Enterprise programme for the last 5 years, during which the students have developed their enterprise skills through a range of experiences. Most recently, their Problem Solving and Staying Positive skills were put to the test for the Crime Scene and the Creative Spaces Challenges Days. The students also have a big enterprise week planned for the Summer term.

Today, Year 4 and 5 students took on a very special challenge with Higgins Construction at the Colville Community Centre, which was a great opportunity to stretch their Working in a Team and Problem-Solving skills to the max!

The Business: Higgins

Higgins Group is an award winning, family run construction company with over 50 years’ experience in major housing developments. Throughout London and the South East, the company currently has 27 live projects ranging from £5million to £150million.

Today’s trip took place in the heart of the Colville Estate, where Higgins are working in conjunction with Wates to regenerate homes for Hackney residents. Sarah and Claire from Higgins were joined by Jamil and Annie from Wates as the children had the opportunity to quiz their volunteers on their different roles within construction which included Site Manager, Liaison Officer, Project Manager, Project Co-Ordinator and Project Secretary.

The Challenge: Terrific Towers

Terrific Towers challenges the pupils to put their Working in a Team and Problem Solving skills into action in order to build a tower which is tall and strong, inspired by a shape and fit for a specific purpose. They must stick to budget and the tight deadlines in order to succeed and then proudly Share their Ideas in order to explain to the experts how and why they built their tower.

After hearing from the volunteers about their jobs and working life, and the importance of using enterprise skills in their roles, the students put on their special hard hats and high visibility jackets to embark on an exciting tour! A trip onto the site gave students the opportunity to learn more about site safety, ably demonstrated by stand-in Site Manager, Phil Safe. They then had the chance to go up onto the viewing deck to survey the construction site, where the layout of the regeneration project became clear. It was a great opportunity to see the different teams at work, as well as to draw some inspiration from the London skyline to take into their challenge.

After this, the teams were transformed into construction firms and given their first project: to design and build a new, exciting tower to add a little more creativity to the Hackney skyline! Teams drew inspiration from everyday objects and Used Their Imagination very inventively as they developed ideas inspired by trees, books, The Pyramids, shooting stars and even pizzas (complete with pepperoni windows!) Each team member then Shared their Ideas and each construction firm showed brilliant Problem-Solving skills as they Worked in a Team to include everyone’s ideas.

The Results:

Having decided upon their final design, the teams worked hard to purchase the resources they needed whilst staying within their budget. More magnificent Problem-Solving skills were evident as teams used their materials creatively and very resourcefully (even recycling items from their packed lunches!) to bring their ideas to life.

At the end of the day, our volunteers were joined by Sean, Senior Site Manager for Higgins, who was keen to hear how his latest recruits had fared. The teams impressed the judges with their wonderful ideas and their clear and well-reasoned presentations. It was fantastic to see every student speaking so confidently about what they had achieved and the enterprise skills they had used throughout the day.

What they said:

  • “Our construction firm is the best because we have each had the chance to share our ideas and then worked together as a team to make these even better. We aimed high and supported each other to be successful.” – Student, Benthal Primary
  • “I’m really impressed by your ideas and your projects; I’d love to take you all onto site now and have you working for me!” – Sean, Wates Senior Site Manager
  • “The visit to the construction site gave the children lots of discussion for ideas and it was inspiring to present these ideas to people from the industry. They will take a lot from this, particularly the sharing of roles within a team, the importance of communicating ideas and an understanding of the trial and error processes.” – Teacher, Benthal Primary
  • “I have really enjoyed it. It was great to work with the different teams and hear their ideas and the children were very engaged throughout the day.” – Jamil, Wates Site Manager
  • “I love building things at home, although I never thought I would want to work in construction. Today I have seen how interesting it is and the different jobs that I could do… I would love to work for Higgins in the future!” – Student, Benthal Primary

Thanks to Higgins for such a great trip day, to the volunteers from Higgins and Wates, and to Year 4 and 5 students from Benthal Primary School for coming along and making it so enjoyable.

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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