The School: St Matthew’s CE Primary

Based in West Drayton in Hillingdon, St Matthew’s are a long-standing Enabling Enterprise school. With a passion for creativity and providing challenge, teachers have been expertly developing students’ eight key enterprise skills though a wide range of Lesson-Time Projects, business trips to top employers across London and whole-school Challenge Days such as last year’s Greetings Card Challenge.

Today, these Year 5 students were ready to put their Problem Solving and Staying Positive skills to the test as they took on a special construction challenge with the help of some professional experts!

The Business:

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

Today, our teams were joined by Karen, Polly, June, Sandra and Angela, who all work in a variety of roles at Higgins, from administration to community services and residential support. Together, they brought extensive knowledge on the construction industry. They were also joined by Sukey from health charity Facing the World, who was also able to share her expertise on effective planning and project management.

The Challenge: Decisive Developers

The day started off with the students interviewing the volunteers to find out about their different roles, responsibilities and the Enterprise Skills required to do their jobs. Students then went over to the construction site at Peterhead Court, which allowed the teams to see the great variety of jobs available in the world of construction. They also got to question Site Manager Lee on his own role, his experiences and how he remains calm under pressure! Lee explained that on every job he’s worked on he’s encountered a variety of problems which he has had to solve, and shared some great ‘Top Tips’ for Staying Positive.

Taking on the role of Developers, students were then challenged to apply their Problem Solving skills to establish which site they would choose for their new tall building. Taking the location and needs of the community on board, teams then worked together to build a tower using limited materials that satisfied the criteria. During the build, the teams’ Staying Positive skills were put to the test as new challenges arose, which put the developers’ plans (and budgets!) under strain.

The day culminated in teams pitching their plan for development to the judges, who posed as local and new residents, to see if their building was suitable for construction. The judges were full of praise for the creative ideas on show and gave a special mention for the way teams had really listened to the needs of the community members and had this in their mind throughout the project. At the end of the day, the teams were also visited by Phil Safe, Higgins’ site mascot, who dropped in to hear their ideas and announce the winning design!

What they said:

  • “I’ve learnt that there are so many jobs out there that I didn’t even know about.” – Student, St Matthew’s CE Primary
  • “What a memorable experience we have all enjoyed. The tasks were fast and furious but enabled all children to learn, grow and succeed in lots of different ways.” – Teacher, St Matthew’s CE Primary
  • “When I first heard the challenge I was terrified: I didn’t think we could learn so much and get so much done! It’s incredible how the children have used their imagination in so many ways to solve problems and achieve their task.” – Volunteer, Higgins
  • “We’ve seen that in every job there are problems. We’ve also seen that it doesn’t matter because you can work together to find ways of solving them, and stay positive by focusing on the end result.” – Student, St Matthew’s CE Primary

Thanks to everyone for such a great trip day!

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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