The School:

Christ the King Catholic Primary School, based in Reading, are in their first year of working with Enabling Enterprise. Later this term, all students will have the opportunity to develop their Enterprise Skills by taking part in an exciting Challenge Day!

Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for students from Year 5 to put their Listening Carefully, Sharing Ideas and Problem Solving skills to the test with the support from professional business volunteers.

The Business:

The Oracle is a large indoor shopping and leisure mall on the banks of the River Kennet. On the site of a 17th-century workhouse of the same name, it was developed and is owned by a joint venture of Hammerson and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The centre contains 90 shops, including department stores from the Debenhams and House of Fraser chains. There are also 22 restaurants, cafés and bars along the riverside of the Kennet, and an 11-screen Vue cinema. The Oracle increases Reading’s retail footage by one-third.

The Challenge: Superior Service

The day started off with the students coming up with their own ideas for what good customer service means to them, drawing on their own experiences and expectations. Students then looked at the profiles of different customers and Listened Carefully to their needs and their experiences. Led by Neil, Senior Duty Manager at The Oracle, the teams also went on a tour of the premises, which allowed them to see the great variety of jobs available in the world of retail and afforded them a ‘behind the scenes’ look into customer service, including the range of facilities on offer, the personnel in place to provide assistance and the Control Room, where customer safety and security is constantly monitored.

The teams were also visited by Andy, the General Manager at The Oracle, who reminded them of the importance of the customer. Taking on the role of Customer Service Assistants, students were then challenged to apply their Problem Solving skills to ensure customer experiences were positive and customer satisfaction remained high by Listening Carefully to issues raised by customers and coming up with effective solutions to ensure customer satisfaction.

The day culminated in student Customer Service Teams presenting their work to Neil, putting their Sharing Ideas skills to use in demonstrating their understanding of customer service and their innovative solutions to solving customers’ issues.

What they said:

  • “Good customer service is listening to your customers and solving their problems calmly. We used lots of problem-solving today and had to listen to what people wanted so that we could help them and make sure they got what they needed.” – Student, Christ the King
  • “The students have had a great opportunity today to see more of what goes on at a place they know so well. They have understood why problem-solving and teamwork skills are important and will now have a really clear idea of good customer service the next time they come here.” – Teacher, Christ the King
  • “It was really clear that each team has understood what good customer service is and how important it is to listen to what your customers want and need. Every member of the team has contributed and teams have drawn on their skill sets really well to make sure everyone has played their part.” – Neil (Senior Duty Manager), The Oracle
  • “We have learnt that leading is important because we have all needed to lead the team at different times and this has helped us to be successful.” – Student, Christ the King

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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