The School: Littledown School

Littledown School, based in Slough, is a special school which supports children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) with the aim to empower pupils with self-confidence. The school in their second year of working with Enabling Enterprise, having previously demonstrated their Aiming High and Using Imagination skills in their ‘Day in Politics’ Challenge Day. Back in school, students will have the opportunity to develop these skills further through Lesson-Time Projects, such as developing new reading areas, designing new toys and setting up pop-up bakeries!

Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for students from Year 5&6 to put their Problem-Solving and Working in a Team skills to the test in an exciting, local setting.

The Business: Thames Water

Thames Water serve 15 million customers in the Thames area… that’s almost one quarter of the entire population of the UK! Each day, they provide 2.6 billion litres of clean tap water (enough to fill 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools) and they also treat sewage: around 4.2 billion litres every day. In addition, Thames Water work to maintain 85,000 miles of pipes and water mains, enough to stretch around the world 3.5 times!

Paul, from the Thames Water education team, worked with the students throughout the day to help them learn all about how the sewage treatment plant works and how they could apply this newfound knowledge alongside their enterprise skills to become waterworks engineers. In particular, the students’ Problem-Solving and Working in a Team skills would be put to the test.

The Challenge: The Thames Water Network Challenge

The Littledown students arrived full of enthusiasm to see what goes on at a sewage treatment site that is so close to their homes (and, therefore, treats their own sewage!). After an informative introduction to Thames Water’s role in cleaning and treating waste sewage, ready to go back into the local rivers, they were ready to go on an exciting tour of the site, taking a first-hand look at the processes of cleaning and recycling sewage waste.

The group were also given the opportunity to quiz Paul further on his own role at Thames Water, as well as thinking about what other jobs people carry out as they saw the importance of Working in a Team to Thames Water employees. Inspired by the tour and this knowledge, the teams set to their task. Working in a Team themselves, they thought hard about how Thames Water develops a network of pipes to ensure its key customers are supplied with clean water. By initially mapping out their routes on a map of the area, the teams of engineers used their Problem-Solving skills to ensure water could be supplied in an efficient, environmentally-responsible way.

What they said:

  • “This is fascinating. I never thought about what happens after I’ve been to the toilet… I can’t wait to tell my mum what happens when I flush the loo!” – Student, Littledown School
  • “It’s so important for the kids to see this and to get an understanding of where things come from and where they go; they can now appreciate the systems that go into giving them clean water and taking away their waste water.” – Teacher, Littledown
  • “The kids have been so positive today; it’s really opened their eyes to what we do here and it’s great to hear them thinking about jobs and careers that they would never have considered before today. It’s also so much more meaningful, knowing that this is serving their homes and their local area.” – Paul, Thames Water
  • “I love it here. It’s been great being an engineer and I want to work here when I finish school.” – Student, Littledown School

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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