The School:

From the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Willow Brook Primary School Academy is in its third year working with Enabling Enterprise to develop a set of eight Essential Skills in their students. Over the years, students have been practising their essential skills through Lesson-Time Projects as well as Challenge Days. Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for a selection of Year 3 students to stretch their essential skills outside the classroom as they put their Problem Solving and Staying Positive skills to the test with the support from professional business volunteers.

The Business:

National Westminster Bank Plc, commonly known as NatWest, is the largest retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom. Since 2000 it has been part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, ranked among the top 10 largest banks in the world by assets. Today volunteers Daniel, Fleur, James and Holly were on hand to support the 7- and 8-year olds on this stretching challenge. Let’s see how they got on…

The Challenge: Lend-a-Hand

The day started off with a tour of the impressive NatWest branch in the heart of the City, near Bank station. Students learnt about the goings-on on the retail floor, from the wide range of financial services to customer services to very clever machines that help with money and bank accounts. Once settled in their teams, students then got the chance to interview the NatWest volunteers to find out about their different roles, responsibilities and the Essential Skills required to do their jobs. It was clear from the word go that the Willow Brook students were excellent at Using Imagination as they asked a variety of very creative questions.
After learning about budgeting, the aspiring entrepreneurs took on the role of Financial Advisors. They needed to advise a client to make sensible financial decisions for a range of different life events. Teams had to put their Problem Solving skills to the test and work out the pros and cons of different suggestions. Taking the priorities and needs of the client on board, teams then worked within tight deadlines to suggest the best possible course of action for their client.
The day culminated in teams reporting back to the NatWest volunteers, now turned judges. The would-be advisors shared their financial top tips and were Aiming High to persuade the judges that their team was the best. Volunteers watched the presentations and used their expertise to judge which team had used their Problem Solving and Staying Positive skills to the highest standard. All students worked so hard that the adults in the room decided to award each team a special skill certificate for their amazing efforts today – congratulations, all!

What they said:

  • “It was an amazing day, really well organised. The children were very engaged and the pace was excellent. Also, children, I am extremely proud because your behaviour was excellent but your ideas were incredible! You have done Willow Brook so proud, using all your EE skills!” – Teacher
  • “It was really good fun – very engaging!” – Volunteer
  • “And the kids were great – I liked that team who made really good links with NatWest at the end.” – Volunteer
  • “Budgeting is important because it helps you think ahead about what happens.” – Student
  • “Budgeting is important because money can run out if you don’t know how to spend it.” – Student
  • “We were Listening Carefully but also Staying Positive by staying relaxed and chilled – it’s OK not to win because you tried your best.” – Student
  • “We were a great team today because we trusted people.” – Student
  • “(…) Thank you for listening to Money Makers. Remember to use your skills at school and remember to talk about NatWest at home and at school!” – Student

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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