The School: Littledown School

Based in Slough in Berkshire, Littledown 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 is in its second year of working with Enabling Enterprise, having previously demonstrated their Creativity and their Aiming High skills in a Challenge Day called ‘A Day in Politics’. 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, and later this term will take on their second Challenge Day which is sure to stretch all their Essential Skills once more!

Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for students from Years 1 & 2 to put their Problem Solving and Teamwork 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!

Liz, 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 Essential Skills to become waterworks engineers. In particular, the students’ Problem Solving and Teamwork 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 so that it is 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 explore the water cycle and the role Thames Water plays in this, as well as looking at what we should and shouldn’t flush down the toilet. Inspired by the tour and this research, the teams set to their task. Demonstrating great Teamwork 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:

  • “I’d love to come back and work here one day!” – Student
  • These skills are so important, not just for times like this but for everything they do, at home and at school. I need to start using these at home with my kids because these are such important life skills.” – Teacher
  • “The kids were so bright and engaged. They wanted to find out so much about what goes on here and were wonderful scientists.” – Volunteer
  • “It was interesting to see where all our poo goes!” – 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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