Earlier this year, we took our partnership with Topcliffe to the next level by introducing a new bespoke Enabling Enterprise programme for Year 5 which saw them take the lead on Operation Canal Boat, developing their ideas further and engaging with new partners in Birmingham. Working with Deputy Head Dickon Taylor, we etched out five key areas: planning, branding, marketing, outreach, and delivery.

As the Year 5 group completed the programme, we approached The Canal and River Trust to ask if students could present their ideas and pitch for advice and support from the experts. The Trust kindly welcomed the students to their Birmingham office in Cambrian Wharf.

On 19th October 2012, students arrived at the picturesque canal-side offices of Canal and River Trust and following a last minute run-through, presented to Sarah Cook from the Education Team, David Viner from the Heritage Team and Ecologist Paul Wilkinson.

Following a great pitch in which students demonstrated conviction and confidence in negotiating directly with the Trust, the judges etched out how the Canal and River Trust could partner with Topcliffe to drive Operation Canal Boat forward. The Education and Environment Teams would allocate volunteers to the school to help students become ambassadors for canal history and wildlife, while the Heritage Team would use their networks to help locate a suitable hull. Well done everyone!

On behalf of Enabling Enterprise and the students and teachers from Topcliffe, we would like to say a huge thank you to the judges for all their support. We look forward to the next stage of Operation Canal Boat which will be all about installing and customising the hull into a creative learning zone.

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