Engaging students in literacy lessons is crucial for effective learning and has benefits throughout life. Northwold Primary in East London have been working on lesson time projects with a literacy focus this year. Their ‘Making News’ project saw them taking on the roles of illustrators, publishers and editors to create a newsletter for their school. As well as developing key literacy skills, this would also build students’ confidence in their teamwork and problem solving. With a business trip to investment bank, UBS for lucky students who showed excellent progress, the students’ put their all into the task.
At Enabling Enterprise we have been developing literacy and enterprise projects that engage students by giving their learning a real life relevance. This includes the ‘Making News’ project that Northwold Primary students have been taking part in. In teams, students use core literacy skills to develop their own school newspapers.
The project has helped develop students’ analytical skills, interviewing techniques as well as their ability to write persuasively. Students also learned the value of teamwork as they generated ideas, decided on content and edited the final draft as a group. By working collaboratively they were able to complete their newspapers to a strict deadline – just like a real newsroom.
One student explains what the project was about:
“We started off by analysing current newspapers and learning about teams and individuals who come together to create the finished products. We also learned a lot about newspaper layout, formats and how free newspapers such as Metro make profit through advertising. We didn’t just learn about newspaper, we learned key life skills, we learned lots about ourselves and each other – for example how communication can be key in group work situations.’
Furthermore, students learned how to overcome any problems that they would encounter along the way, a key skill that would be helpful in their future careers.
“We faced many challenges when making our newspaper. In our groups we all had to make sure that we completed our set tasks so we didn’t let our team down. This allowed us to complete our tasks in a similar environment to a real work office, including working to deadlines.’
One teacher said of the lesson time projects:
“The children really enjoyed the experience. Also, the fact that the planning was done really helped.”
To enhance the learning in the classroom, students from Northwold Primary went on a business trip to UBS, one of 14 school trips hosted at the bank’s offices this year. The students were focusing on developing their presentation skills and were able to work pitch to a room of over 30 people. They also had the opportunity to take their teamwork skills to the next level, as they worked collaboratively with fellow students from Nightingale Primary School on this task.
At the end of the day, students reflected on their learning, what they had found challenging and what they would improve for next time:
“Some people were left out at first; we solved the problem by giving people jobs and roles.” (Student, Northwold)
“Next time I’d use more descriptive language” (Student, Nightingale Primary)
Northwold Primary have made excellent progress by taking part in the enterprising programmes. According to the Enabling Enterprise skills assessment, the students have made on average more than one level of progress that they were expected to make over the year, making the most progress on teamwork and problem solving skills. You can take a look at our skills assessment framework here.
By combining enterprising learning in the classroom and out of the classroom Northwold students are making excellent progress in their enterprise skills as well as in their readiness for real life. To find out how you can get involved, Contact Us.