Primary pupils excited by enterprise project

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When primary school children at Crags Community School in Rotherham were set the task of designing and making their own vehicle, they rose to the challenge thanks to the enterprise skills they had spent a term learning and developing.

The week-long project was the culmination of work that had been carried out throughout the summer term using ASDAN’s Stepping Stones and Lift Off! programmes. It was led by the school’s enterprise co-ordinator, Robyn Ransom, with support from CO2 Training and Maltby Main Football Club.

Children across the whole school, from foundation to Year 6, completed a series of Stepping Stones challenges to develop their enterprise skills. They then progressed to modules from Lift Off, which focused on building their personal and leadership skills.

They spent a week researching, designing and making a variety of modes of transport, which were presented to parents and invited guests at an Industry Day. Participants received ASDAN Stepping Stones certificates to accredit their work.

Pupils talked about the project with enthusiasm and mentioned the skills they had used as a matter of course. One Year 4 pupil said: “This is the best activity I’ve ever done at school and I’ve learned so much this term. I can’t wait to see what we do next term!”

 

Children in Year 1 spoke at length about carrying out experiments with paper and card to find the best material for their ships. Meanwhile, Year 5 pupils were able to describe the problem solving skills they had used when designing axles for their World Cup team coaches.

“Each year group focused on a different form of transport,” Robyn said. “They were encouraged to use the skills they had learned when following the Stepping Stones and Lift Off courses.

“Children worked in teams to research suitable materials, designs and logos before discussing their preferences and making the final product. When a problem arose, they were encouraged to think about how they might solve it and then worked together on their solution. At the end of the project the children evaluated their work and looked for ways to improve it in the future.”

Feedback from other teachers at the school indicated that pupils had shown increased confidence throughout the project and that they had transferred the skills they learned into other work. Staff liked the structured approach and that they were able to incorporate and develop literacy, numeracy, science and design technology.

Robyn added: “We held the Industry Day to share the success of the project, and to allow children to talk to parents and visitors about their experience and the skills they had used and developed. As the theme of the project was vehicles, we also had a range of vehicles on display, including cars, a fire engine and a coach.”

The pupils’ newly developed skills will continue to be used right across the curriculum, but particularly in design and technology lessons. From now on, all pupils in Year 2 will start work on Stepping Stones Book 1 to help them focus on skill development; the school has established that this is a sustainable project that works.

Staff will also look at how ASDAN Short Courses could be introduced into the curriculum to develop the children’s academic profile, with the aim of creating a rolling programme within Key Stage 2. Following the success of the transport project, pupils across the school will again be engaging in the Lift Off programme, this time around a different theme.