From big business to police business

Crazy Car Wash kids polish up the police car of PCs Paul Bower and Paul Jameson. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

Crazy Car Wash kids polish up the police car of PCs Paul Bower and Paul Jameson. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

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PUPIL entrepreneurs have dipped into the big world of business by taking part in a special enterprise project.

Among the companies formed by Year Sixers at Bolton’s Heathergarth Primary School, were a Crazy Car Wash, DJMB Beauty Salon, Icey Smooth (selling ice-cream and smoothies), Skipping Soccer Six (competitive sport) and Amelia and Lizzie’s Sweet Bonanza.

The project – that involves pupils throughout the school but is developed more fully by Year 6 groups – tasks pupils to devise companies to sell either products or services.

Once formed, they take on roles such as sales director or marketing manager.

Crucially, said Year 6 teacher Marie Bower, they research what they need to do from a variety of sources, and are allowed to make their own mistakes without interference from adults.

She said: “It’s a huge learning experience and the year sixers love it – it’s something our pupils look forward to all the way up the school.

“It’s a day that always goes well. Pupils enjoy taking on their responsibilities and feel really good about their achievements.”

Loans that have been borrowed from school to facilitate the businesses must be paid back at close of play, but any remaining profit then goes towards a trip out or to fund a visit to school.

Mrs Bower added: “Groups use the internet extensively throughout this project. They seek out all kinds of sites to browse the market and compare prices to ensure they get the best deals”.

But probably the biggest learning factor throughout the whole exercise is in team co-operation, she said.

“Although a member of the team may find that they have made a mistake, or not bought enough stock, for example, the others have to then realise that they work as a team, and find ways to overcome the problem, without blaming individuals.

“Once they are out in the real world they will have to get on with whoever they are placed with in a workplace, and this demonstrates clearly the need for everyone to find ways of working together, and adapting plans they have already made, if need be.

“Put simply, they learn they must stick things out to the end. That’s what life’s about and it’s a valuable lesson”.

On Enterprise Day, June 24, police officers from nearby Wombwell Station called by the school too, to talk about their roles, including their work with police dogs. They demonstrated the workings of their police car to pupils, who then cleaned it for them, as part of their activity!

“We like pupils to meet police from the local community as much as possible, so that they are a friendly, rather than a scary presence, should they meet up with them ouside school”, added Mrs Bower.

PCs Paul Bower and Paul Jameson went on to give pupils some insight in to the policing of football matches, during informal chats.

Further down the school, Year 5 kids made and sold cakes to local residents as part of Fair Trade Week.