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News: Rotherham school makes enterprising history

Posted on: February 23rd, 2009

A Rotherham primary school has made education history, by taking home the first ever government approved award for enterprise.

Thorpe Hesley Junior School has won a Leading Aspect Award for ‘developing enterprising pupils through a creative curriculum built around enterprise skills’.

The school, which is part of the revolutionary enterprise learning scheme, Rotherham Ready, was given the award for its innovative and creative approach to enterprise.

Paula Harmer, Head teacher at Thorpe Hesley Junior School, said:

“We’re delighted to have won this award. It’s testimony to the hard work all our pupils and teachers have put into their enterprise projects.

“Enterprise plays a big part in our curriculum because we believe it helps develop skills that children will use throughout their lives. Instead of just learning from books or other second hand sources, they carry out real life projects, such as setting up their own businesses, organising events or giving presentations.

“In turn, these experiences give pupils more confidence. They learn to evaluate and take risks and to communicate well – all of which are skills for life.

“Enterprise skills form an integral part of our whole school curriculum and our philosophy.”

Pupils at Thorpe Hesley are taught enterprise on a daily basis. Older students even prepare and deliver classes to younger children about a range of subjects and skills such as how to use Google Earth.

The students are also encouraged to generate business ideas to present at Dragon’s Den style forums, where a panel of adults provide the children with a small cash loan to invest in their plans.

Paula said:

“The pupils really enjoy taking part in enterprise learning, it allows them to be independent and to push themselves. It’s a real honour to be recognised on a national level.”

The Leading Aspect Award recognises leading practice within schools, colleges or universities and social care establishments, such as Foster Care, Behaviour Support Services or Secure Accommodation.

Entries are judged by a prestigious panel of judges including Mike Tomlinson MBE and Mick Waters, Director of Curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Kate Taylor from Leading Aspect, said:

“Thorpe Hesley Junior School was given this award for demonstrating an extremely impressive enterprise curriculum.”

Thorpe Hesley Juniors is part of the Rotherham Ready enterprise learning scheme, which has transformed the aspirations of young people across the town.

Catherine Brentnall, project officer at Rotherham Ready, said:

“It’s fantastic that Thorpe Hesley Junior School has been given such great recognition for their enterprise education.

“The school has demonstrated a very high standard of enterprise and they thoroughly deserve this award.”