Never a dull moment for enterprising students

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FROM creating a global village to facing a group of ‘dragons’ – there was never a dull moment for Ponteland High School pupils during their enterprise week.

The aims of the event were to develop the Year 9 and 10 students’ business and organisational skills through problem-solving activities and challenges that became more complex as the week progressed.

And there was a special treat for the winners of one of the tasks as they were invited to lunch at a renowned North East restaurant.

Following a personal finance day, participating businesses from across the region including Q Music and Events, Connexions, CS4 Consulting and Ian Henderson from Nissan gave pupils challenges to come up with a successful product or idea and the finalists from each class presented their ideas to a Dragons’ Den-style panel.

The Bridge Club and Fresh Element offered the lunch at Six, famed for its roof top location on the top floor of BALTIC at the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside, to the victors of a competition to create a brand new restaurant layout so that all diners can see views of the River Tyne.

Ethan Gibb, Ben Moody, Katherine Wilkes, Tamzin Grey and Elizabeth Rutherford’s plans included a raised seating area in the centre of the restaurant and impressive marketing ideas.

Pete Hunt, Director of Fresh Element and Operator of Six, said: “It’s been great listening to the pupils’ ideas and seeing just how inventive they can be when they are set a challenge.

“We were really impressed with the winning team’s presentation and enthusiasm for business.”

The day after the Dragons’ Den activity, students took part in an inter tutor group mini Olympics. They scored points by completing sporting challenges that tested their organisation and teamwork skills as much as their sporting prowess.

Finally, they were given the challenge of becoming experts in the culture of a particular country and had to create a country zone in the school gym – forming the Ponteland Global Village.

Four or five representatives from each group represented their country and talked to visitors and judges about their display.

Subject Leader in Travel & Tourism and Enterprise, Mark Tippins, said: “The students are given the opportunity to develop transferable skills that will help them become more powerful learners.

“From teamwork and creativity to financial awareness and independent enquiry, the students work together on a range of challenges throughout the week that test their abilities while informing them of important issues such as child poverty and Fairtrade.

“The students and staff work extremely hard and the results of the week more than speak to their efforts with amazing displays and examples of real teamwork.”

Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates were given to the tutor groups, with the winning group receiving the Enterprise trophy and one person from each group getting an ‘Enterprise Champion’ award.

Ponteland High School Headteacher Stephen Prandle said: “The event was massive in scale and was a tremendous success for everyone.

“Thanks to event organisers Aiden Sutherland and Mark Tippins, their colleagues and the local businesses and organisations who also took part.”