At Llanyrafon Primary School, Torfaen, business enterprise projects provide all year groups with the opportunity to apply their skills to real life situations. The school encourages pupils to plan, run and assess their businesses in order to develop their literacy, numeracy and life skills.
Number of pupils: 60
Age range: 4 - 11 years
Date of Estyn inspection: January 2014
Context and background to sector-leading practice
Llanyrafon Primary School is situated in the town of Cwmbran in Torfaen and provides education for 370 pupils aged 4-11. The school is popular, with 64% of current pupils coming from out of its catchment area. The number on role has gradually increased over 5 years. Generally, pupils’ baseline scores on entry are good relative to LA averages. Approximately 5.4% of children are entitled to free school meals. Around 4% of children have English as an additional language and no children speak Welsh as their first language. Approximately 31% of children are identified as having additional learning needs
In addition to reacting to the call from commerce and industry for more Welsh entrepreneurs, the school identified the opportunity to develop the standard of children’s basic and key skills within a real and meaningful context.
The school adopted Business Enterprise as a vehicle for securing improvement in Literacy (particularly oracy and writing), Numeracy, Thinking Skills, ICT and developing aspects of personal and social education – in addition to improving pupils’ independent learning skills.
The development of Business Enterprise projects fully supports the school’s mission statement:
LEARNING FOR LIFE; COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
Nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice
At Llanyrafon primary, business enterprise takes place in all year groups and provides opportunities for pupils to apply and develop their skills in real and meaningful contexts. Pupils are encouraged to work independently, choose who they wish to work with and contribute to the planning and assessment processes. Children are encouraged to present, debate and seek solutions to problems set within contexts that are real and challenging.
Pupils have the opportunity to participate in business enterprise several times during their time in this school which encourages pupils to build on their previous experiences, knowledge and successes. Over the last eight years, projects have enabled the school to develop very good links with the local community through visits from local businesses and entrepreneurs. The school is developing the literacy and numeracy framework across the curriculum but had previously embedded 3-19 skills so that all elements of the business enterprise project are skills driven. Staff plan collaboratively to ensure continuity and cohesion.
A clear objective has been to develop pupils’ writing and oracy skills. The real life context provides relevant and stimulating opportunities for staff to encourage pupils to write fluently as well as exposing them to the high level oracy skills of adults and children in formal and informal situations. Pupils of all abilities participate and have the opportunity to take a leading role. This greatly enhances their life skills and, and improves their confidence and well-being.
When undertaking business enterprise projects, pupils take complete ownership of the process. They:
- handle budgets;
- negotiate loans and interest rates with adults;
- procure products;
- use formal letter writing to apply for positions within a company;
- use ICT in a real context to present business plans/e-mail companies;
- work together to plan marketing strategies;
- use creative skills to advertise and promote their product/s; and
- participate in job interviews.
The project culminates with pupils inviting parents and the wider community to an afternoon where they sell their products. The last sales event in Summer 2013, generated £2,000 in one afternoon.
Pupils decide what to do with the profits. Examples of how profits are spent include: paying for the class to attend the cinema and purchasing items such as wet playtime games and outdoor furniture. This ensures pupils maintain a real sense of control and ownership.
Pupils display a great deal of enjoyment, focus and commitment when participating in business enterprise projects, which impacts extremely positively on their well-being.
Impact on provision and learners’ standards
Participation in business enterprise has had a significant impact on developing pupils’ well-being and their social and life skills.
Estyn judged pupils’ social and life skills as “outstanding”.
Through participation in successive projects, pupils display excellent standards of oracy. Estyn described pupils’ oracy skills at the end of KS 2 as “exceptional”.
Writing in a real context has supported pupils’ development with most children achieving at least 2 sublevels per year in writing. 2012/13 data shows 92% of Y6 made 2 sub levels of improvement; 45% made 3 or more sub levels of improvement; 9% made 4 sub levels.