Portsmouth students get a taste of what it’s like to run their own businesses

(l-r) Mia Bichard, George Kellow, Holly Lister, Sadie Cable and Kenton Chipperfield.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (141938-197)
(l-r) Mia Bichard, George Kellow, Holly Lister, Sadie Cable and Kenton Chipperfield.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (141938-197)

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On entering the Year 6 class at Gatcombe Park Primary School, you become conscious of a buzz of activity and excitement as the children work on their enterprise project entitled Could you be the next Young Apprentice?, writes headteacher Carole Roberts.

The children are working in five groups, which have become mini-companies, each working on a product they will sell to the rest of the school this week.

First, each group shared ideas about what they could produce and sell and then agreed on a product and a company name.

This involved the children listening to each other’s ideas and then agreeing on the best option.

The children came up with inventive names, so we have: Body Blinx doing tattoos and nails; Frost Bite selling ice pops; Sugar Rush selling sweets; Loomy Tunes, selling loom bands and Shake’n’Take selling milkshakes.

Next they drew up a questionnaire and carried out market research in the other classes to discover if their ideas were viable.

Eyecatching logos started to appear and knowing the power of advertising the companies produced and performed advertisements to promote their product to the rest of the school.

There was an enthusiastic response with everyone anticipating the excitement of spending.

Each group was given £20 as a start-up and they had to decide what they needed to buy to create their product and where would be the most cost-effective place to purchase the items.

They will have to account for all they spend and so have set up spreadsheets to help them calculate profit and loss and now understand the concept of breaking even.

Within each company everyone has a role with responsibilities and the children understand that the success of their company depends on how well they carry out their role and work together as a team.

Once the selling has ended they will have to pay back the £20 starter and then agree how to spend any profit.

The aim is to develop business enterprise skills like problem solving, working co-operatively as part of a team, communicating effectively and making informed decisions.

Also they are developing and applying ICT and maths skills in a real situation.

The skills learnt being part of this project will certainly help them in the future and we feel they will look back at it as an enjoyable and valuable experience.