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A feel for enterprise skills

Children as young as six can start acquiring unexpected enterprising skills, thanks to Ollie the Enterprising Octopus.

Ollie is the eponymous hero of a new educational resource pack for teachers of six- to eight-year-old pupils. Each of his eight tentacles represents a different enterprising skill - creativity, responsibility, problem-solving, communication, enthusiasm, teamwork, organisation and confidence - with the pack designed to bring out these qualities in pupils.

The pack includes teacher's introduction, pupil activities, worksheets and cards, follow-up lesson ideas and online support for teachers and pupils.

"The activities are fun and colourful and are based around the Ollie character," explains Matt Stewart, managing director of, the company that created Ollie.

Under "creativity", the children have to design their own desk tidy. When looking at responsibility, they are presented with scenarios and a series of actions they might take. For instance, if they found pound;5 in the playground, what would they do? Or if a member of their team was not getting involved, how would they react? The importance of enthusiasm is highlighted when they are asked to sell a bar of chocolate.

"There are scripts for them to follow," says Mr Stewart. "One team takes on a miserable attitude and tries to sell its bar, while the other team is really positive. Through the role play, the children see what a difference enthusiasm makes."

The resource was created by in conjunction with Maureen Watt, a teacher at Calderwood Primary in Glasgow. "We designed Ollie because we had so many requests for enterprise activities that could be used further down the school," says Mr Stewart.

Once pupils have finished polishing their enterprising skills, suggests they show off their work to local businesses in an event held at their school.

"Guidance on how to organise a 'showcase event' is contained at the end of the topic, allowing pupils to use the enterprise skills learnt," says Mr Stewart.

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