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Instil a spirit of enterprise in your school

In the second installment of blogs profiling the winners of the 2014 TES Schools Awards, we’re focusing on Treviglas Community College in Newquay, Cornwall, whose innovative academies approach won last year’s enterprise and community award.  

Treviglas has been a business and enterprise college since 2003. While the school fully embraces its specialism, their philosophy isn’t centred solely on pushing students to develop their business acumen. Staff at the college firmly believe that qualifications are only half the story and aim to equip young people with the necessary attitudes and skills to cope with the demands of the modern world.

Several “academies” have been developed at Treviglas to provide bespoke teaching and learning for specific career pathways. This system aims to improve student aspiration, particularly during the transition from key stage 4 to key stage 5, when students are offered a choice of vocational courses that can be followed without detriment to the core areas of maths, English and science.

For example, Treviglas’s "surf academy" was created in direct response to an analysis of local employment opportunities that highlighted the extent of local tourism. The academies also work in partnership with higher education institutions, such as nearby Plymouth University, opening doors for students to pursue further study.

David O’Neil, deputy head teacher said: “Our enterprise ethos really does shape the ethos of every session in our college. Students take on leadership roles and help to develop the skills all enterprising business success stories need.  We offer guidance and advice on the entrepreneurial aspects of learning. This helps student to learn that success comes from resilience and reflection, as well as from the big idea.”

The model has had an enormous impact on students’ self-esteem, self-belief and determination and has been recognised by parents, Ofsted, local media and businesses, as well as the 2014 TES Schools Awards judging panel.

Reflecting on the college’s success last year, Mr O’Neil added: “The award has been a great talking point. Winning was a wonderful way of confirming all the good work our staff, students, governors and community achieves.  Rather than being the culmination of our work, the TES award has led us to develop our strategies for community and enterprise still further.”

For more information and to enter, visit the TES Awards website.

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