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Pupils coasting to success

Business-minded youngsters have come up with a money-spinning idea which could generate hundreds of pounds for their Newport, Gwent school - selling drinks coasters made from rubbish.

The young entrepreneurs from Eveswell primary school came up with the idea as part of a project to develop business sense among primary school pupils as young as five. Now they hope to cash in on their project by selling their brightly-coloured coasters at the school's summer fayre.

The business drive was devised as part of the Dynamo Project, the first of its kind in Britain, which was piloted at the school last year.

Their latest profiteering scheme has stunned teaching staff who say the youngsters are set to make a fortune. Deputy headteacher Richard Taylor, said: "I really think we may have a couple of Richard Bransons in our midst.

"They came up with the brilliant idea of making low-cost coasters. We got in touch with Panasonic and it said we could take away its rubbish to recycle if possible. It hasn't cost a penny."

Every primary school in Wales is to be given the opportunity to participate in the Dynamo Project, following the success of the pilot.

The scheme, a joint initiative under the Assembly's Entrepreneurship Action Plan (EAP) and managed by the Welsh Development Agency (WDA), is being rolled out to all primary schools, with invitations for teachers to attend one-day training courses to familiarise themselves with the materials. The EAP aims to promote new business start-ups, and claims to have already introduced 100,000 14 to 15-year-olds to entrepreneurship.

Working closely with ACCAC, the qualifications, curriculum and assessment authority for Wales, the WDA has designed a range of teaching resources with young pupils in mind. They use cartoon characters to help develop skills such as self-confidence, working with others and managing risk.

Susan Morgan, WDA education manager said: "This is about helping children to recognise their own talents."

Helen Lester, head of Saundersfoot community primary school, Pembrokeshire, which participated in one of the initial pilot schemes, said: "The materials were easy to use and provided me with a great way to teach a number of really important life skills in an informal and creative way."

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