Going into the enterprise zone
With the latest round of complaints from the CBI about the inability of school leavers to cope with the demands of employment, resources that help the development of enterprise in schools are more than useful. Working on Enterprise - Enterprise Edition is the latest offering from Gapwork.
Aimed at providing resources for work-related learning and enterprise education for key stage 4 students, the package consists of a series of session plans based on five core themes and a collection of connected interactive exercises, lesson plans and fact sheets on CD-Rom.
There is also advice on how to link enterprise activities to the curriculum, a 20-minute video linking lesson plans, and accompanying worksheets. Extension activities for student self-direction and guidance on assessment complete the package.
With regard to content, this package is up to date, relevant and comprehensive. "It provides lots of useful activities that can save teachers having to use up valuable time thinking of their own ideas for lessons," says Catherine Davies of the Buckinghamshire Education Business Partnership.
"However, if schools are to develop the sort of communication, time management, team working and problem solving skills employers want to see in their teenage recruits," she says, "the way in which the resource is actually used is of more importance than the content of its activities."
"Students will become more enterprising," she adds, "not merely as a result of accessing the activities themselves, but because of the opportunities facilitated by the teaching and learning strategies through which the activities are delivered."
Although this edition of Working for Enterprise has enough detail to be used as the basis for a scheme of work or a discrete area of the PHSE or business studies curriculum, a simplistic step-by-step, content-based approach undersells its real value. If it is dipped into by teachers from all departments, who then adapt various ideas and activities to the requirements of their existing curricular topics, the resource could have a real impact in assisting the development of enterprise education across the whole curriculum.
The folder contains four sections: "Handling uncertainty"; "Responding positively to change"; "Creating new ideas"; and "Implementing new ideas".
These sections, not to mention the whole question of risk and reward, are parts of a process relevant to all curriculum areas.
Each section is split into seven topics, focusing on a different aspect of enterprise. The ideas within could be used creatively to help direct or redirect teaching styles and make a valuable contribution to the development of independent learners, encouraging the capacity to apply their knowledge and understanding more effectively and adapt more readily to new situations.
If you use it simply as a scheme of work to support traditional teacher-led, front-of-class learning, or as a discrete topic in its own right, its educational value diminishes substantially.