Pupils step up to aid transition
A new 30-page booklet to help S1s deal with their first scary weeks at secondary school has been produced by a team of "experts" - youngsters who have gone through the ordeal themselves.
The 14 students from S6 are all members of the young enterprise company at Dumfries High. The booklet, The Next Step, was one of the ideas pitched to enterprise link teacher Jan Kilmurry-Webley from the school's art and design department last June.
In an Apprentice-style competition, she gave the pupils who were going to form this year's young enterprise company just 48 hours to get into sub- groups and come up with ideas for a marketable product. The Next Step booklet won.
The young enterprise team decided there was a market for their product when research showed there was no guide dealing specifically with the concerns that S1s have. Most schools only supplied homework diaries, for example, that contained information about rules and regulations.
The Next Step, which is marketed under the young enterprise group's Blueprint brand, has been produced almost entirely by the 14-strong team, with only the printing outsourced to a local company.
Based on interviews with P7 and S1 pupils, as well as teachers, the information in the low-cost booklet includes no-nonsense guidance on negotiating corridors; getting on with teachers and making new friends.
With orders rolling in, thanks to the efforts of the young enterprise sales team, which contacted every primary and secondary school in the region, The Next Step is on target to make what Jan Kilmurry-Webley describes as a "good, healthy profit".