Teamwork to the fore

27th July 2007 at 01:00
fiona murray is 11 years old and with the help of businessman Sir Tom Farmer she has just recorded her first CD along with 29 of her peers.

Fiona is a member of the 30-strong St Peter's Primary School choir, which earlier this year went into the recording studio in this case Stockbridge Parish Church and created a CD of 18 songs. This initiative, and many more like it, is why St Peter's in Edinburgh was recently crowned Scotland's most enterprising primary at last month's Scottish Edu- cation Awards.

According to Eileen Scott, the headteacher, an emphasis on enterprise has existed in the school for the past three years. Mrs Scott is clearly leading by example, having secured the backing of Sir Tom herself at the Edinburgh nativity service last year, where the choir was singing.

Now, 1,500 CDs have been produced and are ready to be sold for pound;8 each. Proceeds will go to support a Malawian charity.

While the choir churned out CDs, P6 pupils were busy building businesses by investing a pound each in goods and selling them on for a profit.

Antoine Asmar and Daniel Pacitti's group set up a company that sold cakes and stationery. "It's hard to believe we only invested pound;7 and ended up with lots more than that," said Antoine.

But he's not sure if he'd like to be a businessman. "It was really fun but quite difficult to organise," he added.

Other businesses included The Sparklers, which washed cars, and Delightful Decorations, which made Christmas decorations. In total, P6 made more than pound;400 profit which was donated to the charity Missio, in Malawi.

However, being an enterprising school is not just about churning out budding entrepreneurs, Morag Jamieson, the depute head, explained: "There are four types of enterprise and business is just one of them. It's also about displaying your know- ledge, holding events and run- ning campaigns."

Primary 7 held an ICT event where they introduced more than 100 parents and teachers from surrounding schools to see the software used at St Peter's. Guests found out about the Picasso which is used to create personal learning plans, and GarageBand, used to create music or podcasts.

"I really enjoyed it because you got to speak in front of people and tell about what you know," said Liam Stout, who acted as cameraman for the event. "Some of the parents were fascinated and it made you feel a bit more important."

According to Ms Jamieson, the benefits to pupils of taking part in enterprising activities are huge. "The children develop lots of skills: the ability to work as a team, the ability to persevere, to take risks, to make decisions, to question," she said. "These are all things they can transfer into other subjects and aspects of their lives."

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