When in Rome...

15th December 2006 at 00:00
Children take the Roman route, and hold a VE-Day party, as enterprise education is embraced

CADDONFOOT PRIMARY P6 and P7 pupils are showing how they planned and held a VE-Day party - the culmination of their Second World War project and a fine example of how enterprise education is embedded in the curriculum of this Borders school.

The pupils worked in teams, with groups assigned to handle invitations, food, programmes, museums and dressing-up, to make the party in June one to remember for parents, grandparents and other members of the local community.

Also on display is the Caddonfoot Chronicle, the school newspaper which P7 pupils have produced, using desktop publishing; and on sale are Caddonfoot Crafty Cards, products of a mini-enterprise project aided by the expertise of a local printer.

"Caddonfoot Primary takes a whole school, whole staff, whole age group and whole community approach to enterprise education," says Scottish Borders' enterprise development officer, Philip Orr.

"They are a prime example of that African proverb which says 'It takes the whole village to educate the child' and they involve everyone."

The school was the only primary to qualify for the final in the education category of the Careers Scotland Awards this year, alongside three Glasgow secondaries. It is no surprise that it was nominated for its enterprise education strategies, as headteacher Alison Sutherland was named most enterprising teacher in the Scottish Borders in June.

"Enterprise education was becoming a priority a couple of years ago and we weren't doing it very well," says Ms Sutherland, who began her strategy by focusing on maths, to make it more exciting.

With a role of more than 100 pupils (four composite classes and a nursery), a whole-school approach made eminent sense and the pupils decided to work together to host a tea party for grandparents.

P1 and P2 joined with nursery pupils to make and sell tickets and bake for their guests, earning themselves a princely salary of pound;1 each. P34 and P45 worked on "times-table raps" to demonstrate their maths skills to one and all, and also produced their own confectionery - called square sweets that look round - which they marketed and sold.

Not to be outdone, P67 made up and demonstrated their own board game, a version of snakes and ladders.

"For us it was about breaking down barriers, looking at classroom practice and asking 'Can I do this in a more enterprising way?'. It was about embedding enterprise in the curriculum, rather than seeing it as an add-on," says Ms Sutherland.

Other enterprise activities at the school include buying the nursery snacks, making an information booklet about a local tourist attraction (the Roman Camp Trimontium at Melrose), designing a book for a younger age group, running the toast bar, making school information booklets and running a charity campaign.

The school's involvement with Careers Scotland has seen it bring in adults to talk about their different jobs and encourage pupils to draw up real-life job remits. It has also led to the creation of temporary posts in the school, such as library helper and playground helper. P7 pupils had to draw up interview questions, interview and short-list candidates from P4 to P6 who had all filled in application forms. The successful candidates took up their posts for a couple of days.

"It was great fun and the pupils really enjoyed it," says Ms Sutherland.

"It's not about naked competition but about joining together to explore possibilities.

"As a health-promoting school, we are now exploring publishing a healthy recipe book, making up healthy lunch boxes and developing healthy specials for our toast bar.

"It's about much more than the 'make and sell' model. It's about empowering the pupils in cross-curricular and whole-school projects with the teachers as facilitators."

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