Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer with Falkirk Council, enjoyed visiting the Fife Enterprise and Manufacturing Challenge organised by Tree of Knowledge in partnership with Fife Council (Culture of Enterprise team) and SMAS (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service). This event gave Primary 7 pupils a better insight into the world of enterprise, employability and manufacturing. SMAS previously delivered a version of this challenge with manufacturing businesses throughout Scotland, and have kindly allowed Tree of Knowledge to develop it for use with pupils.
From Monday 14th September 2014, all 141 of Fife’s primary schools were represented by a team of primary 7 pupils who spent a day on the challenge and had a chance to become Fife’s Enterprise, Employability and Manufacturing school champions! The winning school will be featured in a quarterly publication that goes out to all businesses in Fife.
On each day, teams of 7 pupils from 6 primary schools competed against each other through a range of enterprising activities; from developing a brand, creating a product, delivering sales pitches to local businesses and ultimately selling their product in a competitive market to our highly demanding customers! The rules were simple; the school team with the most profit at the end of the day won! The EE+M Challenge is a sustainable programme that will ensure every primary 7 pupil in Fife has an experience of this event in some way, shape or form.
Yvonne spoke to members of staff attending with their pupils on 9th October and enjoyed being part of the “Dragon’s Den” panel for the young people. The pupils were highly engaged throughout the day and made visible progress in a whole range of skills for life and work such as: sharing and presenting ideas, negotiating, working with and persuading others, and problem-solving. Teachers and support for learning assistants attending from the schools were able to observe how their young people tackled all tasks and noted how valuable the whole experience was for all concerned. The pupils involved will take their experience back to their schools and replicate the process for their fellow pupils using a different “product”. In this way, learning is consolidated and sustained. The standard of organisation, presentation and content was extremely high throughout the day and it was great to see such a productive partnership in action. It was clear that the manufacturing challenge in the afternoon really impacted on pupils and gave them a much deeper understanding of all stages in a complex business organisation. It was an excellent example of interdisciplinary learning delivered within a very relevant and real context.