A project developed by a Finnish school which caters for students aged 6 to 16 years old. The school runs a regular Autumn Market for the local community, often on a Saturday as this is a good day for most families. It consists of different market stalls run competitively by groups of older students and has become a well-established and popular event in the local area.
Purpose and process
The school is keen to encourage students to get involved in all types of activities; for example, some secondary students help teachers and parents to organise sports events for younger pupils on Saturdays. They might run a cafe, work as a timekeeper or act as an advisor. The remaining students help to run the Autumn Market with each class working together to achieve a common goal, such as raising funds for a class trip. Each group decides on a good idea for their market stall, taking care to check that no other group has chosen the same idea. They draw up a business plan and allocate roles and responsibilities such as sourcing, advertising, pricing, stall layout and selling on the day.
Students can learn to:
- Develop: enterprising skills, attitudes and behaviours including:
- creative thinking and problem solving;
- communication and presentation skills;
- confidence, teamwork and leadership skills;
- negotiation and decision making;
- setting goals and time management
- Work together to develop a business plan
- Develop and sell their product or service
- Trade with the public
- Manage their finances on Market Day
- Raise funds for their class activity
- Compete with other groups to be selected for providing 'the best service' or 'the nicest market stall' (selling table).
The school also uses the Autumn Market for meeting their national curriculum target of co-operating with families.
Curricular or thematic relevance
This programme fits into the Finnish national curricula and national learning outcomes.
How to organise:
Extra-curricular activity with some preparation taking place during students' own time and/or timetabled time with their class teacher
Assessment and evaluation approaches
The Headteacher, with other teachers, evaluates all the market stalls and decides which are the three best groups in the following categories: 'best service' and 'nicest market stalls'. The extent to which profits are made and funds raised for the class can also be used as indicators of success.
The success of this initiative entirely depends on families and other community organisations attending on the day of the Autumn Market and supporting student groups in the preparation stages
Proceeds from the Autumn Market could go towards a chosen Aid Organisation, thereby linking to activity to global citizenship.
Profile of the tool and method
I think it's an excellent way to bring students together as they can set their own goals, they have a purpose, it raises the sense of competitiveness (at lower secondary school students that can be quite motivating). What I like the most is that it can be embedded in all subjects as there are so many sides to it.
This method is also used by Polish teachers especially in lower secondary level. is is verry effective provided all psrticipants are really involved.
A great idea not only to create and develop some enterprise skills but to cooperate with the local community. The school I work in organizes every December the Christmas market- the teachers, parents and kids really love it!
This method offers a wide choice and variety to enable students of differents classes and ages the experience of creating their own "market idea" or product and really sell it. Some of the biggest Advantages are that it is not just possible to realize the autumn market within ONE class, but also for several classes at a school. Therefore the variety and complexity of business ideas or products may vary (just like in real business life). However it is also possible to realize this tool within one class - either with the whole group working on the creation, realization and marketing of one business idea or with the class being divided into different groups. Finally, according to age and experience of the students but also dependent from the time which can be offered by (one or different subjects at) the school and according to the number of subjects and teachers being involved there is a wide range of products that can be created and sold very easily or even more complex together with external business Partners.
Great idea (projects for the local community ...), which can also support the development dimension of socially responsible business in business education.