Thoresby Primary School, UK
The city of Kingston upon Hull is one of the most deprived urban areas in the country. Thoresby Primary is a large school located in Victorian buildings in the very centre of the city which serves an area facing increased social and economic deprivation. Pupil movement in and out of the school is high, as is the percentage of pupils from ethnic minority groups and 16 languages are spoken amongst its 450 children.
But teachers feel that internationalism provides a vibrant learning community. There are good relationships between staff and children in a warm supportive environment which “gives us a small school feel”.
Thoresby Primary School is determined to be at the cutting edge of educational practice and it has developed a skill-based curriculum to support and challenge all levels of ability. Entrepreneurship Education (EE) is at the heart of that educational practice and personalised learning is well developed.
Teachers are sure that enterprise and entrepreneurship motivates their pupils at all stages: it enables them to see the purpose and relevance of their schoolwork to their future lives and as a result, it helps to raise their future aspirations and to make sure they take greater responsibility for their own learning. School data has shown an improving trend in both progress and attainment as a result.
Teachers also say that pupils who have taken part in the EE programme show improved behaviour and increased independence. School managers strongly support enterprise as “an integral part of school curriculum” and have introduced a strong enterprise policy. The school development plan, indeed, looks towards “maximising skills for the future”.
Details of entrepreneurship activities and achievements
Thoresby is one of many of the Hull City primary schools which have benefited from local government support of, and investment in, a wide EE scheme. The city is keen to raise school outcomes so that local leavers can benefit from the new companies which are being attracted to the city by its current regeneration programme. The “Hull Ready” initiative has decided that enterprise and entrepreneurship skills should be introduced at the earliest possible point in a child’s education; and has therefore established an EE network for primary schools, offering advice, staff training and some funding.
Thoresby School has gained the English National Standard for EE. At the heart of its approach is the focus on 13 main enterprise skills. “Big 13” charts are on display in all classrooms and special enterprise events are included in the school calendar. Teachers are provided with EE standards and have access to a folder of enterprise resources for use in the classroom. In fact there has been training for all staff in the school and particular help is given to new teachers who get special local government training on enterprise skills as part of their introduction to the school.
The teacher with the role of 'enterprise champion' has support from a further group of teachers who develop enterprise at each level within the school. Senior staff in particular are involved with this.
Activities which have emerged include:
- numerous environmental events such as the study of wind turbines and water conservation;
- a great deal of work on pupil financial education;
- entrepreneurial spring and summer fairs to raise money for charity;
- an enterprise week timetabled each year;
- development of global partnerships with schools in Sierra Leone and South America;
- an interesting and popular range of after-school clubs.