We have once more welcomed pupils from the local primary schools for the popular and successful Alsager Community Trust Primary Enterprise Event. It is the 10th year that we have hosted such an event, and the last three years have seen Excalibur establish their credentials as a hotbed for entrepreneurial skills.
The pupils had raised over £1000 for good causes ranging from Cancer Research to the Salvation Army. The event was attended by over 60 students drawn from each of the five primary schools: Cranberry Academy, Pikemere, Excalibur, Alsager Highfields and St Gabriel’s School. Each school had held an enterprise competition from mid-November until early-January, where all the year 5 children had been challenged to raise money for a good cause with just £5 of start-up capital. Each school had then sent two representative teams to the final.
The event was supported by two judges, one, Pauline Mallison, a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and Craig Parker, the Educational Partner Lead for Microsoft UK. A small group of our year 10 Business Studies students were supporting the final and many of these had fond memories of having done the same event when they were at their primary school. When the competitors were asked what they had learnt from the competition, they spoke about key ‘softer’ skills, such as perseverance and teamwork.
Event organiser and Business & ICT teacher, Dr Middleton, commented: “Teaching children about enterprise is so important. It encourages them to be creative, to express themselves, to work hard and to compete. Enterprise is about taking risks and dreaming big. Our country and our part of South Cheshire needs the next generation of young people who will create the jobs, opportunities, products and services of the future”.
Each team set up a market stall in the Hollinshead Hall, where they displayed the products they had made, and then gone on to sell within their own primary schools before Christmas. Craig Parker from Microsoft commented: “I loved the confidence of the children as they stood on the stage and spoke about what they had done. The groups showed many of the skills and thinking that we want to see in our employees, such as, thinking about expanding their markets by taking pre-orders for their products.”
The judges were impressed with the range of products they made and the way that each of the teams had turned their initial £5 investment into a healthy amount of money. Many teams had raised over £60 and some had beaten the £90 mark and they had selected their charities themselves.
This year’s winning team were called Crazy Crafts from Alsager Highfields, Showbiz Santas from Excalibur, gained the shield for the best presentation.