Shaftesbury Park Primary School
Shaftesbury Park Primary School
Shaftesbury Park Primary School, found in Wandsworth London, has had a bilingual stream throughout the whole school for the past three years. Situated in a diverse part of London, the bilingual is influenced by the local community whilst also looking to develop the skills children will need to shape the future. The other stream has seen a natural progression towards focusing on enterprise and enabling children to make the most of their talents.
Deputy Head Andrew Smith explains the gradual growth of enterprise education within the school came from thinking: 'what skills do children need in the future, what are the core employability skills they’ll need?' Enterprise education within the school began through a whole school Challenge Day in which students worked in teams to create new societies to live in Utopia. The skills have been further nurtured through lesson time projects in every class across all years of the school.
Students are also able to take the skills developed at school and link them to the real world by visiting employers, including Yoti and Experian. Shaftesbury Park also holds Raising Aspirations assemblies, which sees business professionals coming to the school and speaking to the children about their career. Ranging from local shop owners to dentists, it has enabled pupils to see the wide range of opportunities they have before them.
Students from Years 5 and 6 were given further opportunity to develop their enterprise schools through the City Pitch initiative by the Mayor’s Fund for London. Mixed across year groups, the students formed teams to create their own Social Enterprise. Whilst each group showed incredible use of imagination and worked fantastically in their teams, the Waste Out of Our Space app creators were named the overall the champion, voted for by their peers in a school assembly. The nine students successfully earned themselves a place in the final, where they pitched their idea in front of a panel of judges at London City Hall - ultimately receiving £1500 in funding to launch their app.
James, a Year 5 teacher who supported the students through the City Pitch process, was clear that by developing their enterprise skills throughout the year, the students were well equipped to tackle any challenge. He commented on how important the skill of Aiming High was for the children, who hadn’t believed they’d achieve so much. Judges were particularly impressed with Shaftesbury Park students who were able to define what a leader is, having learnt it through the school's focus on essential skills. Their teacher remarked that 'City Pitch brought the outside world in and made the children see that enterprise skills are worth developing.'
City Pitch was a clear illustration of the students’ progress in developing their enterprise skills. Just as a child’s ability in literacy and numeracy is assessed, so the essential skills can be assessed thoroughly too. The Skills Builder framework enables teachers accurately level their students. This then equips teachers to better target the strengths and weaknesses of students, work out which skill needs more focus at a class level, and prepare to support students falling behind in a particular area. Deputy Head Andrew Smith commented that 'Skills Builder makes it more on par to any other lesson. The data from it allows you to see the progress being made and is strong evidence of the impact.'
Walking through the school you can see the prominence of enterprise skills can be seen everywhere, on washing lines in classrooms or on displays throughout the school halls. Teachers have seen significant changes in the attitude of their students. A Year 3 teacher shared that in her class, the girls have found their voices and grown whilst the boys have shown greater maturity when working in teams, due to the “valuable set of skills that are setting them on the right path for life”. Andrew concluded by saying the 'biggest impact is the children’s aspirations. They’ve change, they see more opportunity. They’ve been given new visions of what they can do with their future.'