School pupils take part in Virgin Money business challenge

Pupils from Shotton Hall Primary School, Peterlee, at their stall in the town's Castle Dene Shopping Centre, taking part in the school's Make �5 Grow scheme, on Tuesday
Pupils from Shotton Hall Primary School, Peterlee, at their stall in the town's Castle Dene Shopping Centre, taking part in the school's Make �5 Grow scheme, on Tuesday

Enterprising youngsters got a chance to get out of the classroom and learn all about the world of business.

Two mixed Year 4/5 classes at Shotton Hall Primary School in Peterlee, are taking part in a the Make £5 Grow project in conjunction with Virgin Money.

“They’ve loved it from start to finish, from generating ideas, working together in groups and deciding what it is they were going to make.”

Rebecca Hext, headteacher at Shotton Hall Primary School

The challenge is an innovative way of teaching children about business and introduces them, in a very practical way, about the idea of making a profit.

Each child ‘receives’ a £5 loan which they then must use, in collaboration with their team mates, to invest in the design and creation of a product.

The children have been in the process of generating a shortlist of ideas which they then pitched to a panel, in a Dragon’s Den-style activity.

Following this, children will then buy the materials they need to make their product in school during an ‘Enterprise Week’.

The group have now been trying to sell their products to members the public, at Castle Dene Shopping Centre in Peterlee.

Rebecca Hext, headteacher at Shotton Hall, said: “This seemed like such a good opportunity for the children to learn so many skills through the project.

“They’ve loved it from start to finish, from generating ideas, working together in groups and deciding what it is they were going to make.”

Among the items the pupils made were reindeer dust, Christmas cakes and cookies, Christmas t-shirts and toffee apples.

“Most of the children have gone with a Christmas theme as that’s what shoppers are looking for at this time of year,” added Ms Hext.

“We’ve been there to give them advice and guidance but they’ve shown so much enthusiasm for it.

“It’s been brilliant.”

Rachel Cammiss, procurement manager at Virgin Money, said: “Virgin is famous for innovation and creation.

“The Make £5 Grow programme is a great opportunity for schoolchildren to learn the skills needed to be successful in business, whilst generating money for their school.

“Shotton Hall Primary School came up with some really creative business ideas which they then turned into profit and shows how well they grasped the concept of financial planning and putting it into reality.”