independent

Thursday 18 September 2014

Pupils show business skills

Nicola Donnelly

Published 22/04/2014 | 05:32

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PUPILS from schools across Fingal wrapped up their first ever entrepreneurial adventures after they presented their ideas at 'Meet the Dragons.'

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Pupils at Holywell Educate Together National School set up a school shop, selling items from pens to copybooks and personalised bookmarks and made their own school newspaper, with news stories from each of the classes.

'They came up with the ideas themselves, pitched them to the Dragons and invested their own money into the projects,' said Mark Reynolds of Holywell ETNS.

'Both projects made profits and the pupils enjoyed learning lots about businesses and it was a great experience for them,' he added.

Pupils at St Mary's National School in Garristown spotted a gap in the market and started selling tea and coffee to parents waiting to pick up children at the school gates.

Their teacher, Neal Billings, found the Junior Entrepreneurial Programme encouraged the development of his pupil's mathematical skills.

'The pupils designed surveys, collected and recorded data and represented it using graphs. They also now understand the concept of money and how a profit and loss sheet works,' he said.

In Balscadden National School, teacher Isobel Donnelly also found the programme presented an exciting and new way of advancing the core curriculum subjects.

'We've been brushing up on our mental arithmetic and calculator skills for our project and we've been integrating it with Gaeilge with a real shop set up in the class. The pupils are conversing as shopkeeper and customer As Gaeilge. The programme is very complementary to the curriculum,' she said.

Local entrepreneurs John Tuohy of Nightline and Michael Dawson of the One4all Group are North Dublin City and County Partners for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, making entrepreneurial education available to every primary school in their area.

'The enthusiasm, fresh ideas and open mindedness from the pupils was a huge eye opener,' said Michael Dawson.

'That kind of environment is where ideas really take off and it's one many seek to replicate. It's great to see Fifth and Sixth class pupils discuss budgets, profits and margins.

'What was also encouraging was how so many pupils thrived in the difficult situation of Meeting the Dragons,' he added.

Junior Entrepreneur Programme is a ten week entrepreneurial education programme for primary school pupils and is the brainchild of the highly successful Jerry Kennelly.

The programme opens the minds of primary school pupils to the joy of entrepreneurship at a time in their lives when they are full of imagination and open to new possibilities.

Fingal Independent

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