BTEC Tech Award in Enterprise at Bay CE School

30 January 2019

Find out more about the Bay CE School's approach to Component 1 of the BTEC Tech Award in Enterprise.

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How I approached Component 1, by Dawn Garey

I am delivering the BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Enterprise, a qualification which has given me the opportunity to expose students to real life experiences and enrich their learning. Our local Chamber of Commerce and business networks use breakfast networking to collaborate and make contacts and I wanted to see if my students might benefit from this approach to help Component 1 come to life. On a bright December morning at the end of last year (2018) we held our first Business Breakfast in school.

Over bacon rolls and cups of tea, my Year 10 students met local entrepreneurs, including: Ed Evans of Glory Art Glass; Natasha from The Enchanted Manor; Charlotte and Adam Wood of Woods Trade Supplies; Debbie Andre, town councillor and entrepreneur; and ambassadors from Nigel Brayley Roofing, Wings and Tails of Shanklin, and Solent Autopoint. Our school’s careers officer also helped me on the day.

The students enjoyed meeting these local entrepreneurs and were fully engaged, and the experience has really motivated them for the future.

Duncan Mills (Principal) and Ed Evans (Glory Art Glass)
Duncan Mills (Principal) and Ed Evans (Glory Art Glass)

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To help us find local businesses to work with we started by placing requests on the school’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Being head of computing as well, I've made sure the students embrace the technology - and they've been using email from the start to contact local entrepreneurs. For safeguarding, they must use their school email accounts and cc me in.

By the time I started planning the event, students were already liaising with local businesses as part of their research into Learning Aim A and I decided that the business breakfast would focus mainly on Learning Aims B and C. We did some preparatory work in class, thinking about the assignment and the desired outcomes. To ensure that my students prepared relevant questions, I had to support to start them off - "…what could you ask to find out this..." and then it was very much student led, with myself just facilitating the discussion.  

I was keen that the breakfast discussion would focus on what the students needed for their research and that the entrepreneurs focussed on relevant areas of the specification. The students emailed the entrepreneurs, giving them a heads-up to the sorts of questions they'd be asking. A deal with the school’s caterers meant that we were able to provide bacon rolls and hot drinks for both visitors and students. The students really responded well to this, they were treated on the same level as our visitors.

My BTEC group has 28 students and, on the day, they worked in small groups. Each group recorded their interviews with the entrepreneurs using their mobiles. In this way, students are able to replay the interviews on their own later as many times as they like and extract more information each time.

I am very pleased with the impact the breakfast has had on the students and their attitude to the assignment. You couldn't have got the richness of detail in answers out of a book or with a closed question survey. It made the process more real as the visitors were able to talk about their backgrounds, how they started out, providing detailed context and examples that can and will be included in their write-up.

Dawn Garey
Head of Business and Computing
Bay CE School

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