Promoting enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking is paramount at Howell's School. Introducing the Simply Do Ideas platform has had a significant and positive impact on the work we do. It has given our students the opportunity to approach enterprise activities in a fun, visual and creative way allowing them to develop collaborative, confident and creative problem solving skills.
Rachel Jowett, Howell's School, Cardiff
Q & A with Rachel Jowett
Rachel is a Business Studies & ICT Teacher at Howell's School, Cardiff.
Why do you think it's important to develop the enterprise skills of young people?
It's really creating employees of the future..it's absolutely critical they've got the right skills. Almost any job they will do, they're going to have to be working collaboratively and solving problems together. Doing these enterprise activities [such as Simply Do Ideas], gives them the skills, the confidence to work in a team and to bounce ideas off each other.
It's great in terms of creativity because it's a safe environment for them to experiment and take risks and it allows them to say 'Oh wow, that was really good, it didn't fail, or that didn't work, but as a team we changed things and then it did work'.
We've spoken about creativity, what other enterprise skills have your students acquired?
Listening skills, problem solving skills and communication skills. I think it's about risk taking..having a go at something, putting yourself outside your comfort zone'
It's interesting when you see kids that you normally teach in a classroom environment coming outside that and you see that they've got skills that they're not being given opportunities to show in a classroom environment but they will show in a smaller team environment.
You don't get kids that are not engaged on the enterprise days.
What sort of enterprise activities do you currently do?
We have an Enterprise Day for years 7-11 where we do a full day enterprise activities. There's also enterprise team events where the aim is to set up a company. There's various stages and they'll do a Christmas market as well as other events.
How have you used Simply Do Ideas at your institution?
We've used it at the Enterprise Day; we had retro products we were trying to invent for the modern world. It made them think about who their customers were, who their competition was. It gave them a real focus.
I felt the presentations were far better because they weren't standing reading off powerpoint. There's certain things the investor will want to know and here it is very succinct and very visual.
How did the young people find using the technology?
On the whole, they threw themselves into it. It's relatively easy and intuitive to use.
Do you think they enjoyed the technology, paper exercise or both?
I think it's nice to have both. The quick fire poster [the Concept Canvas] was the starting point for taking one or two ideas back to the platform
What sort of skills did they develop using the platform?
I think they probably learnt to be a little bit more succinct and had to really focus on what to include as it's a restricted space. It's so quick and simple, it won't allow them to waffle.
As a staff member, what was your experience of using the platform?
It's very easy to use, it's specific and very functional.