Dragons Den-style project gives South Shields pupils a boost

Children who took part in a Dragons Den-style Foundation of Light project.
Children who took part in a Dragons Den-style Foundation of Light project.

Bright spark primary school pupils laid down firm foundations for the future after making the grade in a Dragons Den-style business challenge.

More than 120 youngsters from Laygate Primary School, Stanhope Primary, Mortimer and Westoe Crown Primary learnt about life in the boardroom rather than the classroom as part of a forward-thinking career scheme run by Sunderland Football Club’s charitable arm, the Foundation of Light.

All four schools are affiliated with Mortimer Community College, which hosted the enterprising event as part of an ongoing effort to help make the leap to secondary education a little less daunting for youngsters.

The innovative project was the finale of a six-week programme by the Foundation of Light, called Samson’s Shoes, which has allowed the learners to take their first tentative steps into the world of work.

The course has steered budding business brains through basic principles involved in taking a product to market including pricing, promotion and marketing as they strive to develop new shoe ideas for Sunderland AFC mascot Samson.

Delivered in schools, the pupils worked in teams to produce a presentation that they performed in front of a panel of judges which included Ms. Claire Mullane Head Teacher at Mortimer Community College, Steve Liddle Transition Coordinator, and the other schools’ teachers and pupils.

Ms Mullane said: “We were really impressed by the standard of presentations and it was clear that the pupils had put a lot of thought into the project.

“As well as developing skills and attitudes, we used Samson’s Shoes to help ease the transition into the College for pupils coming from the cluster Schools this September.”

Chris Hooker, curriculum lead for education from the Foundation of Light added: “Mortimer Community College have taken a really progressive approach to the pupils’ transition, which hopefully will pay dividends in the first year of secondary school.

“All of the presentations were very creative, but what really impressed us was how every youngster showed the courage to stand up and present in front of the judges and over 120 pupils.”

Samson’s Shoes is part of the Foundation of Light’s portfolio of programmes for Primary Schools that are available across South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham.