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Enterprising youngsters offer an inside track on learning their lessons

Pupils from seven Swansea schools came face-to-face with the person behind Wales' new curriculum to tell him what they think of their lessons.


They dropped by UWTSD's IQ campus in SA1 to meet the architect of the new Welsh curriculum, Prof Graham Donaldson, and talk about the things they learn outside as well as inside the classroom.

The children talked about taking part in this year's Primary Enterprise Challenge, a competition organised by Young Dragons CIC and Alison Williams, Headteacher of Craigfelen Primary School and sponsored by UWTSD and Welsh Government.

The children told Prof. Donaldson how they came up with their ideas for the competition and how it enabled them to put valuable maths and communication skills into practice.

As part of the challenge, 35 Swansea schools took part in a market day event in Castle Gardens where each school had a stall to sell their products. The children described how much they enjoyed selling and how they felt it helped improve their confidence and taught them to work in teams. They could also explain how the project linked to the new curriculum for Wales.

The seven Swansea primary schools who met Prof Donaldson were from Blaenymaes, Clwyd, Craigfelen, Oystermouth, Burlais, Pontybrenin and Dunvant.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Swansea's Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: "Opportunities for young people to put their classroom learning into practical action are immensely rewarding and a lot of fun.

"I attended the Castle Square Market Day and it was very clear pupils were gaining a great deal from their experiences which will enrich their education in the years ahead."

Part of the project involved teachers from participating schools attending workshops Creativity and innovation, delivered by Prof. Andy Penaluna of UWTSD.

Head Teacher at Craigfelen School Alison Williams said: "Taking part in the workshops inspired me and other teachers about the importance of creativity and how it can be embedded in the curriculum. The great thing about taking part in projects like the Primary Challenge is that the children have fun whilst learning."

Tom Cox, a senior lecturer in Innovation in Teaching and Learning talked about how UWTSD's Y Athrofa: Institute of Education, is using creativity in its teacher training and encouraging student teachers to be creative in the classroom by giving them opportunities to innovate.

He said: "Creativity isn't optional any longer, it's essential for teachers to be creative and innovative in their practice."

UWTSD has a track record of embedding enterprise in the curriculum throughout the university and is one of the most successful universities in the UK at producing graduate start-up businesses.

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