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National Curriculum


Enterprise is about initiative and the drive to make things happen. Enterprising people create and implement new ideas and ways of doing things, handle uncertainty and respond positively to change. They have a positive 'can-do' attitude. Download the enterprise overview.

The importance of having an enterprising attitude has never been greater. In today's rapidly changing society and economy, it has become increasingly important for individuals to be able to spot opportunities, show initiative and adapt to changing circumstances.

Enterprise education encourages young people to be innovative, to take and manage risks, and to develop determination and drive. Enterprise education is not about a body of knowledge - it is about developing young people's ability to embrace change positively, show initiative, take responsibility and manage themselves. Developing enterprising and entrepreneurial qualities will benefit young people in their personal and working lives, and the communities in which they live.

Social enterprise is an important part of community development and business. It strongly supports the acquisition of enterprise attributes as an important factor in developing a skilled workforce and a dynamic economy.

Developing a curriculum that supports enterprise

In order to help learners understand enterprise and develop entrepreneurial characteristics, they should have opportunities across the curriculum to take personal responsibility for their own actions through an enterprise process that involves four stages:

  • stage 1 – tackling a problem or need. Students generate ideas through discussion to reach a common understanding of what is required to resolve the problem or meet the need

  • stage 2 – planning the project or activity. Breaking down tasks, organising resources, deploying team members and allocating responsibilities

  • stage 3 – implementing the plan. Solving problems, monitoring progress.

  • stage 4 – evaluating the processes. Reviewing activities and final outcomes, reflecting on lessons learned and assessing the skills, attitudes, qualities and understanding acquired.

Learners should also have opportunities across the curriculum to:

  • draw on their previous enterprise learning in applying their skills, knowledge and understanding to develop and demonstrate their enterprise capability

  • reflect on, recognise and articulate what they have learnt

  • get involved in a range of entrepreneurial activities, including business and community projects, mini-enterprises, simulations, work and community placements, and enterprise days and events

  • work with partners, for example other schools and training providers, education-business link organisations, agencies that network voluntary bodies, business, social and community enterprises, governors and parents

  • learn in an environment where they are given autonomy to tackle relevant problems or issues that involve an element of risk and uncertainty about final outcomes, as well as regard for their successful resolution

  • experience a range of teaching approaches that encourage active learning, including problem-based approaches, collaborative and cooperative activities, coaching and mentoring

  • establish some permanent, student-run companies that offer real opportunities to provide goods and services to the community, in addition to shorter-term mini-enterprises

  • enhance their enterprise capability in subjects across the curriculum, beyond the business context as well as through specific enterprise activity

  • create 'virtuous circles' of enterprise activities so that commercial enterprises are used to fund social enterprises, for example on sustainable development

  • articulate how they have developed and demonstrated enterprise capability, and why these skills for life are important for the future.

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