The Transition Year provides an opportunity to help pupils to develop skills and attitudes which would have a particular impact on their personal development and their orientation towards further study, adult life and work.
- To develop an understanding of work and/or community service in terms of its structures and processes
- To promote development and appreciation of the social and other skills required in business
- To encourage a critical examination and appreciation of the steps involved in setting up a business.
- To examine potential new areas of product/service development.
- To provide skills related to starting a business such as preparation of a business plan following market research
- To experience alternative business opportunities beyond the traditional product and service industries, e.g.: online selling, online marketing, development of Apps etc.
- To develop note-taking and report-writing skills.
- To examine potential investment opportunities and sources of finance.
- To examine consumer habits and choose the best product/service promotion techniques to reach a chosen target market.
- To scaffold the experiences and learning gained in the Business Studies Junior Cycle; The Business of Living/Personal finance, Economic Framework, Business Background and Accounting
- To encourage and enable students to become more self-confident in the steps of setting up a business.
- Students will investigate possible business ideas in order to choose one.
- Students will develop planning, research, team, communication, leadership and management skills together with production, quality control, report writing, marketing and sales, administration and day-to-day business finance skills.
- Students will participate in local, regional and national business start-up competitions as well as in-school business start-up competitions.
Content / Scheme of Work
- Teacher registers with the programme through their local Enterprise Board.
- Class divides into business groups of no more than 5 per group.
- Class is normally visited by a Programme Co-Ordinator to brainstorm business ideas and help each group arrive at a viable idea.
- Each group starts to plan how they are going to make and sell their product or service.
- Groups start producing their product/service.
- Individuals within the group are often given responsibility for different aspects of the project, e.g. a marketing or production manager.
- Groups start to market/sell their product.
- A record of all the group activities is kept in the form of a business plan. Business Plan templates are normally available from your programme co-ordinator.
January / February
- Groups complete the sales process and finalise their business plan for the school final.
- School final is held where groups are judged on teamwork, business performance, quality of business plan and quality of display on day of final.
- School winners are selected to represent the school at the County final.
February / March
- County Enterprise Awards finals take place and one overall winner is chosen to present the County at the National Final.
- The judging criteria is the same as at the schools final.
- The National Finals take place in Croke Park
- Students are introduced to the Leaving Cert Business Course
Teaching and Learning Strategies
- Vists to and visits from outside agencies, businesses, government bodies. Students benefit from seeing and talking to experts in an area they are considering for their Mini-Company.
- Group Work/Co-operative teaching and learning: Students will develop their communication skills through team work, discussion, debate & conflict resolution, interviews, and presentations.
- Independent/Group Research: Students will be encouraged to research global businesses and potential new products/services that could be viable as a result of economic, legislative, environmental and cultural changes.
- Team teaching & cross curricular approaches: Students will experience the assistance of teachers from different teaching disciplines who will assist in setting up a successful Mini-Company. Student Café could be set up with eth joint co-operation of the Home Economics Department.
- ICT Integration: Students will enhance their ICT skills from more advanced research techniques to using specific technology to design their initial prototype and/or contact overseas suppliers with the view of sourcing a cheaper manufacture/supplier.
Credits are awarded to individual students based on:
- Attendance and Punctuality
- Work ethic
- Co-operation with team members and teacher(s)
- Final Written Business Report
- Class Textbook
- Local Enterprise Booklet
- It’s the Business By Joe Stafford, Seamus McGowan
- Internet search resource: YouTube, Company websites etc.
- Articles from National Newspapers on successful ‘entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and new service/product ideas.
- TV: Dragon’s Den, Week in Business, Nationwide, etc.
- Retail Times
- Consumer Choice and Which magazines
Links with other subjects
The Enterprise module creates an opportunity to work with all subject areas across the curriculum.
- Practical subject areas such as Wood, Metal, Art, Home Economics offers opportunities to complete some of the production processes of the team’s product/service idea. The practical subject teachers are a great source of information and offer excellent practical advice to students.
- The science subjects offer opportunities to gain knowledge required to advance a product/service concept while giving students access to the necessary equipment to carry out research experiments on the idea(s).
- The English department offer advice on sentence structure when writing up the Business Plan.
- The Maths department offer support with calculations for preparing Final accounts and computing percentages from the Market Research questionnaires.
- The Social sciences such as Geography, History, CSPE provide a source of information when carrying out the initial Market Research.
The success of Mini-companies are dependent on cross-curricular assistance from all staff to the various companies.
Each year the Enterprise programme is evaluated under the following criteria:
- How many students took part in the Module
- How many companies were established to enter Local and National Competitions?
- The success for companies at Local and National Competitions
- The feedback from students who took part in setting up a company
- The availability of resources to run the module
- The success or otherwise of the links with other subject departments
- The success of Mini-companies creating links with local/national businesses
- Feedback from external agencies, such as the Local Enterprise Board
- Feedback from Parents/guardians
- Feedback from Local Press