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. 

 

Aims

  • 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.

 

Outcomes

  • 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

September/October

  • 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.

October /December

  • 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.

April

  • The National Finals take place in Croke Park

May

  • 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.

 

Assessment

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

 

Resources

  • 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.
  • TED.com 
  • 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.  

 

Evaluation

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