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Alfriston School – Enterprise education in action

Years 4 and 5 at Alfriston School undertook a number of Education for Enterprise (E4E) projects. These included a Grandparents Day, Spider Expo, Crimebusters (to improve the security of the school), and a unit on "beanies" (adding them to the school uniform). The beanie investigation stemmed from a science "Fibres and Fabrics" unit where the big question was: "How can we keep ourselves warmer at school?"

E4E in practice

The Beanies unit began with the students spending four weeks learning about fibres and fabrics. They decided to follow the 'design process’, which works through the following steps: identify a need, design a brief, investigate, find possible solutions, choose a final solution, present findings, and evaluate. The students saw ‘a need’ to add beanies to the school uniform because it was the middle of winter and they were feeling the cold.

During the investigation, the students carried out experiments with fabrics, such as the burn, stretch, and insulation tests. From this, the students used questions in their design brief to narrow down their research and keep them on track. They developed their skills in searching the Internet, emailing, faxing, ringing businesses, and costing, including GST. The E4E facilitator made a DVD at a Taranaki embroidery company to help motivate the students and answer any questions they had.

Students were expected to contact a local business that sold beanies, source the embroidery for their chosen logo, pick colours and fabrics, and find out the overall cost. They also needed to keep in mind their knowledge of fabrics, and the opinions of their parents. Students worked collaboratively, which required a level of maturity and the ability to compromise. Following a strict timetable helped the students with these aspects. All groups really enjoyed presenting their solution to the middle school and principal.

Students needed to be able to:

  • collect, organise, and analyse information
  • generate and use creative ideas and processes
  • identify, solve, and prevent problems
  • be flexible and deal with change
  • identify, recruit, and manage resources
  • work with others and in teams
  • be fair and responsible
  • monitor and evaluate
  • communicate and receive ideas and information
  • plan and organise.

During the investigation, students surveyed their parents to find out how they felt about adding beanies to the school uniform. They were asked what type of fabric and colours they would like for the beanies, and the price they would expect to pay. Students also interacted with the community while researching pricing for the beanies and the businesses that sold beanies.


The E4E units motivated the students to drive their own learning and make vital decisions, and learn real-life skills in the process. They enjoyed the relevance of the units to their lives and the interaction with the community. 


Published on: 20 Mar 2015