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Kai Iwi School – Enterprise education in action

Kai Iwi School is a four-teacher, full-primary rural school north of Wanganui. It has a roll of 93 students. One of the projects undertaken by the year 4, 5, and 6 class was to design a fitness trail for the school.

Education for Enterprise in practice

The integrated theme for term 4 was "RU fit for life?" The teacher initiated the study with discussion about what it means to be fit and who cares if we are fit? The class fitness programme involved setting up a fitness circuit on the court. This proved frustrating because the gear had to be set up continually and the wind blew the cards away, so the class sought an alternative. Students used Edward de Bono’s "6 Thinking Hats" approach to analyse the current fitness programme. As a result, the students decided to adapt the circuit to the adventure playground and investigate the possibility of developing a fitness trail within the school.

Gathering information involved:

  • visiting a nearby school, where one of the classes demonstrated its fitness trail and answered the students’ questions
  • a UCOL fitness instructor answering the students’ questions about the benefits and drawbacks of a fitness trail
  • a parent who is a gymnastics teacher leading the students through a session at a gym and stressing the importance of stretching
  • visiting a public fitness trail for comparison.

The students then designed a fitness trail, made models of each station, and presented their findings, including writing persuasive letters to the board of trustees. This was an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their enterprising attributes in an authentic context.

Eight students attended the board of trustees meeting. In pairs, they discussed each of the displays set up in their room, which included:

  • analysis of the court and playground circuit using the PMI (plus, minus, interesting) approach
  • comparison of a fitness trail developed by St Johns Hill’s Primary School with the playground circuit
  • a PowerPoint presentation depicting each stage of the investigation
  • advice from experts
  • models of the fitness stations
  • letters to the board of trustees
  • a summary of "where to next?", as identified by the class.

The board was impressed with the enterprise and the quality of the student work. They questioned the students about the project and discussed the possibilities of developing a fitness trail.

In summary, the students outlined the next steps, which included consulting playground suppliers and designers, enlisting the help of a parent who is a builder, talking to other classes, visits to other schools, and seeking sponsorship or fundraising opportunities so there would be a high level of community involvement in this enterprise.

Next steps

The next step for this enterprise was to follow the recommendations from the board of trustees. One limiting factor in designing a fitness trail is the lack of ground space at the school, so enlisting the help of a landscape designer or playground designer to make best use of the space was essential. There are many opportunities for the students to develop their enterprising skills and capabilities in phase 2 of this enterprise.

All work undertaken by the students during this project used the "thinking pairs" approach. This involved working with a new partner each week, so it was essential that tasks set for the week were completed. The students had to demonstrate enterprising capabilities in order to meet their weekly deadlines, and be flexible and tolerant of each other’s skill level.

One of the advantages of a small school with multi-level teaching is that a teacher may teach a cohort for 2–3 years, so a long enterprise such as this can have continuity. Also, the older group within the class has the opportunity to develop leadership and mentoring skills with the younger members.


Published on: 27 Mar 2015