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Whole school approach to Education for Enterprise at Waimea College

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In 2008, Waimea College undertook a huge Education for Enterprise challenge where 300 students engaged in a two-day learning episode to create something innovative. This film describes one way that Education for Enterprise can be used as a context for teaching and learning.

Professional learning conversations

These questions and suggested actions encourage you to reflect on your own school context.

Integrating Education for Enterprise (E4E)

E4E may be introduced through:

  • an inquiry model
  • a learning area model
  • a key competencies model
  • a project-based model
  • an in-depth school model.

This means students must have opportunities to:

  • relate what they are doing in the classroom to the outside world and have a real challenge and purpose for the task
  • demonstrate their classroom learning and enterprising attributes in real contexts outside the traditional school
  • connect to the adult world and have their learning assessed by a range of people (parents/caregivers, business, community, peers).
  • Discuss the teaching model used by Waimea College. How could you make this work in your school context?
  • What approaches are used in your school to encourage your students to be enterprising? What additional approaches could you adopt?

You might like

Where are we now and where do we want to be with E4E? (PDF)
This discussion tool encourages schools to closely examine where they are now and where they want to be in using Education for Enterprise as a context for developing school curriculum. 


It’s the end of 2008 and Waimea College is taking on a massive Education for Enterprise project. The students have broken into four houses: Rutherford, Sheppard, Cooper, and Hillary. Within these houses they’ll break into teams: Production to produce the product; marketing to package and advertise; research to investigate product composition; and costing, to well, cost things. We’ll see how they got on shortly, but first, what is Education for Enterprise?

Larry Ching
Well Education for Enterprise is about giving students the opportunity to learn in a real-life situation/authentic learning situation. It involves them using what we call "enterprising skills" such as creativity, initiative, the ability to anticipate problems, teamwork and the like; and it involves a community context.

And the flavour of the day, is apple.

Murray Turner
They’re going to be making an apple product and they are going to be presenting their outcomes on a Friday assembly, so you’re going to have 300 year 10 students working in groups to come up with something, hopefully, that’s innovative. Taking apples to the world in a two-day learning episode, there’s a real focus on developing enterprising attributes and these fit under the key competencies: teamwork (participating and contributing); there’s going to be resourcefulness in the way they think (access to information, access to the internet, communicating with people in the community); and the third one we're bringing in is a managing self one called "self-starter" – we’re wanting the students not to have to be told what to do by teachers, but to turn up with energy and make things happen for themselves.

Let's see what’s cooking at the production end of the project. Grace, can you tell me what you’re making?

Grace [production]
We’re making apple strudel, and we have a chocolate flavour and a plain flavour.

Student [costing]
We’re working out the price of the ingredients.

What product are you doing?

Student [costing]
Apple pinwheels.

Have you got an estimate on how much your product is going to be worth at the end?

Student [costing]
They roughly cost 53 cents.

You guys look pretty intelligent, can you tell me what you’ve been doing here today?

Student [research]
Well basically the experiment is: we get some, whatever we’re testing, if it’s like an apple, put some iodine solution in there with it and mix it around a bit, and if it goes black it’s got starch and if it’s brown it’s got no starch. Quite simple really. I mean nah, it’s complicated science, complicated.

Now Kelsey, can you tell me what’s going on with all of this.

Kelsey [marketing]
We have a lot of stuff to do with apples, and we’re doing a commercial about apples (well apple pinwheels really) and I am, yes, definitely the main star.

Day two. The students gather to present their ideas and products as if to an international trade fare. Each house is judged according to three criteria: the quality of the food product, how well it’s marketed, and overall presentation.

Each house is going to get a chance to give their presentation.

Before we start I just want the judges to know, that I’m dead serious because I am wearing a suit.

Student [Hillary House]
OK, these are the apple berry pinwheels, and they’re made from a scone dough, with chocolate chips and cinnamon, and then they are rolled up with freshly peeled and locally grown apples.

Student [Sheppard House]
This is our wee slice of heaven.

They cost $2.95 to make, and you get a profit of 80 cents.

Larry Ching
They thought about the kilojoules.

Student [Rutherford House]
Sorbet is perfect on a humid day. Perfect for the Asian market, or hot European summers.

Student [Cooper House]
We decided on one name to rule them all, and the Cooper Strudel was born. Here at Cooper House Industries we take pride in our products and are taking Nelson apples to the rest of the world.

Murray Turner
Well I’m absolutely thrilled. To see the quality of the students' presentations and where they took it to with the directions that they were given was just outstanding. But the big step was actually getting up there and giving it a go.

Who knows what doors this exercise has opened for our students. If Sir Isaac Newton is anything to go by, perhaps apples will inspire these young minds also.

Published on: 31 Mar 2015