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Education for Enterprise – embedding enterprise in the curriculum at Kerikeri High

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Kerikeri High School Enterprise Co-ordinator Chris Bell talks about engaging with real life projects that give students meaningful learning experiences and involve the community.

Co-principals Joan Middlemiss and Elizabeth Forgie describe the enterprising initiatives that are embedded in their school curriculum.

Professional learning conversations

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

Education for Enterprise and The New Zealand Curriculum

The New Zealand Curriculum encourages schools to engage with communities and open pathways for learning. Partnerships with business and other community groups give students authentic learning experiences to develop values, knowledge, and competencies to live full and satisfying lives.

Schools design and shape their own curriculum to provide students with learning opportunities that achieve the vision the school sets for its students. How Education for Enterprise is integrated into teaching and learning programmes is up to individual schools.

An Education for Enterprise approach encourages students to participate and take ownership of their learning in authentic contexts. You can explore these questions in your own school context:

  • Do we encourage students to take ownership of their learning?
  • What evidence do we use to measure this?
  • What authentic contexts are our students using now in their learning?
  • What future authentic contexts could our students use in their learning?

Have you seen?

Education for enterprise banner.

The E4E case studies demonstrate different ways schools throughout New Zealand are approaching Education for Enterprise.
They have used various foci:

  • School-wide focus – on which all teaching and learning programmes are based
  • A particular area of the school or curriculum
  • Programme focus
  • Group focus


Chris Bell, Kerikeri High School Enterprise Co-ordinator

Enterprise at Kerikeri High School, I guess, has been given a broader focus over the last two or three years.

When people hear the word enterprise they think business. Once teachers are aware that enterprise is not just about business, they're much more interested in how enterprise could provide meaningful classroom experiences for them in their curriculum areas. The key area is to involve our community in our classrooms.

Co-principal Joan Middlemiss

The enterprising education is actually taking those authentic opportunities to get out there and make a difference and to interact with the real world.

Chris Bell

Too often in the classroom we present theory to our students, and we have great difficulty in showing them how that theory applies to the real world, or in fact, if the theory does actually apply in the real world.

An enterprising approach to education says: what are the real life projects that are going on – not only in our community, but in a wider community? And it asks the question: how can we – as a bunch of students, or as a school – engage ourselves with those projects? And bring those projects into our classroom, such that we can present real results back to the community? And that might be businesses or that might not be businesses.

Co-principal Joan Middlemiss

In our school we've seen that happening – we've seen the students who developed the Keri Reading Programme. That was a programme that was devised entirely by students, and it's working within the school. The exciting thing about Keri Reading was they turned adult thinking on its head! And that's what kids are so clever at doing, and that's why they solve these problems, and that's why they are enterprising.

We've got the GIFT Programme at the moment, where we're working at improving relationships with the retirement village that we border.

We've got the other group of students – they call themselves New Zealand Force – who are getting achievement standards for this type of programme, for community problem solving, which is the vehicle we are using for that.

Chris Bell

The year 9 programme, it's called the Enterprise Challenge. We get them to think about or brainstorm an idea for a product or service. Before the students can go off and start manufacturing their product or service, they have to present a business plan. Now the culmination of the event is a market day, at which time they get to market and sell their product.

We run Young Enterprise in the Year 12 group. Gifts of the North is a project which has been very very successful this year. This group looked at the market for gift baskets...

Female student

It's about promoting Northland and all the quality businesses we have up here. This is part of our business management subject.

Male student

The opportunity to apply the theoretical skills we learned through subjects like accounting and economics in a real situation is probably been the most valuable, and you can see the relevance of what you're learning. And that helps to motivate me, and I guess that's where enterprise education is so valuable.

Co-principal Elizabeth Forgie

How often have you heard students say: "I don't know why we are learning this stuff", "I don't see the point of this stuff!" By intersecting with the community, whether it be as a Young Enterprise Scheme company with a mentor, or whether it be by being involved in a community project, the students can see the point of the learning.

Chris Bell

As a result of involving themselves more closely in community projects, the meaning they can get from that, and the exposure that they get to what's actually going on in the community. What are people doing out there? What are the range of jobs even that are available? In terms of meaning, it adds a huge amount.

Published on: 30 Mar 2015