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Vision and values through Education for Enterprise at Whangarei Girls' High

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Staff at Whangarei Girls' High School recognise that Education for Enterprise is not just a learning context for the commerce department. Instead, students are developing enterprising attributes across the curriculum.

Professional learning conversations

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

  • How does your school use Education for Enterprise as a context for teaching and learning?
  • Has the film helped you recognise additional opportunities to embed Education for Enterprise? 
  • What do you believe are the characteristics of enterprising schools, teachers, and learners?

You might like

Characteristics of an E4E school (PDF)
Use the "Characteristics of an E4E school" checklist to determine how many enterprising features your school currently exhibits.


Janet Lang

When we were looking at embedding curriculum enterprise education into the curriculum, we were thinking about the skills and abilities that it gave the students. And we talk about learning for life, and we’re talking about sending our girls out into the word. So we wanted to provide them with the skills that allowed them to be adaptable, and flexible, and resilient, and to take opportunities. All of those enterprising attributes were really important to us, and we felt that they weren’t just belonging to a singular curriculum area.

Anne Cooper

Then the next step really was to sit down and look at where are we at? What have we already got happening in the school? And making the staff particularly, really aware of how far along we were already, because we just undergo the most enormous amount of change in education. And so as soon as somebody comes along with something that’s going to look like a huge amount of change, your heart sinks and you sort of think “oh no, here we go again”.

Janet Lang

There were a lot of staff who thought that because, within the commerce department, we’ve facilitated young enterprise and the enterprise studies programme at year 10, that enterprise was something you did in commerce. So I wanted them to see that what they were doing out in the classrooms was actually enterprising as well. And that was the recognition to make the shift.

Anne Cooper

Subject areas; you’ve got the technology with the Bernina Fashion Awards; the graphics class, they’ll do landscaping projects for outside organisations; the hospitality class catered for the staff dinner last night, so they’ll do that on a commercial basis; the Te Reo classes do the little booklets that they take to the Kōhanga Reo’s and read there; the sports education classes help run the kindy olympics, yes it’s just never-ending.

Janet Lang

We’re quite a student driven school, we have a house system that runs very much on the student leaders, and in fact the house system had gone into recess, and it was a student initiative to bring the houses back. They wanted the houses back. So we allowed the students to drive that process, therefore they actually have ownership of the house system. We also have quite a strong student council.

Anne Cooper

There’s just so many activities along those lines, and it’s raising that awareness. And in some ways it was taking it down to a different level. So that if you took an example like stage challenge, instead just of having “wasn’t that a great production, didn’t they do well”, it was “look at all the things they got out of that”, because our girls truly do everything themselves for stage challenge.

Student 1

My role in stage challenge is artistic producer, in that I have to oversee the whole production, as a team we all come up with the theme and idea, and then from there put the production on so that everyone that’s watching it can get our theme and idea. Yeah that’s pretty much my job.

Student 2

My role is head choreographer.

Anne Cooper

And so it’s the teamwork that they’ve got out of it, it’s the leadership, it’s that, how are they going to get the costumes? How are they actually going to get hundred different costumes? Where are they going to get the money from? How are they going to fundraise? What’s going to happen when they have all their little fights between the group, how do they get over that? Just all of those kinds of things are actually far far more important than the actual production itself. And I guess it’s that we actually point that out to the students, you know, look at what you’ve gained.

Student 1

I think I’ve learnt mainly communication and teamwork skills, because we have to work with third formers right up to seventh formers, and sometimes it’s quite hard to have, you have to have a friendship level with the third formers. And so you’ve got to communicate with them and that’s a really good thing to learn.

Student 2

Yeah mostly just communication and teamwork, and getting your point across to other people.

Anne Cooper

Instead of looking for just that final product, if you're looking for the skills and qualities underneath it to add just one more little step, and just made a huge difference in terms of what the students actually gained from it. So that was really why we wanted to start from, from where we were at, to show people how much we had. And then to go that next step, actually wasn’t a whole huge frightening step, it was just really extending it a whole lot further.

Published on: 31 Mar 2015