A Llanelli school has been awarded an EntreCompEdu School Pioneer Award in recognition of their passion and enthusiasm for their entrepreneurial learning journey.
Dafen Primary School welcomed Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Nia Griffith, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Gareth Morgans, Director of Education and Children’s Services at Carmarthenshire County Council, UWTSD’s Dr Christine Jones, Interim Dean of the Institute of Education and Humanities, and local business champion, George Parker, of Parker Brothers (Contractors) at a two-day event to showcase their entrepreneurial skills.
Felicity Healey-Benson, International Institute of Creative Entrepreneurial Development, UWTSD, representing as lead partner and the school’s EntreCompEdu trainer, hosted the event which was led by head teacher Mrs Iolan Greville.
Felicity said: “Out of 52 countries and over 750 participants, the school was awarded the special pioneer status due to its whole-school immersion in the project and ongoing commitment to embedding entrepreneurial competencies, even during the challenges brought about by Covid.”
The guests were treated to a full immersion of ‘entrecomp’ skills through the multiple projects and work outputs, from nursery through to year 6.
Felicity, a parent of three children in the school, (4, 6 and 8 years) and Parent Governor of Dafen School originally pitched the project to her Governing Body in January 2020. The school, recognising the opportunity to support the implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales, gave full support.
Gareth Morgans, Director of Education and Children’s Services Department at Carmarthenshire Council said he was impressed that the entire school has been involved. “The EntreCompEdu project success reflects the school’s wholehearted commitment to the new Welsh curriculum,” he added. He also thanked Felicity and the IICED for their support and guidance to the school.
Nia Griffith, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, further complimented the staff and pupils on their vision and resilience, and the depth of the entrepreneurial work achieved, highlighting the enthusiasm and passion conveyed.
She said: “Many congratulations to all at Dafen Primary School on becoming the world’s first Global Entrecompedu Pioneer School. It was great to hear both staff and pupils talking so enthusiastically about the projects they undertook to help them understand the world of business and commerce, as well as developing vital life skills like working with others.
“I was very impressed at how they put protecting the environment at the centre of their work, and were really creative with their ideas, using all sorts of recycled materials to produce really practical items like masks, bags and even bird feeders from old milk cartons.
“A big well done to everyone involved and good luck with helping to share your experiences with other schools both across the UK and world wide. “
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I was very impressed with the pupils and staff at Dafen primary school, who despite all the extra pressures of the pandemic, have qualified as the world’s first Pioneer School for socially responsible entrepreneurship. The skills the pupils have developed like curiosity and goal setting aren’t just fun but will help them to become confident problem-solvers for the rest of their lives. It’s an exceptional achievement for the school after such a difficult year.”
UWTSD’s Dr Christine Jones, Interim Dean of the Institute of Education and Humanities, celebrated the EntreComp framework work, which had originally launched on UWTSD campus, adding that a framework will only bring value if there are individuals who embrace it with enthusiasm, energy, and passion, as exemplified in Dafen School.
She said: “At UWTSD entrepreneurial education is core to our values and informs our mission to transform education and to transform lives. We are proud to be part of a community which embraces the changes needed. In such a new environment we are all learning from one another so that we can develop learners who are equipped to deal with an ever-changing world. Dafen’s commitment is a beacon of light that we can all learn from.”
Councillor Rob Evans, Gareth Edwards, Chair of Governors, and George Parker, local business (Parker Brother Contractors) and community champion also praised the breadth and depth of the projects and collaborative, financial, and creative competencies demonstrated.
In line with covid safety protocols, Dafen Primary School’s re-scaled event also provided the opportunity for the pupil and students to showcase their strong bi-lingual oracy and creativity and commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, community engagement, and resilience.
“The EntreComp (Entrepreneurial Competence) framework has been a useful means to decode and gain confidence with entrepreneurial language,” said Miss Singleton, Foundation Phase.
Mrs Muldoon, Early Years, commented on the positive focus of entrepreneurial learning that “leverages the high levels of innate curiosity that young children bring into the education system.”
Dafen Primary head teacher Mrs Iolan Greville said: “Already staff are motivated by how much creativity and innovation they can capture and build upon, from our outgoing curriculum, thus celebrating what we already do well whilst working on new skills challenges for the new curriculum.”
Note to Editor
EntreCompEdu is an Erasmus+ 6 partner country project led by the University of Wales Trinity St David that aims to support educators to teach entrepreneurial competencies effectively.
Partner countries include Spain, Finland, Sweden, North Macedonia, Belgium, and Wales.
EntreCompEdu has demonstrated clear alignment with the new four purposes and has enabled teachers and their leaders to effectively consider how Donaldson’s Successful Futures can be implemented
Out of 52 countries partaking in the project from Jan 2020 to May 2021 – Dafen School was awarded the status of first Global EntreCompEdu Pioneer School – due its whole school immersion in the project and continued commitment to entrepreneurship as demonstrated in its quality outputs in Global Entrepreneurship Week.
All Dafen staff appear in a Global Online Yearbook and to share best practice across the global educator community.
Their work has been showcased in a number of National and Global events including the global online EntreCompEdu website and café and the Enterprise Educators UK conference.
The materials are available in 7 languages including Welsh.