At 7 pm on the 7th July 2020, a group of Welsh EntreCompEdu participants and their support group gathered together online for a unique celebration. An event to mark the first EntreCompEdu Phase 1 ‘whole school’ online graduation ceremony. Time out from the challenging period to recognise the success and commitment of the entrepreneurial education journey of the teaching staff at Dafen Primary School.
Felicity Healey-Benson of UWTSD, Lead EntreCompEdu Teacher Pioneer for Wales, began with a warm welcome to Kathryn Penaluna of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development, a lead partner of the Erasmus + funded project, and Professor Emeritus Andy Penaluna, both leading figures in the entrepreneurial education world.
Kathryn Penaluna thanked Head Teacher Iolan Greville for the school’s unfaltering commitment to phase 1 of the EntreCompEdu project, and for the expertise and feedback tendered to the next iteration of the global CPD module design. Kathryn also drew attention to the teaching team’s resilience in completing the three-month online CPD throughout COVID-19, a key element of entrepreneurial learning role-modeled to their learners.
Professor Andy Penaluna followed with an inspiring graduation address on the importance of entrepreneurial education and its impact upon the future of work. Andy shared his own incredible entrepreneurial journey, including engagement with the United Nations and projects for the World Bank and the Macedonian Ministry for Education and Science. He revealed his first-hand evidence of the power and impact of entrepreneurial skills and behaviours on children who will face unknown futures in terms of the types of jobs that will exist, which in turn will seed a more competitive and productive future for the country. Imagination, curiosity, unlearning, flexibility, opportunity spotting, problem-solving, adaptability and creativity were a few of the competences highlighted. Andy then welcomed Dafen Primary School into the world of the entrepreneurial educator.
After a roll call with eleven staff members, Michelle Davies, Louise Fallon, Sarah James, Sheree Littler, Deborah Morgans, Faith Muldoon, Sarah Phillips, Shelley Rees, Tracey Singleton, Claire Watkeys, and Karen Weeds, the team gathered for a whole school picture.
Both Iolan Greville, Head Teacher and Gareth Edwards, Chair of Governors commented on the knowledge and skills gained by all staff from the EntreCompeEdu project, and their ongoing commitment to the development of entrepreneurial skills across all cohorts at the school. This project has been useful in building upon educator approaches to creativity, independence, resilience, problem-solving, and well-timed with the exciting new Curriculum for Wales 2022. Councillor Rob Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council, and fellow school governors, Andrew Rogers, Emyr Brown, Michelle Lloyd, also congratulated the staff and team on the EntreCompEdu project. Councillor Rob Evans, also a proactive and focused governor for Bryngwyn Comprehensive School, said he was excited by the strength of foundation of skills being seeded within Dafen Primary School, and looked forward to their bright future.