As part of the enterprise strand of the London 2012 education programme, Get Set, I am running enterprise workshops in each of the nations and regions of the UK over the next year; working in conjunction with the fantastic BP Trading Challenge. The first of these workshops was in Hartlepool, which also happens to be the constituency of the DCSF Olympics Minister, Iain Wright – 'what a coincidence' I hear you say!
When we arrived at Dyke House School, host for the event, I remembered just why it is that I love my job. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the school and speaking to the participants and teachers reminded me of just how inspirational the Olympic and Paralympic Games can be, no matter where you are in the UK.
Iain Wright arrived eager and enthusiastic to see the London 2012 education programme in action and keen to make his millions through trading crude oil in the BP Trading Challenge. Once we had informed him that there was no real money up for grabs, the day kicked off.
Dyke House's sports hall was dramatically turned into a BP trading floor, as BP presenters worked with local young people on a simulation of oil trading, whilst getting them to put into practice some of the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
The young people certainly showed determination; before long the sports hall was a hive of activity as young people made a decision to buy or sell aided by Iain’s expert advice and guidance (luckily he was an accountant in a former life!).
I think that the BP Trading Challenge is a perfect example of how sponsors can use their role in London 2012 to enhance learning, whilst also increasing knowledge and understanding of the Olympic and Paralympic Values. To top it all off, the session also developed valuable enterprise skills in the participants - such as managing risk, teamwork, and problem solving. Could a school day get any better?
Whilst their pupils were busy making millions, teachers spent time learning more about the new resources that we have developed in the enterprise strand of the Get Set programme.
'Have you got what it takes' is a fantastic free enterprise resource for teachers which asks pupils to pitch to become a pre-Games Training Camp host. This was the official launch of the new resources.
Therefore I was really pleased to hear that that the participants seemed to really like what they saw and were eager to take it back into the classroom. They were even more excited about the prospect of entering a national final and winning a trip round the Olympic Park!
The day ended in true Northern fashion with a delicious potato pie and a fantastic crumble and custard. (I certainly don’t remember school dinners being like this, when I was at school!).
Hartlepool might be a long way from London, but I think that this event shows that the London 2012 education programme is just one of a number of ways that the whole of the UK can really play their part in London 2012.