Furze Down School set up it’s ‘Cycle Enterprise’ start-up this year with funding from the CEC and Winslow Town Council.
Caroline Bagshaw, Deputy Head and Careers Lead at Furze Down School writes:
The ‘Cycle Rescue and Repair Project’ involves 13 students across years 11 to 14 who have chosen this option to learn the skills of bike mechanics, supported by four staff. The students have been involved in everything from choosing the equipment and tools required, using the budget to source and order bicycle repair stands, specialist bike tools and cleaning products.
This project is facilitating important teamwork and problem-solving skills as students become increasingly confident in a range of competencies: we are now able to follow a full check-sheet and repair most cycles for return or sale. These include cleaning, fixing, ICT (recording, photographing, project promotion), customer liaison and market research. The students are also developing their listening and speaking skills through this project and are increasingly able to ask for and accept advice, talk through strategies and plan the work required. The satisfaction of a finished bike is shared equally among the whole team.
This Enterprise project supports Furze Down School to achieve Gatsby benchmarks 3, by raising aspirations and challenging stereotypes around practical careers such as mechanics. It also supports benchmark 4 developing future career and progression paths. The intention is to involve related employers once Covid restrictions allow, such as Halfords and Evan’s Cycles, giving opportunities for students to have relevant employer-encounters (benchmark 5) which may then lead to potential work experience or even supported internships. Whilst Covid-restrictions mean students cannot work in external workplace experiences, this Enterprise is structured to ensure it offers them relevant employment experience in school (benchmark 7).