Making Things Happen

Welsh BAC at Brecon High

“It was like running your own business” (a student)

Brecon High

BRECON HIGH SCHOOL is a mixed comprehensive school which opened in 1971. It serves the population of Brecon and surrounding villages. There are approximately 900 students on roll, aged between 11 and 18, of whom over 140 are in the Sixth Form. The School’s aim is to enable its students to become self-reliant, responsible and confident members of society, who have the necessary qualifications to pursue the career of their choice. It is perhaps with this in mind that the School offered the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification to all its students and gave the job to Mark Humphries, Head of Business Studies and Enterprise Co-ordinator.

Mark Humphries

To assist his Year 10 students to “understand how businesses work and develop entrepreneurial skills” (part of the new Core for the Bac), Mark decided to invite Bright Futures into school.

Mark’s verdict at the end of the day? “From start to finish, today’s activities have been spot on!”

One of the elements in the Core is “Work-Related Learning”. Students must take part in a Team Enterprise Activity for at least 15 hours at the Foundation and Intermediate levels. This component contributes to careers education and guidance by introducing the students to potential career choices and a better idea of what is involved in the world of work.

Brecon High

Mark explained this to Matt Watson, Managing Director of Bright Futures, and Matt obliged with a full day programme on Enterprise for the whole of Year 10. The Bright Futures programme introduces students to the key aspects of enterprise: risk taking, managing change and having an entrepreneurial spirit. 120 students worked in non-friendship teams for the day, completing enterprise challenges.

Student feedback was superb, with students responding very positively to the following three statements:

‘I’ve learned more about being enterprising’ (98%)
‘The activities today were interesting’ (97%)
‘I’ve learned more about working with other people’ (96%)

Students were also asked what they found most helpful about the programme in their own words and here are a few examples:

  • ‘Learning that being enterprising is not about being a millionaire, but can be really fun and enjoyable’
  • ‘It was like running your own business and I realised how hard it is to get everyone to do it all’
  • ‘That the world of work involves many things, mainly teamwork and communication’
  • ‘Learnt more about working in a team and gained confidence as I was able to share and put forward ideas’
  • ‘The presenters were great and it was amazing’
  • ‘It was fantastic – I wished they had longer time with us!!’

Matt Watson of Bright Futures commented: “We had a superb day at Brecon High School. Tracey and I found the standard in this school to be first class – from both students and teachers.”

After starting with icebreakers, the students looked at Enterprise – both social and commercial. Problem solving and business planning led into a team challenge to design and make a product to be sold at London 2012. The day ended with another extended team challenge where buying and selling skills, plus budgeting, were added into the mix.

This all led Mark to say at the end of the day that his students had gained so much that there was “too much to mention”. But he singled out the following: “working together, developing creativity skills, and gaining knowledge and experience of Enterprise”.

Mrs I Gallagher

Headteacher, Mrs I Gallagher, commented: “We aim to provide our students with an educational experience which will prepare them well for the world of work. Clearly this experience with Bright Futures has been a great success and has made a valuable contribution to the Welsh Baccalaureate that we run here at Brecon High School.”



Brecon High School,
Powys LD3 9SR
T: 01874 622361/2
F: 01874 624855

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