“In our view, entrepreneurship describes a state of mind which strives to solve problems rather than accept defeat. We don’t think everyone should set up a business, although we want to help those that wish to. We do believe that an entrepreneurial mind-set gives people the life skills to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. We are seeking out innovative solutions to help more young people succeed, be ‘life ready’, ‘work ready’ and independent.”
Sir Rod Aldridge discussing entrepreneurial education.
In Aldridge academies entrepreneurship provides context for the learning of core subjects and should be integrated into all areas of academy life. We focus on the development of entrepreneurial qualities, rather than only teaching business skills. These qualities include passion, determination, risk-taking, problem-solving, teamwork and creativity. The academies can also add additional qualities to this core list – for example social responsibility is a focus at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.
Entrepreneurship should feed into all lessons, activities such as after school clubs, any rewards system and our work with the broader community. All students should have the opportunity to take part in stretching, entrepreneurial-related activities within and outside of the formal curriculum. These should be based on a ‘learning through doing’ approach, ensuring that we bring the real world into the classroom, and take the classroom out into the real world.
Aldridge schools and students have won numerous awards for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education. Most recently Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s director of entrepreneurship Claire Webster was recognised with the won the Outstanding Contribution to Education in Sussex Award at the Brighton Youth in Action awards 2015, and Darwen Aldridge Community Academy was named one eleven schools from eleven countries across Europe to have won the Entrepreneurial School of the Year Award 2015, a national and European recognition of the best schools championing entrepreneurship education.
At each Aldridge Academy flexible, modern workspaces have been created for students and members of the community to work together to start their own businesses. Creates Hubs are intended as aspirational spaces, giving students insight into the world of work and providing budding entrepreneurs with a flexible, modern workspace, tailored business support, mentoring and a lot of inspiration. Please see the links below for more information on our Darwen Creates hub.
On a visit to the Academy in May 2016 Under Secretary of State for Education Lord Nash said that “Kensington Creates is clearly helping to inspire the students as well as being extremely beneficial to entrepreneurs. The Academy is a clear example of how linking business with education can drive aspiration. It was excellent to hear the students speak so enthusiastically about their school and the opportunities they have.”