'Enterprise Challenge has opened their eyes'

20 Mar 2017
PL Enterprise Challenge 2017 Play-Offs

How the PL programme has made an impact on students at Wapping High School, one of this year's finalists

Less than five years ago, Wapping High School opened its gates to students for the first time.

Built to address the lack of secondary school provision in East London, the progress the school has made in such a short space of time will be exemplified on Monday when five of its Year 9 students compete in the final of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge.

After winning local heats to become West Ham United's representative, "Wapping Irons", made up of Nathaniel Kemp, Sade Harris, Selin Coskan, Freya Stewart-Williams and Jolina Bradley, triumphed in a regional play-off at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium to reach the final with their business ideas for growing their club’s fan base in the United States.

Wapping High will join schools representing Derby County, Liverpool, Manchester City, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur in the final, where they will present their pitches to a panel of judges at the home of EY in London.

Speaking about what it has done for her pupils over the last five months, Wapping PE teacher Hayley Charman said: "I am so proud of the team because they have worked so hard.

"They have given up their enrichment time, when they would normally play football or basketball, to do this and they have been really dedicated. They have been wanting to spend as much time as possible working on their presentation.

See: PL Enterprise Challenge play-offs gallery

"The team as a whole are much more confident. One of our girls is one of the most modest people you could meet but she can now get up on stage, present and answer questions.

PL Enterprise Challenge 2017 Play-Offs, West Ham, Wapping High School
Wapping High School pitch in the Enterprise Challenge play-off at Emirates Stadium

"This has shown me that she is a confident young person who can show massive leadership skills in something that she probably wouldn’t have ever done. That is down to this programme.

"The Enterprise Challenge engages children, especially who might be from disadvantaged backgrounds, and opens their eyes to what is out there. To have developed a business plan that could possibly generate a lot of money I don't think would have crossed their minds.

"It raises their aspiration levels and that alone is a fantastic opportunity for any child.

"It's vital that there is a link between what students learn in the classroom and reality. It's the best way that they can learn."

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