SkillzVenture
Prior Pursglove College

Enterprising students' venture backed by National Literacy Trust

Enterprising students from Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough have developed an interactive new board game that they hope to sell to local schools and progress through a national enterprise competition following the backing of the National Literacy Trust.

Going by the name of ‘SkillzVenture’, the project has been set up for the Young Enterprise scheme. It is run by a total of 14 students, all from Prior Pursglove College, who are currently studying full time. The enterprise activities are balanced around their A-level courses and exams and each of the students involved have been assigned a role in the company.

The students’ board game concentrates on the Key Stage 2 curriculum and initially around English and Mathematics. Children can pick a character to play as such as Max Multiply, Diva Divide or Vincent Vocabulary; each character has been created specifically by the College students and it’s hoped children will identify with a character that is most like them.

The game has received the backing of the National Literacy Trust, and it’s hoped that this link can open up significant opportunities for SkillzVenture.

This month, the group visited Green Gates Primary School in Redcar in order to test out the game with a class of year 4 pupils and found that their hard work had paid off as the game was highly praised. In fact, the session went so well that when asked for feedback from their teacher, one child shouted out “it was phenomenal!”

It’s hoped that impressed pupils will inform their headteacher and parents about their enjoyment, and then place orders for the game.

Year 4 Teacher Miss Taylor said “the class have had a lovely morning. The children were engaged and motivated and remained focused on the games. The board game offered a discrete way of challenging their literacy and numeracy skills and we would definitely look to introduce it into the classroom as a way of varying lessons.”

Prior Pursglove College student Ricky McConnell said “it was a great experience to see how our game works in practice and witnessing the children’s feedback throughout the game, which was all positive. They all wanted to play again.”

The forward-thinking students have a plan in mind for the future of the SkillzVenture brand. If all goes well with the initial stage of selling the board games they hope to diversify into selling associated products such as mugs, t-shirts and key rings that feature the game’s characters as well as converting the game’s focus into additional subjects such as Science.

The team now hope to make the national finals of the Young Enterprise competition that supports and rewards colleges and students across the country that have set up similar companies.

In 2011, Prior Pursglove College achieved the National Young Enterprise Centre of Excellence Award after demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the promotion of enterprise and entrepreneurship education and they hope to continue the success with this project.

The scheme aims to build a connected world of young people, business volunteers and educators inspiring each other to succeed through enterprise. Each year students from Prior Pursglove College gain the confidence, ability and ambition to push themselves further than they ever thought possible.

Business teacher Lesley Currie dedicates her time coaching the Young Enterprise groups at Prior Pursglove College, she said “the students have worked really hard on the development of this game, linking it to Key Stage 2 and devising the characters. Working with the year 4s at Green Gates has shown them how good the actual game is. It is a brilliant game and I have enjoyed playing it with my own 8 year old.”

Prior Pursglove College is a sixth form college located in Guisborough, Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire.

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