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Thetford's creative minds encouraged

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:17 07 July 2010

Billy Milligan works on a design during Thetford's enterprise day.

Billy Milligan works on a design during Thetford's enterprise day.

Young minds were allowed to run riot yesterday as a Thetford high school encouraged the next generation of entrepreneurs to get inventive.

Hundreds of pupils at Charles Burrell Humanities School, in Thetford, got the day off from regular lessons to take part in an enterprise day that involved rocket-making, designing a TV advert, and a Dragons' Den-themed challenge.

Alfie Harding and Ross Firth try out a water rocket.

Young minds were allowed to run riot yesterday as a Thetford high school encouraged the next generation of entrepreneurs to get inventive.

Hundreds of pupils at Charles Burrell Humanities School, in Thetford, got the day off from regular lessons to take part in an enterprise day that involved rocket-making, designing a TV advert, and a Dragons' Den-themed challenge.

Ten-pound gift vouchers were on offer instead of thousands of pounds as Year 10 children from the school were asked to design a new drink or foodstuff to impress a panel of judges.

The students then had to pitch their ideas to three teachers posing as 'dragons' to decide on which group should be the Charles Burrell den winners.

Joseph McVeigh, head of humanities, said the young designers came up with some novel inventions such as a mug made out of biscuit that could hold hot tea or coffee and still be eaten afterwards, chocolate bars with chewing gum cores, and a night clubber's glow stick that also contained a refreshing drink.

But the winners of the Dragons' Den-style challenge were Lushka Prentice, Hannah Wright and Aemy Gilson who came up with a sweet liquorice miniature tree that has different flavoured leaves.

Mr McVeigh said he would be sending some of the blueprints to the sixth form business studies teachers to see if there was any scope to develop the inventions

He said: “There have been some brilliant ideas and it is teaching them to work together, getting them to be innovative and building up confid-ence to get them to stand in front of people to present their ideas. A lot of the skills they are using today will be used across the curriculum.”

Year 7 pupils also designed and built budget water rockets that were subsequently fired across the school playing field as part of the enterprise day, backed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Students from Year 8 also got the opportunity to design and perform in a television advert for three charities as well as coming up with their own radio jingle.

David Barrett, assistant head-teacher, said the event was one of two curriculum days run at the school every year.

“The aim is to give students the opportunity to develop enterprise skills and work-related skills and they have really enjoyed themselves,” he said.

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