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The art of enterprise

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elcome to the latest Business Enterprise bulletin, which highlights enterprising events and successes in schools across the authority.

There’s a particular focus on science and STEM education – but with a difference. Zombie Science at Doon Academy (reported as ‘Spread of the living dead’ in TESS) and Science on the Menu in primary schools feature in this issue. A recent highlight has been the launch of East Ayrshire’s unique Primary Engineer programme, which shows you’re never too young to start learning about technology. But the arts are not forgotten. Schools are particularly strong in art and design, putting on high-quality exhibitions and cutting-edge catwalk events showcasing pupils’ talents. Grange Academy students even had a hand in designing a new £40 million sports development in Malaysia with top architectural firm Keppie Design. Work in schools, supported by partners in business, is ensuring that young people are more than ready for the world of further education and work. The Business Enterprise and Skills Centres (BESC) initiative, which aligns with the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s Skills Framework, continues its strong focus on helping young people to develop the skills and experiences which will equip them for future transitions to employment and training. Integral to the BESC initiative is the valued ongoing support from our Business Leaders.


DofE Bronze success................................................................ 2 Enterprising youngsters in business challenge success................. 3 Looks like team spirit................................................................. 3 East Ayrshire programme to create new engineers.................... 4 Project SEARCH helps students into work................................. 6 Science on the menu ............................................................... 7 Science and technology push in schools.................................... 7 Art of fashion............................................................................ 8 Big boost from the Wee House................................................ 10 Youngsters doing business for good........................................... 11 KA Bloodhound rookies race home.......................................... 11 School entrepreneurs impress Sir Tom...................................... 12 Pupils work on Malaysian brief................................................... 13 Young inventors’ Westminster visit............................................. 13 Pudsey’s big thanks to Team Loudoun....................................... 14 Celebrating enterprise success.................................................. 15 Game on – computing challenge............................................... 16 New York style…on Kilmarnock catwalk................................... 17 Zombie Science........................................................................ 18 Around the schools.................................................................. 20 ‘Local hero’ Obree goes back to school.................................... 23 Let’s get together and dance..................................................... 23


Bronze success A grand total of 38 young people received Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Bronze Awards at a recent ceremony in Grange Academy. The S4 and S6 pupils were rewarded for their activity and commitment, receiving their certificates from Alan Ward (Acting Head of Schools) and Kevin Wells of the Council’s Vibrant Communities team. A Bronze DofE programme has four sections: volunteering, physical, skills and expedition. Young people must do a minimum of three months’ activity for each section and complete a two-day expedition. They also have to spend an extra three months on one of the sections. Physical activities undertaken included everything from badminton to ballet and martial arts. Skills covered included dog grooming, sound technology, jewellery making – and many more. Pupils offered their services as volunteers in many different areas, such as sports coaching, working in a charity shop and animal welfare. For their overnight expedition, the young people set up camp on Arran and completed two arduous, five-hour walks. Teachers Kirsten McGregor, Peter Stewart and Angela Macbeath led the project for youngsters in the school and on expedition. Kirsten McGregor said: “I can’t speak highly enough of all of the pupils who have taken part in the Bronze Award. Their hard work, determination and good spirit are most certainly a credit to Grange Academy and the wider community”. Grange Academy Headteacher Fred Wildridge said: “We are delighted to have so many successful Bronze Award holders and 90% of these pupils are now moving on to work towards their Silver Awards”.


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Enterprising youngsters in business challenge success Auchinleck Academy youngsters recently celebrated reaching the finals in a national enterprise competition in which they represented Scotland – and their creative work will be displayed through local bus stop advertising. Six pupils - Katie Timmins, Christie Allan, Lyndsay Montgomerie, Jordan Hamilton, Emma Watson and Kerry White (all S3) - took part in the CocaCola Enterprises (CCE) Real Business Challenge in London, competing against strong contenders from across Great Britain in a competition designed to inspire the next generation of business leaders. Now in its 11th year, the 2013/2014 challenge saw CCE partner with StreetGames, setting entrants a series of challenges focused on using digital media to raise awareness and support the sports charity’s Multi-Sport Festivals for young people in disadvantaged communities, taking place all over the country this summer. Focused on developing business acumen and creative thinking, The Real Business Challenge offers students unique insights into the business world and training in essential skills. With over 750 entries from schools across Great Britain, 11 school teams came through regional heats for the chance to compete at the national final, held at the London Film Museum. Representing Scotland, the Auchinleck Academy pupils were named as runners-up. King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls’ School in the West Midlands Students from Auchinleck Academy,  pictured with Mark Lawrie, Deputy CEO of StreetGames and Simon Baldry, MD of Coca-Cola Enterprises, celebrate being were winners and Beaconsfield High School came third. crowned runners up at the National Final of the Coca-Cola Enterprises Real Business Challenge

At the final, students took part in expert presentation and skills workshops to develop their ideas before pitching to a judging panel including Mark Lawrie, Deputy Chief Executive of StreetGames, Will Akerman, Chief Executive of MyKindaCrowd, Gavin Partington, Director General of the British Soft Drinks Association and CCE Managing Director, Simon Baldry. All national finalists will have their work displayed through bus stop advertising in their local area, raising awareness of the charity’s key issues as well as the schools’ achievements. Peter Gilchrist, Auchinleck Academy headteacher, said: “I am so proud of this team of young people. Their commitment, attitude, skill and hard work throughout this competition have been superb. They are a credit to the school, their teachers and their parents”. Mark Lawrie, Deputy CEO of StreetGames, said: ““The standard of entries we’ve seen has been outstanding, so we’d like to thank all the young people who took part. The creative ideas generated by all the pupils involved will be invaluable in getting even more young people joining in our festivals this summer.” Simon Baldry, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “The sheer number of students involved, all presenting impressive entrepreneurial talent, speaks volumes about the potential of the country’s younger generation to succeed in the business world”.

Looks like team spirit

Sixteen young people celebrated the completion of a challenging activity project which aimed to help set them on the road to future employment. The East Ayrshire Council Activity Agreement programme, run in partnership with Kilmarnock FC at Rugby Park, was for 16-19-year-olds. Activities were tailored to the needs of the individual, helping participants to continue to develop skills and to aid their progress towards more learning, training or employment. The young people took part in a variety of ‘work tasters’ in both the stadium and the Park Hotel. These included painting and decorating; grounds maintenance; catering and hospitality; and retail and administration. Skills Development Scotland also offered career guidance to the participants, as they planned their next steps towards employment. Kilmarnock FC’s community manager Paul Di Giacomo and East Ayrshire Council support worker Margorie Harvie led the delivery of the programme, which was supported by managers and staff at Kilmarnock FC. Awarding certificates to those who completed the course, Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “All those who took part really enjoyed being ‘part of the club’ at Kilmarnock FC. The excellent team spirit and camaraderie clearly rubbed off on them. “We are delighted to see a number of the young people already progressing to Ayrshire College and building on their experiences from this very successful programme”.

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East Ayrshire programme to create

new engineers An alarm clock rug, a Calpol lollipop and a robot to take your dog a walk were just some of the inventions of a new generation of scientists highlighted at the recent launch of Primary Engineer - a groundbreaking and unique education initiative in East Ayrshire. These ideas came from children involved in the new three-year engineering education programme uniquely tailored for pupils and staff across primary, secondary and early education centres. Welcoming invited guests from industry and education to the launch, Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “East Ayrshire has a proud history of engineering achievement and I’m delighted to see this unique initiative going forward in our schools”. Keynote speakers at the event, which was attended by youngsters from nine local schools, included Bryan Buchan, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering, who spoke of the ‘engineering genes that run through our Scottish bodies”; William Scott, Key Sector Manager: Engineering, Skills Development Scotland; and Susan Scurlock, Chief Executive and Founder, Primary Engineer. Compere was Dr Peter Hughes OBE, Chairman of Primary Engineer and former Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering – and one of East Ayrshire Council’s valued Business Leaders. Peter kept the audience entertained throughout – and encouraged the children present to speak up and have their say.

The Council’s Chief Executive Fiona Lees outlined aims of the programme for young people in East Ayrshire. Guests were also able to see some amazing working models created by the area’s outstanding young engineers, as well as meeting winners of Primary Engineer and Scottish Engineering Leaders Awards.

Barshare PS

Muirkirk Motor Makers

Katey Montgomery of Barshare Primary, Cumnock, typified the youngsters’ experience of working with engineers to build model vehicles. She said: “Before we started, we thought we could not do it – but then afterwards we knew we could. When you try, you can do it”. The programme delivers practical maths and science through imaginative hands-on design and technology activities for youngsters in schools, from early years to the senior phase, linking also with Ayrshire College and Strathclyde University. The recent report by Sir Ian Wood on Developing Scotland’s Workforce led to the Council’s decision to focus on teacher training to raise the awareness of engineering career paths, vocational education and STEM skills.

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BUSINESSENTERPRISEBULLETIN In East Ayrshire, over the next three years, more than 40 courses will be provided for up to 1200 teachers. All children will be invited to become members of the Institutions of Primary and Secondary Engineers. Projects are to be supported by practising engineers linked with schools, to provide a real-life context for learning. Industry partners TMS CadCentre have provided Solidworks software with specialist training for teachers – and 3D Systems have provided 3D Printers to primary schools. Susan Scurlock, Primary Engineer, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a forward-thinking council and excellent local teachers. The next three years will no doubt be ground-breaking in STEM education and a great deal of fun along the way”. Bryan Buchan, Scottish Engineering, said: “Primary Engineer has been a quite wonderful initiative and it was a pleasure to be at the second Scottish Engineering Leaders Awards ceremony last month. The calibre of entries was outstanding and the enthusiasm shown by the pupils and their parents was quite uplifting. It was a particular delight to hand over the awards to the youngest of the entrants, who were in Primary 2. “The formal launch of the initiative in East Ayrshire is another step forward for this commendable scheme and hopefully will bear fruit in the not too distant future with the much


St Xavier’s PS

vaunted stimulation of the engineering and manufacturing sector throughout the country.” William Scott, Skills Development Scotland, said: “SDS is very happy to support Primary Engineer in East Ayrshire and throughout Scotland. We see this as an excellent mechanism for improving awareness of engineering as a quality, exciting, long-term career. Primary Engineer effectively gets this message across to our young people, as well as to their families and teachers.”

Councillor Reid concluded: “Young people are our future – and the future of our young people is in very safe hands”.

Janie Allen, EAC and Cllr Stephanie Primrose with Ellie Milligan and Emily Morton (Sorn PS)

“We see STEM subjects as key to securing future career paths in the growth sector of engineering – and all our projects are supported by practising engineers linked with schools, to provide a real-life context for learning”. Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning Dr Peter Hughes, Chairman of Primary Engineer, with budding young engineers at the top table

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Project SEARCH helps students into work

East Ayrshire Council is working with partners in an exciting project to give students with learning disabilities the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace. Project SEARCH – launched at University Hospital Crosshouse - involves a partnership between a host business, education services and adult supported employment. The collaboration between East Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Ayrshire College and the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD) helps 17-24 year olds who have learning difficulties, or are on the autistic spectrum, to build skills for employment. Through a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on work placements at the hospital, the project assists students in their last year of education prepare to find a job. Patricia Leiser, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Human Resources Director, said: “We have ten interns on a one-year placement who are providing essential support services within a range of areas including administration, catering, laboratories, portering and domestic services. Project SEARCH provides the interns with intensive, personalised support which helps

Project Search interns

to boost their confidence, while immersion in the hospital environment helps to build the work skills they need for employment”. During their placement, interns are supported by a full-time instructor from Ayrshire College and a full-time job coach from East Ayrshire Council. Bernadette McGuire, Vice Principal of Learning and Teaching at Ayrshire College, said: “This successful partnership really helps to support young people moving from college to the workplace. “The internship has provided real opportunities for our students to gain interview experience, explore a career path and develop employability skills. This experience has given our students confidence and job seeking abilities which will undoubtedly improve their chances of securing employment in the future.” Chris Creegan, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability, said: “While SCLD leads the Project SEARCH work in Scotland, the commitment of local partners is vital to achieving in successful outcomes for young people with learning disabilities and on the autism spectrum”.


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Science and technology push in schools

Enterprising youngsters were asked to use the appliance of science to come up with an award-winning ice cream to tickle the taste buds of Commonwealth Games visitors.

Councillors have backed an ambitious push to drive forward education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools, which will affect more than 15,000 pupils in the next three years.

on the menu

Local schoolchildren worked on the Great Scottish Frozen Dessert Challenge, competing to come up with the tastiest dish in order to reach the finals in Dumfries House Cook School in June. Funded by the Scottish Government’s Food for Thought programme, East Ayrshire Council worked in partnership with Dumfries House and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) to explore the science and technology of food and drink. All primary and special schools in the area received resource boxes with science investigation equipment and clear instructions. The programme was aimed at P6/P7 and used food as a context for teaching science. Science on the Menu dished up a tasty feast of STEM experiments for upper primary. Pupils could pick ‘n’ mix from a range of ‘light bites’ experiments, or get stuck into multi-week ‘mains’ projects. The competition encouraged children to make a new ice-cream or frozen dessert, using the wonders of science - no freezer required, just plastic bags, salt, ice and dessert ingredients.  Creators of the four best recipes from East Ayrshire will compete in the panAyrshire final at Dumfries House, where teams will make their frozen desserts for judging by a tasting panel.  Youngsters also have to make short marketing presentations about the name of their dessert, package design, costings and advertising. East Ayrshire Council Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning Councillor Stephanie Primrose said: “This initiative for young people brings together food, science and enterprise and allows them to work with experts on a creative, real-life task”. Rachel Haswell (9) and Cameron McDonald (10), Silverwood PS

Said Graham Short, Executive Director of Educational and Social Services: “Our aim is for East Ayrshire to become a centre of Excellence for STEM development in Scotland”. Reporting recent successes in promoting STEM through the medium of engineering, he added: “STEM subjects are central to addressing youth unemployment and developing the skills of the workforce”. A Council report in September 2013 set targets of 100% of schools participating in a new STEM programme by 2016/17. STEM has been central to development of schools’ Business Enterprise and Skills Centres, with the introduction of technologies such as 3D printers and laser cutters and a focus on workplace skills. The most important single development has been the adoption of Primary Engineer, providing children with the opportunity to apply practical maths and science to design and technology projects. All projects are linked to practising engineers to bring the ‘wow’ factor into the classroom and provide a ‘real world’ context for learning. In 13 December 2012, Council awarded £350,000 to raise the profile of science and technology in education. This is to help extend the STEM focus in schools that links pupils to engineers and to maintain such links after the initial three-year phase. There are presently 3,000 unfilled engineering jobs in the UK oil and gas industry. By 2020, it is forecast that there will be a need for engineering industries to replace up to 35% of their present workforce due to its age profile. At present, there is a skills shortage for posts at all levels in engineering and related industries. Around 40,000 extra STEM graduates a year will be needed to fill the 104,000 graduate-level STEM jobs the economy is predicted to require annually. Almost one in five 21-year-olds will need to be entering the engineering profession each year, if the UK’s young people are to meet demand. Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “East Ayrshire Council is now recognised as a leading authority in this area. It is clear that there is growing national interest in our vision for education in STEM subjects”.

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Art inofthefashion spotlight The hottest ticket in town recently was for Kilmarnock Academy’s fantastical ‘madhouse’-themed fashion extravaganza. In an amazing show, budding young models strutted the catwalk, showing clothes, accessories and couture items designed by pupils of the art department. With a ‘creepy circus’ twist, very bendy dancers and great music, the show delighted and entertained packed audiences over two evenings. Young people and teachers had worked together after school and at weekends in the run-up to the event, with teams of stylists, make-up artists and a hardworking backstage group supporting the models onstage.


Headteacher Bryan Paterson said: “The production values of events such as this never cease to amaze me! All the more so when you consider that every single item worn was designed by pupils themselves - and the same goes for make-up and choreography. “We really do have exceptional talent in this school and I was extremely proud of all who participated.” Art teacher Kirsty McKee said: “Seventy of our students were involved in the production of this show and we could not be more proud of all their hard work and commitment. They were all so professional and this, along with their good humour and amazing talent, made them a joy to work with.” 

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Art inofthefashion spotlight


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Big boost from the

Wee House

The very visible success of the Building Skills Initiative for young people at Knockroon, Cumnock, is there for all to see – in the shape of a brand new Wee House built entirely by pupils of two neighbouring schools. Invited guests celebrated the completion of the one-bedroom dwelling created by fifth year pupils of Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies on the unique programme. Jennifer Hope, 22-year-old Managing Director of The Wee House Company, said: “For the past seven months, this group of students has been working on the exciting project of building a complete house from start to finish. “Under the supervision of two of Hope Homes’ best joiners, George and Allan, they have thrown themselves into practical tasks such as laying floors, cladding walls and sheeting roofs. They have done a fantastic job”. The Building Skills Initiative (BSI) is run as a partnership between East Ayrshire Council, Hope Homes and The Wee House Company to provide hands-on construction training for young people. Since September 2013, pupils have worked on site two days per week on the initiative, which prepares them for the world of work by developing knowledge and skills in joinery, plumbing, brickwork, painting and timekeeping.  The students gain SQA Skills for Work in Construction, SQA Employability Award and

Practical Craft Skills (woodworking) as a result of their endeavours on site and in school. Jennifer Hope – herself a former Auchinleck Academy pupil - said: “Working with the students has been very rewarding. It’s great to see how far they have come with their joinery and other construction skills. For them to have arrived here with little or no experience and now to have built a real house, is a fantastic achievement. “I’d like to thank East Ayrshire Council for continued support of the programme and for funding the new Building Skills Workshop which will be opening as a training facility for the students very soon. “I’d also like to thank both schools for shifting timetables so that our students can come to the site two days per week – and also the Prince’s Charities for continued co-operation”. Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “The Knockroon initiative is a key part of the Pathways to Employment programme which allows

young people to follow vocational courses through the senior phase. “Working with the Wee House Company has offered a unique learning opportunity that could not be provided in school to these pupils. The skills are learned in context, which makes them more valuable and more likely to stay with our young people beyond school into employment. “This initiative is an endorsement of the success of the Council’s £1 million Business Enterprise Fund, specifically designed to make sure pupils leaving school are ready for the world of work”.

Jennifer Hope with Auchinleck Academy and Cumnock Academy students


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Youngsters doing business for good

Budding young entrepreneurs in local schools took on the challenge to make as much money, as quickly as possible – with the ultimate aim of helping the world’s poorest people. The Micro-Tyco competition for East Ayrshire secondary schools was launched earlier this year at Prestwick Airport by Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. Seven pupils from each academy attended the event, hosted by business leader Willie Mackie and featuring David Ross, design director of Keppie Design, as keynote speaker. Also attending were local business people who acted as mentors to the teams throughout the four-week challenge. Teams of budding young entrepreneurs applied to charity WildHearts – ‘combining philanthropy with entrepreneurial efficiency’ - for a start-up microloan of £1. They had just one month to turn that £1 into as much money as possible. All cash made is invested in offering loans to some of the world’s neediest, to help them boost themselves out of poverty. Companies are encouraged to partner local schools. The teams remain separate but become allies who collaborate and pool resources to help each other to victory. Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “The money created from Micro-Tyco is invested in loans to help the world’s poorest people work their own way out of poverty, with dignity and self-respect. As a result, our young participants go from becoming dynamic wealth creators to global ethical investors”. WildHearts founder Mick Jackson said: “We do not pity the poor, we empower them. We possess an unquenchable belief in the creativity and resilience of the human spirit and so we give the poor in the developing world a hand up and not a handout, by funding microloans and business training”.

KA Bloodhound rookies race home Kilmarnock Academy took three teams of S2 pupils through to the F1 in Schools Scottish Regional Final at Fife College, Kirkcaldy, in February - and swept away the opposition for a fourth year running. The three teams - Swift, comprising Abby Hopes, Bethany Lennox, Erin Mowat, and Jennie Shearin; Velocitatem, made up of David Millar, Marcus Smith, Grant Wilson and Jack Campbell; and Flash, comprising Ryan Dixon, Jack Mains, Scott Mains and Lewis Givens - were coached by teacher Tom Campbell. The competition involved pupils designing and manufacturing a Bloodhound balsa car with the aim of getting it to the end of a 20m track as quickly as possible. The youngsters also had to deliver a presentation to judges and demonstrate their technical knowledge by answering questions from engineers. All three KA cars covered the track in under 0.7 of a second (which is really just a blur!) and comfortably beat the opposition models. Velocitatem won the award for the fastest car with a time of 0.647 seconds. The overall winners are rewarded for their technical knowledge and presentation skills as well as the speed of their car – and Team Swift just managed to pip Velocitatem at the post to be named overall winners of the challenge. Once again, Kilmarnock Academy teams are Scottish champions in this competition - now four years in a row!

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School entrepreneurs impress Sir Tom Billionaire businessman Sir Tom Hunter welcomed budding young entrepreneurs to learn from - and outline their business ideas to - his team at the Hatchery, in Dundonald. Pupils from local secondary schools attended the Entrepreneurial Spark and East Ayrshire Academies Showcase. Former Cumnock Academy pupil Sir Tom gave youngsters the benefit of his experience. On enterprise in education, he said: “Thanks to East Ayrshire Council for grabbing this opportunity with both hands – and for putting £1 million into schools, so that it just becomes normal for young people to think about business. “The programme has been so successful that we now want to make it available in all of Ayrshire, following East Ayrshire’s lead. “It’s not about producing a conveyer belt of entrepreneurs. It’s about developing the correct mindset in our pupils. Entrepreneurship is an attitude of mind”. Teams from each of the schools pitched their ideas to Sir Tom, his Espark ‘chiclets’, local business leaders and Council officials - and ably answered some tough questions from the audience.

Sir Tom with the Doon Academy team

Business leaders including Marie Macklin (Klin Group), Heather Dunk (Ayrshire College), Willie Mackie (Chamber of Commerce) and David Ross (Keppie Design) were very impressed by the teenagers’ confident presentations. Guest speaker Heather Dunk, Principal of the new Ayrshire College, spoke about the need for a joined-up approach between the education sector, the community and enterprise, to encourage entrepreneurship. Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “The future looks bright for enterprise in East Ayrshire – and it’s great to know we are leading the way locally and nationally in this.”

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Pupils work on Malaysian brief


Pupils Lauren Dodds, Erin Darby and Katie Murdoch, with HT Janis Teale, Acting Head of Schools Alan Ward and teacher Neil Henderson

Youngsters in Grange Academy, Kilmarnock, recently had the opportunity to contribute to the design of a new £40 million sports development in Malaysia, thanks to a unique partnership with leading architectural practice Keppie Design. Keppie recently completed the detailed design for a new International Sports Village commissioned by the Malaysian Government and located in the heart of Medini, destined to be the country’s second city after Kuala Lumpur. The complex comprises community and development pitches for various sports including a ‘Wembley’ replica football pitch and a tenwicket international standard cricket oval with temporary accommodation for 20,000 spectators. As part of Keppie’s long-standing enterprise collaboration with East Ayrshire Council, pupils at Grange Academy were challenged to produce a series of 3D models of the scheme, to be used as part of the final client presentation in Kuala Lumpur. Third-year Grange students were also briefed to provide design solutions for a hotel which will be a key feature of the sports village. The youngsters will visit Keppie’s office in Glasgow to present plans before a final judging session later in the year. The project will be on site later this year and is scheduled for completion in 2016. David Ross of Keppie Design is one of East Ayrshire Council’s designated business leaders, working with local schools to help drive forward East Ayrshire’s ambitious £1 million Business Enterprise Fund, to help prepare young people for the world of work. He said: “We feel an obligation to be contributing to the development of creative skills in schools. Setting design projects which form a core part of the curriculum helps us introduce the profession at an early stage, when kids are still considering wider options”. Councillor Eoghann MacColl, East Ayrshire Council Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “The Council’s Business Enterprise Fund helped schools to buy cutting edge equipment, such as Grange Academy’s 3D printer, which has really paid off in terms of advancing young people’s skills for employability”.

L>R Rob Clements, Andrew McCluskie, teacher Tom Barclay, David Ross of Keppie Design, Grange Acting HT Kenny Reilly and Natasha Cree

Young inventors’ Westminster visit Their stunning powers of invention helped three lucky local youngsters win an all-expenses paid trip to London. Katie Murdoch, Erin Derby and Lauren Dodds - all in S3 at James Hamilton Academy – attended the We Made It! awards ceremony at Westminster in March. The competition brief was to let their imaginations run wild and design a gadget, toy or gizmo that didn’t already exist. Supported by technical education teacher Neil Henderson, the girls came up with a waterproof, inflatable mobile phone cover. Idea was that if you dropped your phone into water, it would float and not be damaged by water ingress. The UK-wide competition encouraged schoolchildren to submit designs for a new product which could potentially be built in one of the UK’s seven Fab-Labs. Katie, Lauren and Erin were nominated for their invention by Cathy Jamieson, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun. Headteacher Janis Teale said: “There were over 500 entries in the competition and the top 16, including our group, were invited to the parliamentary reception in London”. Katie Murdoch added: “We really enjoyed the challenge and are proud of what we achieved through working together as a team”. Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “Our business enterprise initiative in schools is really inspiring youngsters to think outside the box. “We Made It! is an exciting competition which gets pupils thinking about jobs in manufacturing. The brief highlights the all-important fact that the industry is about design, creativity and teamwork - not just hands-on making. “This is the innovative spirit which we are developing in our young people in East Ayrshire”.

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Pudsey’s big thanks to

Team Loudoun Big-hearted kids from an East Ayrshire school took centrestage at the Children in Need extravaganza in BBC Scotland’s Glasgow studios – and were thanked by compere Jackie Bird for raising an amazing £134,038. Depute Headteacher Eleanor McLean and pupils from Loudoun Academy joined in the celebrations, broadcast live to millions across the UK. A film of Loudoun’s fundraising events was screened, including interviews with Pudsey’s Pal, Mrs McLean. In an amazing week of activities, staff and young people at the Galston school this year raised £11,262 for the charity, bringing their grand total to over £134,000 since 1997. Featured events which turned pennies into pounds were the 5K ‘Tour de Loudoun’ and Pudsey’s 5K Kanter, in Loudoun Castle park. Hundreds of pupils joined in mass zumba warm-up sessions and Kilmarnock FC goalkeeper (and former pupil) Craig Samson gave the youngsters tips in the Beat the Goalie competition. Pupils and teachers also took part in the Seven Summits Challenge at Newmilns Ski Centre, staff karaoke, slave auctions, a catwalk fashion show and Stars In their Eyes. Eleanor McLean said: “The reward for all of us is to know that we have done something worthwhile to make a real difference to children in need in our local area… and had lots of fun along the way!” Headteacher Linda McAulay- Griffiths said: “Team Loudoun’s phenomenal track record with Children In Need is well known across Ayrshire and indeed nationally. “I have been struck by the willingness and generosity of pupils, staff and community partners in giving of time and money to support this fabulous cause”.



Celebrating enterprise success Local business leaders, school staff and Councillors met to reflect on the impact of East Ayrshire Council’s £1 million Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) on schools.

They were particularly keen to hear direct from the experts – the pupils involved in working with local businesses, in order to develop skills to prepare them for the world of work. Welcoming guests to Kilmarnock’s Burns Monument Centre, Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “Strong and effective partnership working is key for us being able to deliver a vibrant and imaginative programme of activity for our young people”.

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Alan Ward, Acting Head of Schools, provided an update on the work being taken forward under the Council’s strategic priority of raising educational attainment and ensuring young people are ‘work ready’. Pupils from Auchinleck, Loudoun and St Joseph’s Academies spoke about the positive impact of the BEF in their schools and about excellent partnerships with their business leaders. The youngsters described the new, exciting experiences which had been made available to them through events such as the Sir Tom Hunter Challenge, the Interaction design project and many other programmes offering pupils the chance to learn from experts in reallife business situations. Fiona Lees, East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive, said: “The generosity of our business leaders has been breathtaking – quite humbling. “You have challenged us to develop our thinking – and you have shone a light on our young people’s successes and good news. “It’s important now to hear from local employers about how we need to move forward into the future”. Councillor Douglas Reid said: “Our Business Enterprise and Skills Centres initiative, which aligns with the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s skills framework, continues its strong focus on helping young people to develop skills and experiences to equip them for future transitions to employment and training, both locally and nationally. “Integral to the initiative is the highly valued ongoing support from our business leaders”.

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Game on – computing challenge Young game inventors from across Ayrshire gathered at Auchinleck Academy to compete in the first ever Ayrshire Schools Computing Games Challenge. Teams of programmers from Auchinleck Academy, Doon Academy, Stewarton Academy, Ardrossan Academy and Prestwick Academy presented their new games to a panel of expert judges. The event was sponsored by Glasgow software company Tsumanga Studios, with prizes to the value of £250 for various categories.  Judges were Graeme Harvey, Chief Executive and Iain Hunter, Technical Director, both Tsumanga; Janice McGill, school librarian and keen gamer; and Dale Parker, Advanced Higher Computing student.

There were five award categories, with Amazon vouchers to the value of £50 for each winning team. Graeme Harvey of Tsumanga said: “The games competition was an amazing and inspiring day. We saw so much potential in the pupils creating such great games in such a short space of time. “The age ranges covered S1 to S3 and the pupils acted in a mature and professional manner, which gave us much hope for the future of the Scottish games industry and entrepreneurialism in Scotland. “Overall, the quality and attitude of the competitors were simply world class. Ayrshire should be very proud of the next generation it is producing.”

Winners of Best Graphics were Joshua Gibson and Daniel Dutton, Doon Academy, for ‘Wasteland Walker’. Winners of Best Design were Ryan McMillan and Jamie Geddes, Doon Academy, for ‘Turbo Racer’. Winners of Commercial Potential were Kyle Arloe and Eoghan Goudie, Auchinleck Academy, for ‘Meteor Dodge’. Winner of Best Use of Technology was Conor Docherty-Craig, Auchinleck Academy, for ‘Random Sprite Game’. Prize for the Most Playable Game went to Connell Morton and Ben Wassell, Auchinleck Academy, for ‘Shuttle Shooter’. An extra prize was awarded for the most outstanding presentation – and this went to Sophie Gribben and Marie-Ann Tolmie, Ardrossan Academy, for ‘Attack on Squirreldom’.

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NewYork style …on Kilmarnock catwalk

Youngsters put on a stunning ‘New York City’ themed fashion show to a packed and appreciative audience at James Hamilton Academy, Kilmarnock. The catwalk parade was organised by the Creative Industries class, but involved pupils of all ages. Some strutted their stuff on the night, while others undertook backstage duties such as filming and photography. The show also starred children from associated primaries - New Farm, Silverwood and Onthank. James Hamilton Academy art and design teachers had visited the schools to help budding young designers create cool hats which were modelled on the night. The New York theme provided a vibrant backdrop to the show, which also featured customised punk clothing and ethnic jewellery (S1); paper jewellery and scarves (S2); theatrical masks (S3); corsets and body adornment (S4); and Advanced Higher textile garments (S5/6). Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “Last year we saw more school leavers than ever reach positive career destinations. It is exemplary practice like this that assists such success for our young people. “The creative display of fashion, textiles and jewellery highlighted the fact that the learning experience is not only about examinations, but also about wider achievement”. Headteacher Janis Teale said: “This event provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils of all ages within our Learning Community, from P7 to S6, to develop their creative and enterprise skills and to work together to showcase their work to the local community”.

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It might have looked like a scene from apocalyptic zombie thriller World War Z – but it was in fact an educational experience which was underway in Doon Academy…

Students learn through

Zombie Science Sixty intrepid students from Kilmarnock Academy, St Joseph’s Academy, Auchinleck Academy and Cumnock Academy travelled to Dalmellington to join 160 Doon pupils in the full-on ‘Zombie Science’ event, which was organised by head boy Frazer Buchanan and his team. Doon Academy headteacher John MacKenzie welcomed the visitors to a series of mind-bending science workshops with a difference, including the ‘Animal Man’ and the planetarium - followed by an amazing keynote Zombie Lecture. Zombie Science 1Z is a spoof lecture on the real science behind the undead. Featuring a multi-media presentation, live demonstrations and an online exam certified by the Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies (ZITS), Theoretical Zombiologist Doctor Austin explained how a zombie outbreak might occur, its effect on humans and, importantly, how to stop it. The Zombie Science project is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the University of Glasgow.

In the planetarium

Nicole Millar, Doon Academy, with ‘Animal Man’ David McHarg

The Animal Man educated students about strange, exotic creatures from across the globe. In an exhibition featuring live animals, the budding young scientists learned about ecosystems, classification and habitats.

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Pupils learn that clean hands are crucial in zombie warfare

Those who fancied something more out of this world took a tour of the cosmos in the nearby Scottish Dark Sky Observatory Planetarium. Giving students an insight into the study of astronomy in an interactive 3-D environment, the exhibition showed young people what careers in astronomy could offer. The day also featured guest speakers from the fields of forensic science, inventing, and pharmaceutical research. Headteacher John MacKenzie said: “Frazer Buchanan, who co-ordinated the event, thought it would inspire young people to study the sciences and seek careers in related fields. We feel that more pupils should opt to study these areas, as science and engineering offer good employment prospects�.


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Around the schools… Cumnock Academy Class Art Following their success in the 2013 Sir Tom Hunter Challenge, Cumnock Academy’s Class Art business has gone from strength to strength. Winning the audience prize of £1000 provided a much-needed cash injection allowing the team to buy specialist printing equipment and diversify their product range. T-shirts, posters, cards, mugs and decorated bags all proudly display the best examples of pupils’ work, providing encouragement and motivation. Pupils themselves select the best work and quality assure the final products. Last year’s art department exhibition saw orders totalling over £1000 being placed and at the school’s Xmas Fayre in December sales were a very healthy £500. The successful team led by Bryonnie Masson, Amy Thomson, Helena Baldassarra and Lauren McKenzie are all S6 pupils and will leave a thriving business when they move on from school to take up university placements. Terraessa Lopez, PT Art & Design, has been a driving force behind the successful venture.

Cumnock Come Dancing

Senior Pupils’ Fundraising

Cumnock came dancing on 19 February in the school’s annual show organised by Hazel Malakoty of the PE department and her team of helpers.

Cumnock Academy’s S6 pupils were very busy fundraising for the annual prom at Lochside House Hotel.

They put together a show Bruce Forsythe would have been proud to host. The event raised over £1200 for Clik Sargent and brought together associated primary schools and community groups. Highland dancing, la Roque, hip-hop and street dancing were all enjoyed by an appreciative audience. Parents and carers enjoyed a fabulous evening in the beautifully decorated hall, thanks to the support of local business Cover the Big Day. Refreshments were provided too, courtesy of the school’s home economics department and served by a willing team of waitresses. Every year the programme gets better and better. Watch this space next year…

Micro – Tyco Cumnock pupils participated in the Micro Tyco competition, successfully turning £1 into over £800. Led by Joanna Watson of the Design and Technologies Department, S3 pupils Tham Gama, Rachel Tennant, Sean Riddall, Lauryn Jess, Rachel Murray, Chloe Schoffield, Leiah Watson, Amy Barr and Nadine James worked with senior pupils Nicole Black, Nicole McClue and Leah Hart. ‘Wear a Onsie for One Pound’, kick-started the pupils’ efforts, followed by a much-needed car wash (supported by ASDA), raffle and sale of Valentine’s Day lollipops. While the team might not have won the competition, they had a lot of fun trying and are to be commended for their efforts.

As the event becomes more and more spectacular, so fundraising is needed to pay for fireworks, table decorations (no plain white cloths here!), chocolate fountains and so on. This year, the fundraisers, led by school captains Bryonie Masson, Lauren McKenzie, Alistair Guthrie and Adam Neilson, have held discos, bake sales, sold Xmas candy canes and organised a successful staff/pupil quiz. Planning a prom for almost 200 people is no mean feat but the team ensured another glittering event for the school.

World Host A group of S5 and 6 pupils successfully passed a training programme delivered by ‘people 1st’. The programme, entitled ‘World Host’, has been used to train volunteers and staff for the London 2012 Olympics, along with personnel in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. Pupils were able to understand and appreciate the importance of excellent customer service skills. The hope is that pupils will have stronger CVs and applications if applying for employment in hospitality and tourism.

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Around the schools… Stewarton Academy Young enterprise Stewarton Academy Young Enterprise group is running a company called ‘Ayrshire Memories’. The project aims to foster relationships with the older generation by bringing stories of the past to the youth of today. The team has produced a book called ‘Stewarton Memories’ which contains many old pictures of the area. Pupils also interviewed older people in the community with a view to producing a DVD. Ten per cent of all profits will be donated to Alzheimer Scotland.

Careers conference All S3 pupils had the opportunity to meet with local businesses to discuss career possibilities and requirements. Young people selected two areas from manufacturing, professional, retail, creative arts and health and leisure. Delegates included a teacher, a translator, EDF Energy, UWS, Hyspec Engineering, Land Engineering, Ayrshire College, Corsehill dentist, NHS, East Ayrshire Leisure, Sainsbury’s and Centrestage.  

Employment preparation Representatives from Stewarton Sainsbury’s helped S4 pupils to fill in applications, complete aptitude tests and take part in mock interviews to help them prepare for the world of work. This was a very useful experience for our young workers of the future.

Micro Tyco Five S3 teams from Stewarton Academy participated in the challenge.

Team Europe Stewarton Academy beat off stiff competition from across Scotland to be selected as one of six finalists in the Scottish European Educational Trust’s ‘Our Europe’ competition. Schools were invited to make a video to explain how being part of the European Union was beneficial. The Stewarton team decided to appeal to a younger audience and put all their information into a quiz style format. Although the Stewarton Academy team was beaten at the last hurdle, they had a fantastic day, learned new skills and worked with some very interesting people.

Interaction 2 S2 pupils have embarked on the Interaction 2 project in conjunction with architects Keppie Design. Pupils are tasked with designing a ‘contemplative learning pod in the woods’, to be constructed in the grounds of Dumfries House. Youngsters will participate in a variety of school-based tasks, coupled with visits to Dumfries House.

Each team set about the fundraising task with great enthusiasm and came up with a range of business ideas which were quickly put into action. Jim English and Andy Currans from local business Hyspec Engineering mentored the young people throughout the process. They received advice on setting targets, tracking progress, carrying out market research and marketing products.  Altogether, Stewarton Academy pupils raised £1363.19. The money will be used by WildHearts to fund micro-loans and business training for people in the developing world – and the pupils eagerly await news of the people they have helped to find their own way out of poverty.

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Around the schools… Kilmarnock Academy ASDA business trip


S5/6 pupils had an enjoyable afternoon at ASDA, Kilmarnock. At Connect we have been promoting enterprising attitudes by making entrepreneurial connections through our wider The business was very much geared to giving the young people an curricular activities. insight into the application and recruitment process, taking them through some of the activities that would be involved. One of the pupils has since achieved a part-time job at ASDA. The pupils learned about stock control, sales and marketing promotions and financial information. They also took a tour of the workplace and heard presentations by the sales and security managers. All found it fascinating how much money senior members of staff working within the retail industry could achieve!

S4 mock interviews In partnership with James Hamilton Academy, our S4 pupils were provided with a choice of nine jobs for which to apply. Jobs available included engineering apprenticeships, waiting staff at various locations, jobs within the Council’s Leisure Development team and working with the NHS as a healthcare assistant. This built on skills developed in our own school programme, where interviews were carried out in November 2013. These are vital skills that will ensure pupils are better equipped for the world of work and will make them more marketable to employers.

Sir Tom with Kilmarnock Academy’s young entrepreneurs at the Hatchery

Through outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hillwalking, we draw attention to leadership, team work and critical thinking skills. We have also talked about what careers can be had in an outdoor setting such as mountain guiding/instructing, gamekeeping/wardening - and how we can apply these skills in the world of work. We put emphasis on ideas and critical skills that will be beneficial for pupils’ participation in future learning, in the community and in their transition into the world of work.

Hatchery visit Following on the success of three S4 pupils where they finished second in the 2013 Sir Tom Hunter Challenge, the enterprising youngsters attended an Entrepreneurial Spark seminar at Sir Tom Hunter’s Hatchery in Dundonald. Again, they delivered an excellent presentation which received unanimous praise from fellow pupils and business leaders. They were given some valuable advice and hope soon to be able to further their idea. It is hoped that they will be able to pass on their experience and enthusiasm to other pupils competing in the 2014 Challenge.


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‘Local hero’ Obree goes back to school Lucky youngsters at Cumnock Academy were delighted to welcome cycling superstar Graeme Obree to the school. World record holder, former world champion cyclist and innovator Graeme Obree spoke to around 300 S1 and S6 pupils about his eventful life and his inspirations. He talked about the continual search for each person to find the ‘thing’ that they might be good at. Graeme highlighted the importance of each individual - and the world of opportunity, just waiting for young people to enjoy. In 1993, Graeme broke one of cycling’s most prestigious records, the hour, travelling over 51km on the velodrome in Hamar, Norway.

He accomplished this on his now-famous home-built bike, which used part of an old washing machine. He then went on to become World Champion several times, beating some of the very best cyclists around the globe.   Teacher Stephen Robson said: “We were incredibly honoured to accept Graeme’s personal offer to visit, as part of our Skills for Life programme”. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy said: “Graeme is a genius in the true sense of the word. His uncanny ability to tackle problems from an angle that no-one else could have thought of, makes him a one-off. An original”.

Let’s get together and dance Kind-hearted Grange Academy youngsters who wanted to ‘give something back to the community’ worked hard to organise an event for local older people – and had lots of fun along the way. A group of S2 enterprise pupils organised a tea dance with a difference in Grange Academy for 50 residents of Grange, Craigie, Lizdean, Springhill and Torrance House nursing homes, as well as Dundonald House and Howard House. And their lucky guests had a ball, enjoying not only refreshments, but also a rock ‘n’ roll show, a big band tribute act, bingo, and ballroom dancing. Pupils worked in teams to organise different aspects of the event. One group choreographed the show; another team purchased food using profit made from bath bomb sales; while others took charge of designing invitations, decorating tables and ordering equipment. On the day, the young people welcomed their guests – and joined in lots of dances. Teacher Scott McGarvey said: “The young people enjoyed having the opportunity to work with older people and really pulled together to create this very successful event”.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “Not all enterprise is about making and selling. Organising the tea dance was an excellent way to help the pupils develop their entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills, whilst providing a worthwhile element of  community involvement”. 

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