Switched on pupils have come up with an illuminating way to raise money for their end of year school trip.
The youngsters from Year Six at All Saints School in Gresford, near Wrexham, have been collecting used bottles to turn into magical looking lamps to be sold at the school summer fair on June 15.
Representatives from Coxeys chartered accountants and registered auditors, who have offices in Wrexham, Saltney and Chester, visited the school to help run a Business Initiative Day, teaching pupils about the essential skills of entrepreneurship, such as costing of materials, pricing their product, marketing and successful advertising.
Headteacher Glyn Williams said: “The Coxeys team has been a great help. Although the pupils have done all the work themselves it’s been good for them to have the advice of business experts and learn a basic grasp of the rules of economics in the outside world. The children have shown real entrepreneurial spirit and we know there is already a big demand for their lamps as so many parents and friends of our school have contacted us to ask when they will be for sale.”
The day before the lamp making production line went into action Coxeys chartered accountant Gruffydd Hughes visited the school with Santander finance expert Graham Bartlett to talk to pupils about bank accounts and basic business accounting.
Gruffydd was hugely impressed with their determination to run a profitable enterprise and eagerness to learn as much as possible about how to make a success of the business.
He said: “The children asked lots of questions and were keen to know about how to price their product to ensure as many sales as they can.
“You can tell they are really incentivised as they can see the result at the end. They completely understand that the more profit they make, the more funds they will raise towards the cost of their school trip.”
The pupils hope to go to Drayton Manor theme park, Shropshire, for their final year end of term celebration before they move on to secondary school next year.
Deputy head Matt Holmes said the pupils were learning many different skills from the project which would provide a good grounding towards their secondary school education when business skills would be a key part of the curriculum.
He said: “It covers so many different skill sets, from the creative thinking of finding a good product in the first place, to arts and crafts, making the best lamps they can, and the business and marketing tactics needed to make the lamps a red-hot seller.”
A driving force behind the project is Michelle Lewis whose husband Anthony Lewis is the managing director at Coxeys. Their son Ted is a pupil at All Saints CP school and one of those involved in making the decorative lamps.
She said: “I actually received a lamp similar to this as a gift from a friend some time ago and I thought how pretty it was and simple to make. When we were trying to think of fund-raising ideas for the school I remembered it and suggested the lamps as a potential product for the children to make.”
Michelle persuaded husband Anthony, a school governor, that Coxeys could sponsor the idea by covering the costs involved, including buying and donating lamp making materials.
She said: “He immediately got behind it, seeing its potential as an educational initiative as well as a practical way of raising funds.”
Teachers and parents then set about collecting used glass bottles to turn into the lamps and local pubs, the Plough Inn, Gresford, and The Machine House, Rossett, have also been collecting and donating their empty bottles.
The school has ended up with a wide variety of different sizes, shapes and colours of bottles which has meant their lamps are all of a unique design.
Each pupil has also given them an individual look by adding handwritten labels with fun and emotive messages attached. The lights can be used as an effective nightlight, for decoration, or during summer evenings in the garden.
They have taken photographs of the lamps to use on leaflets and social media to alert people about their product.
Friends Kayleigh Birch, Lola Heath, Poppy Williams and Poppy-May Hancock, all aged 11, agreed the project has been one of the best activities of the school year.
“We’ve learned so much about business and grown up skills, it’s been great, much better than lessons!” laughed Kayleigh.
The children will man the stall selling the lights at the All Saints School summer fair on Saturday, June 15.