September 01, 2017
IMG_3890.JPG“We recognised that a number of our students in Junior School were budding entrepreneurs,” says  Deb Krumples, Acting Deputy Head of Junior School. It was this that recognition that lead Year 4 teacher Bridget Crough and Deb Krumples to develop a new initiative: the Junior School Makers’ Market, held on Wednesday, 30 August.
The activity is all about encouraging students from Years 3 – 6 to develop their enterprising skills, along with learning valuable lessons of financial literacy, service learning, project management, sustainability and business economics.
Students had to come up with an idea of handmade goods to sell at the market, write a proposal and budget appropriately. Recycling of objects the students already had, rather than buying new raw materials, was also strongly encouraged.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to spend some time thinking about and learning these skills,” Deb says. “They’re learning about profit and loss, supply and demand, creating project timelines and sharing talents with others.”
Bridget, who is also the Curriculum Coordinator for Years 3 and 4, agrees: “This is an incredible opportunity for individuals to self-reflect on their talents and develop a sense of belief in themselves. I have been so happy to hear students brainstorming ideas for products based on what they feel their own strengths are, and amazed at their resourcefulness.”
Service learning is another vital aspect of the project, with 50% of net profits being donated to the Junior School’s aligned charitable organisations: KOTO (Know One, Teach One), Vietnam or Loreto, Vietnam. This added to the girls’ strategies of how to keep material costs down in order to maximise profit for the charities.
“I was asking the girls, ‘what would happen if twenty of you made the same product? How does that affect the price you sell them for?’” says Deb. “I’m sure they won’t be looking at items on a shop shelf in the same way from now on!”
When the two teachers put the idea out to the students, they thought that perhaps 30 of them might take part. However, it was pleasantly surprising when 100 expressions of interest came in!
“‘That is so awesome’ was the resounding response when we first started talking about it with students,” Bridget recalls.
The students had to first earn a ‘Makers’ Licence’ by proving they could use a designated Markers’ toolkit safely and under supervision. These included pliers, a sewing kit and mini handsaw. Furthermore, they can only use the items in the toolkit to create their goods to sell.
“They are even learning about how to setup their stall so it’s visually appealing for customers,” Deb adds. “One of the lessons the girls are discovering is to think outside the square and make their best effort. Taking a risk is an important part of 21st century learning!”
IMG_3953.JPGThe Makers’ Market was held in the Junior School at lunchtime on Wednesday, 30 August to great success, with some stalls even selling out of their wares! Students from Queen Salote College in Tonga, who are currently visiting MLC, also participated by braiding students’ hair with money raised going back to their own charity in Tonga.
“Every student is proud of what they have achieved and they are not interested in comparing themselves to others,” says Bridget. “I am so proud of the students for taking ownership of their ideas and having the courage to have a go!”

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