Entrepreneurship education course
In an effort to promote initiative-taking and to foster our pupils’ entrepreneurial skills, the ECG introduced “Entrepreneurship Education” as a new school subject in all its 3rd grade GCM and 2nd grade GCG classes. The course comprises two weekly lessons and was first launched at the outset of the academic year 2018-19. It is part of the “Get Up, Stand Up” school development project, which aims to transform the ECG into an “Entrepreneurial School”, thus encouraging all pupils to show active commitment throughout their entire school career.
Whereas in 3rd grade GCM classes the core module of the new subject is dedicated to the implementation of two challenges – one “macroeconomic” and one “microeconomic”, the main focus in 2nd grade GCG classes is on the development of a mini-company.
In 3rd grade, the challenges are developed in cooperation with the ECG’s extensive network of external partners, who play the role of stakeholders. In other words, they play the role of the ordering client who is interested in the solutions to be provided by the pupils. Whilst the “macroeconomic” challenge deals with issues relating to the economy as a whole, the “microeconomic” challenge concerns itself with a specific case study in connection with one particular company. At the end of each cycle, pupils present their findings to the stakeholder, their teachers or mentors, as well as the general public.
In 2nd grade, pupils collaborate with JEL in order to develop their own mini-company and take part in the different events organised nationally, such as the common Constituent General Meeting, the annual joint sales event held at Belle Etoile shopping mall, the national semi-finals of the best mini-companies, as well as the prestigious Mini-Companies’ Forum (Forum des Mini-Entreprises) at the end of the year. In addition to the different key stages prescribed by JEL, the ECG organises internal assessment sessions in collaboration with its network of partners. This enables us to offer prices to the best-performing teams, as well as to provide additional coaching and feedback from an external expert with an outside perspective. Last but not least, the ECG organises an annual “Entrepreneurial Night” whereby the school’s mini-companies are given the opportunity to present themselves to the parents as well as to a wider public.
The syllabus also encompasses a selection of Youth Start Challenges, company visits, simulated job interviews as well as a variety of presentations and workshops in relation with the business world. In order to enable pupils to work in small groups, a “team-teaching” approach e used throughout.
It is worth pointing out that, instead of launching their own mini-company, pupils attending the GCC (Business and Communication) stream act as advisors to the mini-companies run by pupils from the GCG (Business and Management) section in the field of marketing. Indeed, pupils in the GCC stream follow a compulsory marketing course, which was introduced as part of a didactic innovation project (projet d’innovation pédagogique) that is unique to the ECG. Working together with the mini-companies run by the Business and Management classes will enable pupils to put their acquired theoretical expertise into practice.
Training courses aimed at pupils and teachers
3rd GRADE TRAINING COURSES
All pupils attending a 3rd grade GCM class participate in a series of presentations and workshops dedicated to the business world, the different types of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial skills, as well as the job-hunting process. The training course is organised by an external consultant in collaboration with the different teachers and tutors of the “entrepreneurship education” course, during the two allocated weekly lessons over the course of three trimesters.
The course aims to achieve a balance between lecture-style instruction and guided workshops in smaller groups. Thanks to the presence of additional external contributors from different fields, pupils are encouraged to experience the world of business and entrepreneurship from a broad range of different perspectives.
2nd GRADE TRAINING COURSES
All of the ECG’s 2nd grade GCG (Business and Management) pupils attend the compulsory “Creativity Camp” training workshop, organised annually by JEL (Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg; www.jel.lu). This training session covers a variety of organisational matters that are crucial to the set-up and running of a mini-company, and it also provides hands-on advice. The second part of the workshop is dedicated to a series of creativity exercises, which are designed to accelerate the pupils’ brainstorming process in view of devising a product or service.
Apart from attending the Creativity Camp, 2nd grade GCG pupils also take part in presentations and workshops organised as part of the new entrepreneurship education course, as a follow-up to the 3rd grade course. In 2nd grade, the main topics include the job-hunting process, private finance, as well as the transition process from school towards professional world. Pupils will also follow a training session on how to write a CV and cover letter, and they will take part in a simulated job interview, organised in collaboration with the ECG’s external partners.
LIFELONG LEARNING SESSIONS FOR TEACHERS
At the beginning of each academic year, the ECG hosts a training workshop aimed at all 3rd and 2nd grade “Entrepreneurship” teachers. The goal is to provide teachers with vital information and practical advice concerning the challenges hosted by the ECG, techniques for coaching a mini-company as well as the practical setup of “Entrepreneurship education” as a school subject. All 2nd grade teachers also attend the “Creativity Camp”, which is not solely aimed at pupils but also provides specific training for teachers.
The organisation of 3rd grade challenges
The macroeconomic and microeconomic challenges are developed in collaboration with the ECG’s broad network of external partners. Each challenge involves practical learning activities in connection with current economic issues and covers a period of 6 weeks. The goal is for pupils to develop solutions to real-world problems.
The challenges are implemented as part of the two weekly lessons of the “Entrepreneurship education” course. The course is taught by two teachers or mentors who apply team-teaching methods. Moreover, for each challenge, an external stakeholder or backer presents the challenge to the pupils at the beginning of the cycle and remains available to provide assistance if required. At the end of each cycle, pupils present their findings to the public, as well as a jury made up of their teachers or mentors, and the stakeholders who assess the work submitted.
The practical organisation of mini-companies in 2nd grade
Similarly to the challenges, the mini-companies in 2nd grade are implemented as part of the “Entrepreneurship” course taught by two teachers or mentors per class.
Throughout the first trimester, pupils develop a product and devise a business plan. After the common Constituent General Meeting of all mini-companies at the beginning of the second trimester, pupils start their sales activities and finally complete their final dossier in the third trimester. The Mini-Companies’ Forum organised by JEL (Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg) concludes the year and each mini-company is subsequently liquidated.
PRESENTATIONS AND JURYS
Apart from the official presentations which are part of the competitions organised by JEL (Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg), the ECG also hosts its internal “Entrepreneurship Night” featuring a common sale and presentation of each mini-company. In 2019-20, the event will take place at Cercle Cité in Luxembourg-City on 8th May 2020.
Moreover, at certain key moments throughout the year, pupils present their work in front of a jury made up of teachers and professionals. The goal is to provide pupils with vital feedbag, thus enabling them to refine their product, as well as to hone their sales strategy and public demeanour.
Each mini-company needs to submit a final report or file in order to be admitted to the competitions organised by JEL (Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg). The deadline for submitting these files are communicated in due time.
The marks obtained in “Entrepreneurship Education” in 3rd grade GCM and 2nd grade GCG classes have a relative weighting of 2 in the calculation of the pupils’ total final marks. Results will be listed on pupils’ report cards for each trimester in 2nd and 3rd grade. Four main factors will be considered, which is the overall working process and personal involvement of pupils, the quality of the written documents submitted, oral presentations, as well as theoretical aspects to be assessed in written tests. Specific assessment grids will be provided for teachers.
For more information concerning the assessment of entrepreneurial activities, please refer to the general syllabus below.