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Young Stars Shine Bright in Primary Dragons Den Final

Our first ever Dragons’ Den programme in partnership with Envision UK came to a thrilling close at the grand final on Wednesday 21 June at Haberdashers' Hall. The five teams of twelve Year 5 pupils, each from our five primary schools, wowed judges, parents and guests with their creative and engaging presentations.

Pitching their social action projects to be crowned winners, the teams used everything from music, singing, drama, coordinated outfits, props, videos and more to share their work and the impact it’s had on their respective school communities.

The Projects

Our Year 5 pupils have worked very hard over the last 12 weeks together with their student peers and staff at their schools to implement their social action projects in their schools. The projects include:

  • Crayford Primarys activity drive and sponsored walk/run to encourage and raise awareness of physical activity.
  • Hatcham Free Schools mural proudly displaying school values to bring classes together.
  • Hatcham Primary’s whole-school mindfulness practice campaign and a refurbished summer house to bring calm and relaxation to all at school and to promote and prioritise wellbeing.
  • Knights Primary’s compliment box to bring Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils closer together and to spread kindness
  • Slade Green Primary’s ‘Rescue, Repair and Recycle!’ uniform swap shop so all pupils have access to quality uniform items

The Winner

Judges included Jan Shadick, CEO of the Trust, Kunle Olafare and Errord Jarrett, both Hatcham College alumni and Haberdashers, and student Lisa Davies, also a Haberdasher.

The panel had a difficult decision to make with such impressive presentations to choose from. After careful deliberation, they declared the win to Uniform United from Haberdashers’ Slade Green Primary for their excellent uniform swap shop idea which has already benefitted families at their school. All participants received a congratulatory gift from The Haberdashers' Company Master, Christopher Hardie. 

Uniform United thoroughly impressed judges with their campaign to parents and guardians which lead to 200+ uniform items being donated; as well as learning how to sew on buttons and hem trousers and skirts so they could repair items. In addition to arranging regular uniform swap shop dates, they have also declared the last day of every academic year a ‘Donation Day’ where Year 6 pupils attend in their own clothes and donate their uniform to younger pupils as they leave primary school. With the cost-of-living crisis and the struggle for many families to afford uniform, Uniform United, carefully considered the needs of parents and families in their community to deliver a sustainable and impactful project to benefit parents, pupils and the school alike.  

These projects provide opportunities for our children to learn practical skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and leadership. Actively participating in social action projects instils a sense of accomplishment and has boosted the confidence of our Year 5s now they have witnessed the positive impact they can have on their communities. These experiences not only shape them into socially responsible individuals but also inspire a lifelong commitment to making a difference in the world, ultimately creating a generation of compassionate and engaged citizens. Well done to all our teams and particular congratulations to Slade Green and the Uniform United team for an outstanding presentation and sustainable project, which will continue to have great impact in the years to come.

– Jan Shadick, CEO

All five teams have much to be proud of with some excellent ideas. Judge Kunle Olafare was so impressed with the compliment box idea by Knights Primary that he wanted their permission to introduce this in his workplace.

Sarah Mitchell, Director of School Improvement (Primary) said:

It's vital for our younger pupils to have opportunities that traditionally have been available to secondary age children. Social action projects for younger children play a crucial role in improving their communities, nurturing essential skills, and fostering confidence. By taking part in initiatives like community clean-ups, food drives, or environmental campaigns, children develop a sense of responsibility, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the world around them. It was fantastic to see the effort and energy our Year 5s put into their projects and their presentations. And they did it all with a smile.

Whilst some healthy competition engages and encourages pupils, most importantly this has been an opportunity for them to develop confidence and essential skills in communication, creativity, determination and teamwork – a core element of the Envision programmes.

We are looking forward to the ideas and projects that the next cohort of Year 5 pupils bring!  

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