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Nov 29, 2016

Ardmore’s School Gala success

Ardmore School used our School Gala resource right across their entire school in Term 1. We caught up with Associate Principal Shirley Stananought to see what the students and teachers thought of it.

Ardmore pics5

Shirley found out about our School Gala resource pack through a financial literacy course at the end of 2015. “Dallas Graham from Cognition and Janine Mackay from the University of Waikato introduced us to the Young Enterprise website and its contents. Dallas had also worked with a school in our region who had used the School Gala unit and was able to show us the outcomes. We then invited Dallas to Ardmore for a staff planning day based around the School Gala resource.”

Shirley thought the School Gala resource would work well, particularly as Ardmore was planning a slight change to their approach. “Prior to this year, Ardmore School had always run our Agricultural Day in conjunction with a fund raising school gala.  This changed in 2016 when we planned to separate the two days.  The gala was planned for the end of Term 1 and so it was a good fit to have students learning about financial literacy by making and selling products for the Gala Day.”

Ardmore ran their School Gala unit for the majority of Term 1, after allowing classes to settle for the first fortnight of the school year. “Teachers planned the unit based around the School Gala resource and found it worked really well. Students researched ideas for a gala day product, they costed their product, researched the prototypes amongst their target market, produced their products and sold them in the school hall on Gala day.”

Shirley thinks the greatest challenge for teams was probably sourcing startup funds. “If students needed startup money, then teachers booked time with our Principal and students had to present a budget. Our Principal would then decide whether to lend the students money. Children also showed innovation by using recycled products, collecting donations and saving their pocket money to reduce their loan from the school.”

The entire school (330 students across Years 0-8) was involved in the School Gala. “Years 0-4 completed class projects while the years 5 to 8 classes worked in groups.” The students created products including bath salts, origami figures, pet rocks, recycled notepads, native seedlings, D.I.Y snowglobe kits, magnets and balloon toys. 

Senior students and their teachers were invited to present to the Board of Trustees after the School Gala. Their comments showed the breadth and depth of learning they experienced:

  • “We learnt how to use money effectively, pay back loans, budget, collect data and how to sell a product.”
  • “One group learnt the importance of sticking to their plan. Whilst their models and prototypes were completed without problems they skipped a vital production step and were left with unsellable products. They demonstrated the Ardmore Value of Perseverance by thinking on their feet and adapting their final product to have something to sell.”
  • “Profits per group in Room 7 ranged from $2 for the paper plane kits to over $60 for the seedling group.”
  • “It was a good experience and a great way to test your business and maths skills.  I felt pride in myself - we were a great team.”

Shirley thinks the School Gala resource made it very easy to teach financial literacy in the context of a school gala.  “We followed up our learning about budgets in term 2 which had a healthy eating focus. Classes had to budget, plan and prepare a healthy meal for another class.”


The School Gala resource (along with all of our other resources) is free for NZ teachers to download.