Waltham Forest students became developers for the day with the help of L&Q housing association staff at a construction themed Enterprise Day.

Norlington School for Boys in Waltham Forest has held an Enterprise Day for 120 of its Year 8 students in partnership with L&Q and its construction arm Quadrant Construction.

The students were teamed with staff volunteers from the housing association to channel their entrepreneurial skills and learn the process of creating and developing new homes.

The daylong event was organised with the help of ELBA (East London Business Alliance), which helps facilitate community investment opportunities, building connections between businesses and the East London community.

In teams the students were tasked with preparing and pitching a project to develop a new community, with each team appointing its members to different responsibilities so that they could manage all aspects of a successful development. These included, design; community involvement; finances; construction; environmental considerations; sales and marketing.

Throughout the day L&Q’s volunteers—who have a broad range of experience within construction and development—were on hand with advice and coaching to help the students develop their pitch.

Finally, at the end of the day all of the teams came together to compete to pitch their development ideas to a group of judges made up of L&Q’s staff and one teacher, with one team being named the winners and being awarded certificates.

L&Q is building 294 new homes at Walthamstow Stadium including amenities and facilities for residents, and undertaking sensitive restoration and refurbishment of the Stadium’s Grade II listed Tote building and former dog kennels.

Abdullah Manik, who was part of the winning team, said:

“I especially liked working with professional people from a big company. The volunteers were very polite and helpful.  I really enjoyed the competition as it was about constructing a site including a leisure centre and a nursery. It was a lot of fun getting to plan and discuss our ideas for the development and learning how homes are built.”

Usman Butt, Teacher at Norlington Boys School, said:

“Congratulations to the winners from 8R who held their nerve in front of the audience and produced a fantastic pitch to convince our panel of experts that they designed the best town.

“We think that it’s really important to be building these connections with local businesses and employers to connect education and the workplace. We are keen to help our students to explore a range of possible career options while they are still planning their futures and hopefully point them towards lifelong careers, for which they have passion and aptitude.”

David Greenstreet, Senior Project Manager, Quadrant Construction, said:

“I was really impressed with the pupils and how enthusiastic they were about the tasks they were set. It was clear from their presentations and plans how much they cared about creating thriving communities. We saw a lot of potential at Norlington School for Boys, if construction is a career path they would like to take.”