Building bonds with construction firm

Lewis McMahon and Scott Fairhurst of Hughes Brothers with year nine pupils at Atherton Community School

Lewis McMahon and Scott Fairhurst of Hughes Brothers with year nine pupils at Atherton Community School

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PUPILS at the borough’s first free school are building up their entrepreneurship skills in a joint project with a leading construction firm.

Leigh company Hughes Brothers has teamed up with Atherton Community School (ACS) for the scheme introducing year nine pupils to the world of business.

The young entrepreneurs have been given all the information needed to build a home extension and have been given the problems of finding the best deals on labour and materials.

They will be expected to get prices for excavations, brickwork, roofing and plastering for the project, which is based on an actual contract Hughes Brothers is working on.

Quantity surveyor Scott Fairhurst and trainee Lewis mcMahon from the construction company visited ACS to launch the project, which the school hopes will give pupils a wide range of skills and introduce them to making real-life building and business decisions.

Scott said: “It won’t be a question of just picking up the phone and asking for a quote. You will have to drive a bargain to get the best return.”

The pupils will also be involved with interpreting architects drawings for their clients and advising on the construction as the scheme unfolds.

ACS assistant principal Martin O’Connor said: “Project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which pupils actively explore real problems and challenges to acquire a deeper knowledge.

“The project will enable pupils to learn through an authentic scenario requiring them to work with people in the building trade.

“They will be refining their skills in mathematics to work out the volume of materials required for the building project from genuine plans.

“Following this, pupils will have the opportunity to improve their communication skills by contacting companies to negotiate the price of materials.

“All the pupils will develop essential skills which they will be able to use throughout their futures.”

At the end of the project the pupils will present their work to members of Hughes Bro, with the young entrepreneurs who correctly calculate the materials required and then negotiate the cheapest price being declared the winners.