Bright Stars Testimonials

' I have been involved with Bright Stars since its inception — first as a head teacher and then as chair of the judging panel for the last two years. I have seen the scheme grow and also been able to appreciate the tremendous value it offers to the children involved, to teachers and to the companies supporting them. Bright Stars enables the children to use a range of skills they learn in the classroom in a real world scenario, working alongside adults from local businesses to broaden their experience and knowledge. A key element in Bright Stars is collaboration and the children are able to take on different roles including leadership roles, which provide an excellent foundation for their future development, building confidence in their own abilities, and their aspirations for the future. Companies taking part are having a hugely positive impact on these children, and the company representatives rightly take a great deal of pride in their involvement. '
Alex Wilkinson, Executive Officer, Cumbria PHA
(the local association to support all headteachers in Cumbria with Primary aged pupils in their school or setting)


' Bright Stars is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had — watching those kids come up with excellent business ideas and actually have an excellent grasp of what makes business tick — phenomenal. '
Adrian Davis-Johnston, Innovus

' There is no doubt that we wish to be involved in these projects in the future, what a great result. '
Fred Story, Owner, Story Homes/Contracting

' I have been bowled over by the children's enthusiasm levels and ability to pick up new business concepts and run with them. They are a credit to their parents and indeed the school. AECOM has a slogan – Imagine it. Delivered. In week 1 of the competition one of the Ennerdale Bright Stars came up with their equivalent – Small School. Big minds!! This epitomises the passion that the school has thrown at the challenges. CfLP should also be commended on their input to making this whole adventure a roaring success. Well done CfLP!! '
Dave Weatherburn, Project Director Defence & Nuclear Management Services Group, AECOM

' Honestly these pupils have worked so hard and have learnt so many skills, it's such a brilliant programme you offer. A real honour to be involved and see the pupils learn and develop new skills whilst having fun too, thank you for including us in this competition. The pupils have been working every break, every lunch time and an after school club, as well as turning up at 8.30am to do some before school! They've been so enthusiastic and really enjoyed it — it gives you a real buzz! '
Caroline Gate, Saftey Critical partnered with Monkwray Junior School

' The Bright Stars programme is a fantastic way to introduce key principles of business to primary school children. The process has proven to be an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved, the children, the teachers and our staff. '
John Murphy, Operations Manager, Atkins (supporting Arlecdon Primary School)

' A lot of the lab's [National Nuclear Laboratory Central Lab] work with schools is with older students, but it was wonderful to see how the children picked up ideas and ran with them, and it was great to partner with fab lab too and make the connection between design, technology and science in a fun way. '
Simon Walker, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, National Nuclear Laboratory (supporting Hensingham Primary School)

' I am just so impressed by what the children have done, kept to the ethical approach to enterprise and awareness raising being as important as the money. I just think it has been fantastic. Every child, regardless of ability has been involved and engaged fully. The children really have been inspired by this and their faces glow with enthusiasm when you speak to them. It makes it all worthwhile. Love them all to bits. '
Debbie Cosgrove, Allerdale Council on Maryport Infant School

' I have to say I have been incredibly impressed by just how much the children themselves have done. Not only did they decide the sort of thing they want to do and then continue to fine tune it until we got the final result, they also chose to support children's charities, they then collectively decided to change the recipients to a different kind of children's charity/benefit after one of the pupils got hit by a car and had to go to Whitehaven Hospital for treatment. It was seen that there were not a lot of toys for the children in there while waiting to be seen by the medical teams and so they are now supporting this instead. So it is more meaningful for them too. I met with them all on Friday and we had a lovely chat about how they had found the whole experience and what they had learned. It was incredible to see just how far they had come and Emma has clearly guided them well, but not pushed them into making decisions in any way. They won't have made the most money, but again, that was never the objective, it is about teaching the children about the values that we treasure in adults and they have made Maryport proud. I am honoured to have been able to be involved with such a wonderful school. '
Debbie Cosgrove, Allerdale Council on Maryport Infant School

' They were super children and extremely keen. It was fab watching them decide who was going to take on what role. '
Sue Barnes, HR Manager, Thomas Graham on Rosely School

' I've really enjoyed it, what a lovely part of the job. I'm very lucky! Mayfield are a fabulous school. '
Joanne Ritson, Bendalls Engineering

' As the business mentor I am absolutely delighted with what the children have achieved and how they evolved the business during the competition. The skills they have learnt will be invaluable as they grow and develop and I have no doubt that I may see the next Richard Branson amongst the children I have had the pleasure of working with over the last three months. '
Kerrie Allison, Business Development Manager, David Allan supporting St Michael's Primary Carlisle

' Our business has hugely enjoyed being involved with Bright Stars. It is a great way of linking up with local schools and giving something back to the community in which we live and work. It also generates very positive publicity for David Allen.

But beyond this Bright Stars also helps to create a fresh perspective on what we do as a business and the skills we use in our day to day working. We had the pleasure of bringing pupils from our partner school into our business to utilise our boardroom facilities. We had various staff members from different teams share their expertise, with one of our accountants explaining how to manage cashflow within a business plan and our marketing team worked with pupils to bring sales and promotion ideas to life.

The huge amount of energy and enthusiasm from the children, and their obvious interest and commitment to the project, made it a refreshing and fulfilling experience for everyone involved. These pupils are the next generation of leaders for businesses and by investing in their future we will inspire them to achieve their dreams. '
Kerrie Allison, Business Development Manager, David Allan supporting St Michael's Primary Carlisle

' We were so proud of all the children, the class have really got to it, they've experienced skills in all sectors of business. We (Safety Critical) attended the school every two weeks and have been impressed by the enthusiasm from the pupils. We are very proud of what the children achieved and hope they got a lot out of it. '
Caroline Gate, Safety Critical supporting Monkwray Junior School

' It really is an honour to see the Bright Stars of the future working together and developing so much over the course of the competition. Well done to all the Bright Stars of 2017! '
Caroline Gate, Safety Critical

' Bright Stars has been such a special project to be part of so thank you. '
Shelley Haywood, Learning and Development Manager, Story Homes/Contracting

' Sellafield Ltd was delighted to support the pupils of Arlecdon school through their Bright Stars challenge. Encouraging entrepreneurial thinking at such an early age is an excellent way to introduce students to a business environment whilst raising confidence levels and aspirations. The team worked extremely hard and the success of the evening proved how well organised and professional the children had ran the project. I was very proud of each and everyone of them. '
Corrin Nichols, Sellafield Ltd Education Officer

' Thank you! It has been a good experience working with Ashfield. I believe that in April the young people involved will be visiting the Workington Lab, so that will be a good link. '
Simon Walker, Stakeholder Manager, NNL

' As a significant employer and investor in Cumbria, Nuvia is delighted to be supporting schools in their campaign to get youngsters engaged with business. Developing children's interest in employment and their belief in their own abilities is a vital part of ensuring a prosperous future for them as individuals and their communities. Bright Stars is an excellent way for us to support our talented youngsters and we are looking forward to sharing in some of their creative ideas. '
John Ball, Regional Director, Nuvia Limited

' This is a great opportunity for schools and their pupils to get involved in a project that stirs the entrepreneurial spirit of even very young children. The earlier we can engage young people in the basic principles of business and investing their money wisely the better. Who knows where these children may be in thirty years from now and what they might be doing. They have the potential to be local, national or even international leaders. '
Gary McKeating, Head of Socio-Economics at Nuclear Management Partners (NMP)

' It is all very well talking about manufacturing, marketing, profit and loss, but there's nothing quite like actually doing it to get the message across about the excitement of running a business. Bright Stars puts these primary school pupils in the driving seat and gives them the chance to put their own ideas into action. Last year the schools performed brilliantly and had a lot of fun. This year we are hoping for even more engagement and a tighter competition. '
Al Mather, Former Managing Director, The Centre for Leadership Performance

' Taking part in Bright Stars 2017 has been a pleasure. Working with the school to create such a brilliant product has been incredibly fun, and has allowed me the opportunity to work within a new community. I am incredibly proud of the effort, innovativeness and drive demonstrated by all pupils and cannot wait to take part again next year. '
Debra Robinson, Employment and HR Solicitor who worked with Frizington School


' The Bright Stars 2019 competition has been a fantastic experience for my children. They have loved making their money grow and learned a variety of key entrepreneurial skills. The children have developed a deeper understanding of business structures and the design and make process. What I am most proud of is the fact that as our children became St James' Team Green which focussed on being a business who cares and recycling, reusing and upcycling was key to our ethos. The children not only made a profit through their business but they made a difference! '
Head, Saint James Infants

' The Bright Stars programme has enabled the children to sharpen many skills around the leadership skill set and also to see the purpose behind many of their everyday skills such as writing (application forms for a Board position, designing an order form, advertising slogan and writing to companies for support) and mathematical skills (spreadsheets for profit and loss, running a market stall, collating orders and distributing them). The whole project has caused a buzz around school and the children have felt very important running the company and making decisions for themselves. We most certainly want to try and take part again as the learning opportunities are endless. '
Joanne Fearon, Head Teacher, Bransty Primary School Whitehaven

' The Bright Stars project is amazing. It offers children an opportunity to learn that a little bit of money, a bright idea and a little bit of hard work can be rewarded with profits. My class of 4 and 5 year olds are hooked on this idea, especially now we are 'Millionaires!' and have asked if we can continue with our Pop Up café. Let's hope that this becomes lifelong learning and supports them in being successful adults. '
Lisa Borrowdale, Reception Teacher, Frizington Primary

' What a wonderful project! It is taking over the 'other' learning that we are supposed to be doing, but it is giving such meaningful and memorable learning opportunities about money, life and business, and hopefully, this lasts a lifetime! The Children in my Reception class have been truly inspired by the idea of spending a little bit of money, making something and selling it to make more money! The spontaneous reaction of 'We're rich!' being shouted by all children as we counted the 123 £1 coins following our Pop-up Playtime café, on Wednesday afternoon was 'priceless'!!! The children also shared their success in Our Whole School Praise Assembly, which is attended by families, with the whole class chanting 'we are entrepreneurs!' after they had shared their first week's successes! I am so pleased that I took part in this initiative and gave the little people in my class a taste of business success! '
Lisa Borrowdale, Reception Teacher, Frizington Primary

' A stand out moment was seeing the effort many children had put into pre-interview preparation. It was clear that lots of discussions had taken place at home with families, and children had come to their interviews with some excellent ideas of how they could grow the business. '
Tracey Billington, Great Corby Year 5 teacher partnered with Cumbria Waste Group

' We were paired up with the fantastic AECOM. The support and dedication from our mentor and his team has been amazing! The children have learned so many business and life-long skills but most of all they have enjoyed doing so. I'm impressed by how much hard work they have put in and how enthused they have been. It's great to see all their hard work paying off. Although, it has never been about the profit for us, as we are such a small school, our main focus was developing teamwork and creative thinking skills. Giving everyone a chance to shine! We will definitely be back next year. '
Louise Chamberlain, KS2 Teacher, Ennerdale and Kinniside CofE Primary School partnered with AECOM

' Our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Bright Stars competition. They were very enthusiastic about their business and money making ideas, and looked forward each week to working with the staff from Doosan. We would like to thank Claire and Abbie for their immense support and also all our parents and the school community who helped us to raise such a fantastic amount of money for our chosen charity and our school. '
Sarah McCourt, Year 5 teacher, Kells St Marys

' The children have thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as staff and we will definitely miss it! '
Sarah McCourt, Year 5 teacher, Kells St Marys

' The kids have loved Bright Stars this year and NSG have been a great support! Thanks for setting it all up and I hope it can go ahead again next year! '
Alison, Deputy Head, Seascale Primary

' This was the first year that we have been involved with the Bright Stars challenge and we will definitely do so again. The support we received from both the Centre for Leadership Performance but most of all Sellafield Ltd has been excellent. The children developed their skills and expertise over the preparation period. They worked together as a team, playing to their strengths and working to key deadlines. The fashion show event itself, was a real highlight. Our local community was very generous and we are thrilled to be able to donate to Hospice at Home, this was the charity the children themselves choose. With the winnings from the competition we have decided to give this back to the community and would like to put it towards the purchase of a defibrillator machine. We know that if someone in our local community has a heart attack or similar issue, at the moment, it is several miles to the nearest machine and may take a long time for an ambulance to arrive. If we are able to generate the necessary funds to purchase a machine for school, we may be able to save a life one day. '
Ms Wendy Figes, Executive Head Teacher at Arlecdon Primary School

' We have had the most amazing time doing the Bright Stars project!! We have great big thanks to many companies who have supported and indeed sponsored us but Story Homes have absolutely excelled themselves and provided the children with such valuable experiences they will never forget! Thank you once again for allowing us to be part of this project and thank you so much for teaming us up with Story Homes, a company which really cares about, nurtures and enriches the life of young people through it's educational support!! Thank you so much for this wonderful experience!! We have absolutely loved every minute of this competition and can't wait until next year's one begins!! '
Sarah Lee, Petteril Bank School

' I loved the experience, every minute of the planning and at the end it was all worth it. Our team was outstanding I wish it had never ended! '
Grace Smith, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' My favourite part was selling cakes to the younger children and seeing them come back for more with icing smeared all over their faces. It was a great day and we all worked super hard, but we couldn't have done it without Clare Fitzgerald and Mrs Whittaker. '
Evie Burrell, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' Usually when we have these sort of fund raising days we wish certain parts of it went better than it did, but the live music, dancing children and most of all us girls being together really brought the day to a point where it went as well as possible. '
Lois John, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' I think that the Pink Stars competition went great. Especially with all the money we raised. It was great to see all the little kids dance to the LIVE MUSIC! A lot of people came and they all looked like they really enjoyed it! '
Georgia Ashburner, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' I'm really pleased with the amount we raised for breast cancer. I enjoyed watching everyone enjoy themselves and the younger children dancing to the live music. The day was a really good experience and a great way to get to know people in the community. '
Maddie Scott, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' I thought that it all went better than planned and we were not expecting to make as much as £1130!! '
Lola Walker, Year 6, Low Furness Primary School

' Thank you for organizing the competition and allowing us to be part of this great initiative. The children are absolutely relishing the challenge. '
Sarah Whittaker, Teaching Assistant, Low Furness Primary School

' The children have thoroughly enjoyed the whole project and we look forward to taking part again next year! '
Andrea Pattinson, Head Teacher, Fairfield Primary School

' Taking part in Bright Stars has been a fantastic opportunity and experience for year 6 here at St Thomas. We have had great fun, learnt lots and raised £380.33 for our chosen charity. '
Year 6 Teacher, St Thomas School, Kendal

' As Headteacher, I am extremely proud of the way the children have embraced this challenge, their attitude and achievements. We will definitely take this further and now we have a business link with Atkins, we are very excited about future projects. '
Head teacher, Rosley Primary School, Wigton

' My group and I have developed the skill to work as a team. '
Zoe, Year 6, Rosley

' We developed how to organise an event and we also gained some confidence. We all had a really good time and raised money for charity but were really tired at the end. '
Jamie, Year 6, Rosley

' The school council have lead this initiative and have shown great enthusiasm. We listen to our children, their opinion matters to us. It is wonderful that they have had this opportunity to express their ideas. They have had some fantastic ideas and are all working as part of a team, encouraging and motivating each other — all vital qualities in leadership. Thank you CfLP for coming to talk to the children it has really spurred them on. '
Mrs Bezusko, Reception Teacher and head of school council, Fairfield Primary School, Cockermouth

' We are really pleased to be taking part in this initiative. Thank you to the CfLP team who came to visit the school to congratulate our young leaders on what they have raised so far. '
Joanne Colombi, Houghton Primary School, Carlisle

' The team would like to thank you for the opportunity to take part in such a challenge. They would like you to know even if they don't win they know the money they have raised will go to help other children in need and that was their ultimate goal. The children have had a brilliant time planning and executing the events. '
Siobhan Byrne, Student teacher, St Patrick's, Cleator Moor

' The children have developed their entrepreneurial skills and have been so enthusiastic, giving up lunch times as well as attending after school planning meetings. '
Frizington Community School, Frizington

' I am so proud of our children and how interested they are. The way we have decided to do things this year is much more focussed and meaningful to the children. It's just great!!! '
Emma Pape, class Teacher Maryport Infant School matched with Allerdale

' I would like to say this challenge has been amazing for the children. I love challenging children and bringing the best out of them. This group have worked so independently together and they are so excited about their big event. They also received a letter from the charity the other day, saying that they have heard about the shop and smoothies and the work they have put in and would love to visit us. '
Mike Bowker, Head Teacher at Holy Family partnered with North West Evening Mail

' I have really enjoyed this challenge, it was fun making important decisions as a team, we were so excited and bit worried at first but when our business started to make money I was so pleased. The final event was amazing and would love to run another. '
Emma, Project Manager Year 6, Holy Family partnered with North West Evening Mail

' I am quite overwhelmed by the amount of fundraising and work the children have achieved this week. We have raised a grand total of £773.54! For us though, it's not been simply about the money but the community aspect of service and the teamwork, leadership and creative skills this project has inspired us all in. I'm not too sure who has enjoyed the project the most, the children or me! It has been a good deal of hard work but the outcomes have been well worth every minute. Seeing the children's confidence in the 'Storytelling' event the other evening was magic and working with our partners, Cartmel Racecourse, a real highlight for me. '
Rachel Battersby, Headteacher Cartmel CE Primary School partnered with Cartmel Racecourse

' We have loved every minute of this experience and can't thank the Centre for Leadership enough for providing this opportunity and for Safety Critical to be involved. '
Pupil at Monkwray School supported by Safety Critical

' The excitement and confidence generated by the responsibility was priceless! But the 'legacy' of being involved has been the fantastic contacts with two really proactive and supportive local firms (Lumier and West Lakes Electrical) and the changes we are going to make to future events e.g., the children organising and running the Summer Fair and a whole school art auction to develop the children's appreciation of famous artists. Thanks for letting us be involved. That £50 has been the best £50 invested in our school for a very long time! '
Head Teacher, Ramsden Infants

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