A Culture of Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise at Francis Holland School

A Culture of Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise at Francis Holland School

3 May 2022

FHS Headmistress Lucy Elphinstone and Director of Creative Enterprise Nick Dyson recently came together with Jenny Campbell, former Dragon on Dragons’ Den, and Zena El Farra, Founder of MasterPeace, to discuss the next steps to develop our award-winning, pioneering programme in a Girls’​ Schools Association webinar on developing a culture of creativity, innovation and enterprise and empowering young women in business.

Lucy Elphinstone began the discussion by describing how we are entering the “Exponential Age”, where a job for life is a thing of the past and it is crucial that children learn how to think creatively and problem solve in order to respond and adapt to advances to technology. At FHS, integrated, interdisciplinary learning is interwoven into the curriculum from the age of 5 to encourage girls to learn to take risks and defeat the stubbornly ingrained cult of ‘Little Miss Perfect’, empowering them to become the leaders, thinkers, innovators, designers, entrepreneurs, and game-changers of tomorrow.

Jenny Campbell, who has worked extensively with FHS as an inspirational Link Entrepreneur, spoke next about her own path to success. She highlighted the importance of confidence and interpersonal skills in building a business, discussing how ‘people buy people’, and how these skills can be subtly and gently encouraged in those who are not natural extroverts. She attributed her three Ds – drive, dedication and determination – to her spectacular success.

Zena El Farra then discussed her pathway to success and MasterPeace’s ‘truly symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship’ with FHS. Zena and her team work with our Year 10s every year; teaching them about Design Thinking as part of the Upper School Enrichment Programme. Zena described how impressed she had been with the girls’ ideas and praised the uniqueness of the FHS approach in terms of creative enterprise being interwoven into the entire curriculum rather than being confined to one off events.

Finally, Nick Dyson explored the ever-evolving future of creative enterprise at FHS; in particular ambitions to form a cluster group with partner schools to share ideas and eventually open a joint online trading platform for students’ businesses. He discussed the importance of Creative Enterprise initiatives being embedded into the curriculum; for example our annual Thinking Innovatively and Problem Solving Week. He also highlighted the importance of social responsibility and sustainability being embedded within our programme.

Thank you to all the schools who attended this webinar, to the GSA for hosting it, to Zena and Jenny to their time and invaluable contributions, and to Lucy, Nick and indeed all of our wonderful staff and pupils, whose enthusiasm, courage and imagination have made our Creative Enterprise programme such a success to date and such an exciting proposition for the future.

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