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Press Release – A great cup of coffee

Press Release - A great cup of coffee


Norwest Christian College Year 11 Business Studies students have been very busy planning to open a café at the college, where the fresh aroma of coffee will entice the taste buds of parents, staff and senior students. Sam from Sam’s Gourmet Café in Riverstone has generously contributed her extensive business experience and barista skills, as an inspiration to Norwest’s enthusiastic entrepreneurial students.

Mrs Felicity Marlow, Principal of Norwest Christian College, posed the challenge to the Year 11 students to develop a plan for an onsite mobile café. Mr Andrew Beitsch, Business Studies teacher, was impressed with the eagerness of his students to take on the challenge. “They were very keen because their learning was active and a real endeavour to provide an authentic solution to the needs of the College community”. He went on to say, “I am so thankful for the generosity of the local business community, to help create an enduring experience of how a café should operate and look”.

The culmination of weeks of planning, surveying and consultation resulted in three groups of students presenting their collaborative endeavours in front of a panel and their peers. Mrs Marlow commented: “Each presentation was exceptional in terms of attention to detail, yet what was most significant to me was listening to students describe the way in which the project had stimulated deep and transformational learning”. Kai said, “It was a real project, there were limitations, we couldn’t have ‘crazy’ ideas, our budget needed to be realistic; this was authentic learning”. For Thomas, it was the reality of the experience which led to deep learning. “This was more than school work. This was a real business. There was so much incentive to research carefully and ‘get it right’ and produce a business plan which would work”. “This was more than an assessment task,” said Mia, “this was vision to actual reality”.

Kai, Thomas and Mia enjoyed working in groups and commented on the commitment of their peers. “We had to handle the pressure because there was a genuine outcome”, said Mia. “There was a bit of stress because we had to produce an actual plan”, added Kai,” but that must be what Australian business people experience”. Thomas said, “We were pushed to the boundaries of what we could do, learnt a lot about our personal resilience and came away with an intense understanding of being an entrepreneur and creating a business”. The Year 11 students all agreed: “Learning is FUN!”

The Norwest Café project is the most recent way the College has developed positive links with local business, many coming about through its membership of three business organisations, especially the Riverstone and Schofields Chamber of Commerce. Sam from Sam’s Gourmet Café was impressed with the students: “They asked great questions, thought clearly, were open to suggestions and had such a positive attitude to learning and school”.

The College looks forward to developing more opportunities, like this one, for all students, by engaging them with our local business communities and apply their learning to real life outcomes.

Craig Laffin OAM
Director of Development

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