M&S Making a Mark - Simon Marks

Activity ideas

This page suggests ways in which the material in this resource can be used with different subjects as prompts for discussion and extension activities.

You can also use the Related Links at the bottom of the page to discover further resources to support the ideas below and stimulate discussion.

KS3/4 History:

  • Compare the photos of Eastbourne Penny Bazaar in 1924 and Bradford store in 1930. What differences can you see? How have Simon Marks' improvements been made?

KS3/4 Citizenship:

  • What can large companies do for the communities around them? If it was your business how would you use your influence to support the local area?
  • What can you do to make a positive change for other people? It could be something at home, school or in your community. Think big and small, then refine your list to things you could achieve in the next 6 months.

KS3/4 Business Studies:

  • There are lots of different types of business. Find out more about business structures (such as sole traders, limited companies etc), and list the main features of each and the differences between them. The Related Links at the bottom of the page might help.
  • Set up a real-life trading enterprise in your class, competing in teams to see which is the most successful. Ask your teacher for help or try one of the Related Links below for ideas.
  • Watch the 20 minute video 'Let's Teach Kids to be Entrepreneurs' (see Related Links below) then give a five minute presentation to your class summarising its main messages
  • Play the interactive game Be a Victorian Millionaire Now! on My Learning - imagine you are the textile manufacturer and entrepreneur Benjamin Gott, solve business problems and make money by taking risks.
  • Make up a list of three questions you would ask Simon Marks if you were to meet him at a party. You only have three, so think very carefully about the wording of your questions to ensure you get the most useful and interesting answers



  • Make a blank copy of the questionnaire that Simon Marks completed at age 16, then fill in your own answers. Compare them with others in your class to see whether anyone has the same ambitions, likes and dislikes. What are the most popular answers?
  • Find out about other famous people and characters who have found themselves in positions of great responsibility at a young age. Imagine you are one of them and write about a day in your life; what sort of challenges will you face? Who else will you mention? How will you feel?
  • Read the articles in the 1964 edition of St Michael News, commemorating the death of Simon Marks then write your own short tribute in the style of those on the last page, but from 'a young person'.


Entrepreneurial - being creative, ambitious and determined

Commemorating   - remembering and showing respect for something or someone

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