DSCN1645All Year 9 students took part in two separate Enterprise Days this week. For the first day they took on an engaging challenge which involved all the processes of financial planning, creating suitable menus and entertainment and most of all vivid imaginations, as they took on the various roles in imaginary catering “companies”, tendering for contracts to run a large event.

Arranged in collaboration with First Partnership, the event was led enthusiastically by Mr Ken Lewis, of NatWest. He provided all the necessary financial advice and guidance. All 180 Year 9 students were set the task of working in groups to cost, plan, design and organise suitable menus and entertainment activities for a school prom. At the end of their challenging day’s work the students presented their tenders to the judges, who assessed them on the quality of the presentations and value for money. From there, four teams of finalists were selected to perform their sales pitch on stage. The day was highly successful, with all participating students showing creativity and a growing understanding of their businesses. A high standard was achieved by many groups and there were also particularly strong performances from several individual students. The overall winners, chosen unanimously by the judges, were a team who called themselves “Dinners for Winners”.

After the judging Tony Parsons, Deputy Headteacher, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Ken on his first visit to Harrow Way. The students really produced some innovative team presentations. This activity is an extremely practical and fun way of bringing to life the importance of teamwork, communication and enterprise skills, which all our students will eventually need in the workplace. The importance of financial capability for young people should never be underestimated, as it’s essential that they are equipped with the skills and confidence they will need to make appropriate decisions in adult life. Our thanks are also due to Jane Sheridan from First Partnership,for their support in organising the event.”

The event was part of NatWest’s national MoneySense4Schools programme, set up by the bank to develop business and financial awareness and enterprise skills among young people.

MoneySense4Schools has been developed with teachers to help secondary schools and colleges teach personal money management and enterprise skills within the curriculum. It consists of a series of modules (“We’re in Business” being one of them), each of which can stand-alone or be used in conjunction with others. It aims to engage young people in a variety of role playing scenarios and other interactive learning exercises to give them experience of making financial decisions.

Any schools or colleges wanting to find out more about the Moneysense for Schools programme, how to get the free materials or how to get the support of a NatWest member of staff, should contact Suzanne Head, NatWest’s Regional Moneysense Coach, on 07795 238219, or visit the website at www.rbs.com
The same Year 9 students then had a great opportunity to try out the business expertise they had gained during the NatWest MoneySense by putting them to good use in their second Enterprise Day.

DSCN1678For this event First Partnership sent a team to Harrow Way to present the 2012 “BITZA” Challenge. The challenge requires students to work in groups to design, cost, manufacture and advertise an educational toy, using only the variety of bits and pieces they can “buy” from the “suppliers”, having first made a convincing proposal to the BITZA Bank and securing the necessary loans. Members of each group acted as accountants, designers, production managers and marketing managers for the day. The groups then had to present and sell their toys to their prospective “clients” by giving short sales presentations to the judges, from which a winning team was eventually selected.

Amongst the various key areas of enterprise activity, this whole-day event encouraged teamwork, communication, creativity and problem solving. Building on their previous experience students learned even more about how business operates and throughout the day there was a real buzz of activity. The students clearly found the project completely engaging and a great deal of fun. Some were so enthusiastic about their products that they even worked on voluntarily through their lunch break!

Mr Parsons, Deputy Headteacher said, “We have run this enterprise event successfully in previous years and the 2012 event was a great success once more. Special congratulations to ‘Team Toys’ for their ingenious winning product “Cat Kit” – but also to all the Year 9 students who took part. The students did themselves proud and produced some really innovative and creative ideas. I’m sure they all learned a great deal from the day, which they will remember in years to come.

Special thanks are due to Roger, Jane, Heather, Marc, Helen and Owen of First Partnership for their role in organising and leading the event and to David Moulton and Richard Scriven of Andover Rotary Club, both previous regular visitors to the school, who supported the students with their business ventures throughout the day and then assisted with the judging. Our visitors were highly complimentary about the students’ courtesy, engagement and creativity that lay behind their business proposals.

You can read more about the work of First Partnership, our local Business Education Partnership, at www.firstpartnership.com