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Year 9’s ‘Investment Challenge’

July 22nd, 2013

IMAG1952All Year 9 students took part in two separate Enterprise Days this week. For the first day they faced an ‘Investment Challenge’ in which teams began with £100,000 to invest. They made investment decisions based on changing financial news and market conditions through the five days of an imaginary week. Some groups were able to more than double their initial funds to figures approaching £230,000. Others experienced the harsh reality of falling stock market values, proving that the only sure way to make a small fortune on the  stock exchange is to start with a bigger one.

IMAG1964IMAG1979IMAG2011Although the concepts were entirely new to the students they took on board all the advice made available to them. We were also privileged once more to benefit from the genuine financial experience of Rotarians David Moulton, Richard Akister, Clive Brunswick and Alex Collister who kindly gave their time to Harrow Way for the day.

Arranged in collaboration with First Partnership, the event was led enthusiastically by Mr Robin Smith. He provided all the necessary financial advice and guidance to get things rolling. The day was highly successful, with the participating students showing a growing understanding of their investment decisions.

IMAG2032IMAG2041The same Year 9 students then had a great opportunity to put their new understanding of business concepts to the test during their second Enterprise Day.

For this event First Partnership sent a team to Harrow Way to present the 2013 “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 design and business plan. 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 finallists and eventually the overall winning team was 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 breaks!

Mr Parsons, Deputy Headteacher said, “We have run this enterprise event in previous years and the 2013 event was as successful as ever.”   “Special congratulations to ‘Rainbow Tots’ for their ingenious winning product “Pull Along Learner”, or ‘PAL’ for short, which taught number, alphabet and fine motor skills – but congratulations also to all the other 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 and they will have acquired new skills which they will be able to apply in years to come.”

Special thanks are due to Jane Sheridan, Helen Gilbert and Heather Wheeler of First Partnership for their role in organising and leading the event and to Alex Collister, Gordon Howard, Geoff Philpott, Viv Philpott, Colin Teasdale and Nigel Beck of Andover Rotary Club, some of whom are already established 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’ engagement and the impressive 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

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