IMG_0082IMG_0089IMG_1071For every student in Year 9 or Year 10 it was all eyes focused on Harrow Way for the 2014 enterprise days.

On 10th July Year 10 students had the opportunity to spend the whole day working with facilitators from Andover’s business community on a challenge to create soap manufacturing companies. After learning about the basics needed to form a small business the students worked in teams to design their own soaps. This involved targeting a specific market and then selecting from a wide range of base and essential oils and blending other ingredients to create an appropriate product. Having agreed their secret recipes the teams of students then worked on the financial aspects of their proposals before going on to generate effective advertising materials. When their proposals were complete, each group presented its product to panels of judges in the semi-finals, with one team from each winning through to the final stage. For the first time ever judges could not separate two winning companies, ‘White Rhino’ and ‘Shape Soap’. Well done to both teams.

The whole day was thoroughly enjoyable and at the same introduced a new understanding of business principle. Special thanks are due to Jane Sheridan and Helen Gilbert of First Partnership EBP (Education Business Partnership), who led the event, and to Richard Akister, Nigel Beck and Dennis Carter of Andover Rotary Club, who regularly give their valuable support to Harrow Way’s enterprise events. Joining us for the first time as facilitators were representatives of Be Wiser Insurance and our particular thanks for their support and advice go to Carol-Ann Townley, Mark Leeming and Mark Dunkerley.

On 12th July the second Enterprise Day for Year 10 was run under the leadership of five representatives from SHP for Enterprise under their “Think Do” project to create and run their imaginary recycling companies. We have welcomed SHP to the school annually for this event on numerous previous occasions and we know that we can always rely on the whole day being a great success. The 2014 event was certainly no exception. After a full introduction to the essential business concepts each “company” was given a set brief to follow, including assigning the necessary roles, decision making, marketing strategy, and finance. After working enthusiastically to set up their companies and to agree their corporate identities and unique selling points the groups then made presentations in semi finals to demonstrate their companies to the SHP judges. From these, finalists were chosen to present their companies to their fellow students in the whole year group. There were individual prizes for Best Managing Director, best Finance Director, best Marketing Director and best I.T. Director and best Presenter. The winning team overall created a company called “Power”.

The SHP team worked with the groups at every stage to help them throughout the process, including developing marketing materials to help them ‘sell’ their chosen products. The day allowed students to develop further key enterprise skills including communication, time management and team work as well as building their confidence in making presentations. At the same time they were thinking about and understanding the importance of recycling electronic goods.

Commenting on the two 2014 Year 10 enterprise events Mr Parsons, Deputy Headteacher, said “These enterprise events are always amongst the true highlights of the year. The students this year worked as enthusiastically as ever and responded well to each of the challenges they were set. As usual, the creativity and innovation demonstrated by the students are a pleasure to witness and will be remembered for a long time.”

Special thanks are due to Paul, Rob, Vikki-Anne, Jess and T from SHP for making the day so successful and to Helen Gilbert from First Partnership, for her contribution to the successful running of the day.

Please visit for information about the work of SHP or the Think-Do project, and to view the work of First Partnership (our local Business and Education Partnership).

On 16th July all Year 9 students enjoyed their first experience of an enterprise day – and what a day it was! We had taken on a new challenge that had not been previously tried at Harrow Way. Entitled “We’re in the Band”, the event was led by Steve Sammut, of the Rock & Pop Foundation. Students worked in teams under the guidance of representatives of First Partnership and Andover Rotary Club, as well as school staff to plan, promote and produce merchandise for a band gig. The day began with a fast-paced introduction to the business concepts associated with the music industry, before teams went off to work at their own identities, logos, merchandise and presentation skills. After the resulting semi-finals the five finalists were ‘Shadow Rail’, ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Rising Stars’, ‘On Fire’ and ‘Six Strings’. The judges ruled ‘Six Strings’ to be runners-up and the overall winning team to be ‘The Young Ones’. When the judging was over Steve Sammut took two musicians from Year 9 to provide bass and drum accompaniment to his guitar and vocals to create some live music. It wasn’t long before the whole of Year 9 joined in with clapping and singing along. This was a really good day that we would have every hope of repeating in the future. Thanks are due to Steve, for leading the event, to Rotarians Richard Akister, Alex Collister and Chris Lynn for their input, guidance and support, and to Carol-Ann Townley, Mark Leeming and Mark Dunkerly from Be Wiser Insurance, who returned after their first experience of Harrow Way on 10th July to lend their valued support.

On 18th July, for the final enterprise event of the year saw a return of “The BITZA Challenge”, so-named because of the ‘bits and pieces’ from which students create their products. The day was led once more by Jane Sheridan from First Partnership EBP who was joined by Helen Gilbert and Heather Wheeler. Students were guided through the stages needed to design, cost, manufacture and advertise an educational toy, using only the variety of bits and pieces they were able to “buy” from the “suppliers”, having negotiated the necessary loans from the facilitators. Members of each group acted as accountants while the others worked on the design, marketing and production of the toys. The groups then had to attempt to present and sell their toys to “clients” by giving a short sales pitch to the facilitators, from which a winning team was eventually selected.

Amongst the various key areas of enterprise activity, this whole-day event encouraged teamwork and problem solving. Building on the experience they had gained on the previous Wednesday, students learned more about the way business operates and throughout the day there was a real buzz of activity, as the students clearly found their own projects highly engaging.

After the resulting semi-finals the five finalists were ‘TFS’, ‘ABC 123’, ‘Pig Style’, ‘Learn Fast’ and ‘Fun 4 Everyone’. The judges ruled ‘ABC 123’ to be runners-up with their innovative toy ‘Drum and Shake’ designed for blind and visually impaired toddlers, and the overall winning team to be ‘Pig Style’, who designed the ‘Bouncing Pig’ for infants to swing from.

In addition to the staff from First Partnership we were once again joined by Rotarians Richard Akister, Alex Collister and Chris Lynn, and Carol-Ann Townley, Mark Leeming and Mark Dunkerly from Be Wiser Insurance. Their support and guidance was much appreciated and we are grateful to them for giving us their time.