Year 10 Students Rise to the Challenge to 'Make it Work'!
Date posted:Friday 13th July 2012
A sophisticated boutique clothing line, a blood-test kit to detect breast-cancer and a strategy to rescue the survivors of an island devastated by a hurricane were just some of the projects students in Year 10 tackled in depth during three days of a work-related learning project at the school on the 9/10/11 July.
Employers and academics threw down 7 different business challenges to more than 150 students to fulfil a brief and 'Make it Work'. The event, facilitated by EBP Kent, began with a day of workshops focusing on the development of key , transferable employability skills such as team working, presenting and creative thinking. On days two and three, the girls formed competing teams within seven workshops and were set the following challenges:
- University for the Creative Arts (UCA): to create a clothing line complete with brand identity,? product range, market research, target market, pricing strategies and business model
- Loop Computer Reuse: to build a computer from recycled parts to sell to students, complete with marketing campaign
- The Royal Navy: Operation Langton - respond to a disaster challenge, with an incident occurring at sea. Devise a strategy for resolving the incident in the most efficient way possible
- Kent Magistrates: to recreate a trial of law and to prosecute and sentence a defendant accused of careless driving
- News for Schools: create a newspaper that will appeal to people aged 18-35 and that will generate income. Prepare a business plan and design and produce a prototype with editorial and advertising content under the guidance of an experienced journalist themed around 'Women in 2012'
- EBP Kent: to create a new perfume brand complete with a concept bottle , prototype packaging design and comprehensive marketing strategy
- Medway School of Pharmacy: Use the principles of home-use biosensors to design a test to detect cancer, viruses or bacteria in contaminated water.?
In addition, 12 students from Spires Academy joined the girls for all three days to develop their employability skills and to participate in a Forensic Science workshop, examining blood spatters, fibres and hairs as part of a project exploring what happens at a crime scene. The students plan to share their knowledge and skills with students arriving at Spires in Year 7 next term in a series of presentations and workshops of their own.
Many students also grabbed the opportunity, despite their nerves, to undertake a short interview with an employer so that they could begin to develop their interview skills. All girls will be able to build upon these skills during a carefully structured programme of enrichment during Year 11, culminating in a more in-depth competency based interview with an employer in January.
Mrs Gabi Mind, Visual Studies Lecturer at UCA Rochester, was very impressed with the quality of work produced in response to the UCA challenge: "The girls were incredibly self-motivated and conscientious. They've learnt a lot about business practice and were quite surprised I think, at some of the less honourable tactics that can be employed in marketing within this industry. Working with the girls has been absolutely wonderful, they've been very inspiring to me and I feel like I've been on a massive learning curve!'
Mrs Lesley Finlay, Creative Director of News for Schools, felt the girls had responded really well to a tough challenge: 'I've been really pleased with their research skills and with some of the stories that they've uncovered about women in 2012. They've been quite shocked at some pieces and I think their eyes have been opened to the plight of women around the world and to the development of women over the years. They've picked up the key principles of newspaper design, have learnt how to present themselves and have been fun to work with.'
Despite thinking some of the deadlines given for tasks could have been shorter, Year 10 student, Isabell Tulett, enjoyed taking part in 'Make it Work': 'It was better than I expected, I thought it would be quite dull but it was quite fun and it was interesting to see how we could develop skills for other careers. The best bit was the interview, it's really helped me to know what to expect.'
Jemima Crathorne in Year 10 valued the opportunity to develop key skills: 'I really enjoyed it and think that the skills we learnt are very useful for the future! All of the staff were really nice''
SLGGS Headteacher, Mrs Jane Robinson was delighted to see how well the students responded to their challenges: "This event complements our progressive scheme of work-related learning, beginning with 'Welcome to Work Day' and 'World of Work Day' in Year 9 and leading on to 'Interview Day' in Year 11 and the 'Challenge of Management' in the Sixth Form. Employers and visiting facilitators have all been very impressed with the level of ability, creativity and maturity shown by our students."
Intended learning outcomes of Make it Work include for students: to develop essential and transferable employability skills; to work under pressure in a team and to assign appropriate roles; to develop strategies for getting tasks done in a workplace environment and to think quickly and creatively in order to turn requests into concrete outcomes.
What the girls said they learned…
- PHARMACY: I learnt about POC treatments and difference between plasma and serum
- UCA: I learnt how to work with others and how to get my point across. I discovered that I work well with others
- MAGISTRATES: I learnt that I have strong opinions
- ROYAL NAVY: I discovered that I do not want to have a job where I sit at a desk all day because it is very boring
- NEWS FOR SCHOOLS: I discovered that I can be very organised and I was able to edit text and the layout of the paper to fit together. I learnt helpful interview skills as well which I will definitely use when I have an interview. The presentation helped me build confidence
- PHARMACY: I like being in control
- PHARMACY: I learnt a lot about how indicate tests work. I liked the freedom of the day and being able to be independent.
- UCA: I learnt about the business side to fashion and all the aspects you have to consider when starting your own brand. I loved how we could do what we wanted and I could really think up ideas and learnt to be really creative.
- MAGISTRATES: I think that the role play went really well because everyone was involved and it helped me understand the key roles within the court room. I enjoy law more than I thought.
- PHARMACY: I learnt that I can work with people that I thought would be hard which improved my self-confidence
- PERFUME MARKETING: I need to stick by my own opinions more and try to work a bit faster
- ROYAL NAVY: I’m a good team leader
View pictures of the event in our online gallery