Monday morning began with the Year 11 students choosing from a range of Sixth Form lessons, both IB and BTEC. Many students enjoyed the change of routine, the style of lessons, the practical side of subjects like Biology and particularly the new subjects, such as Psychology, Economics, Italian and Theory of Knowledge. Everyone came away knowing something they hadn’t previously known, whether that be the difference between Mathematics Analysis and Mathematics Applications, how important the target audience is to starting a business, how challenging it is to make a ceramic pot or how to communicate effectively. Teachers’ clarification of subject content, level and openings to future pathways allowed many students to finalise choices for next year. Even those who are not staying for Sixth Form gained something positive from the experience and everyone felt the day was of benefit.
A well-planned, tightly scheduled enterprise afternoon, not unlike The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den, followed where Mrs Murray presented seven teams with a gap in the market and potential business idea. Year 12 Business BTEC consultants worked alongside the groups to support and guide each team in the marketing, finance and product design aspects of the task. The Year 12 class had already undergone the exercise earlier in the week so were aware of any challenges or flaws.
Each student had to assign themselves a specific role within the group and answer numerous questions to ultimately produce a good design – that is, one that functions well, is aesthetically pleasing and is reasonably priced. Connecting to the target market, promotion and advertising all played a part, in addition to keeping costs low and marketing to the right place so as to make profit. After all, no matter how good the product is and the marketing of it, a business is only successful if it can break even and make a profit.
After much deliberation, research and creative thinking, each group successfully came up with a business idea and selected team members pitched this to a panel of judges in just four minutes. The students had to explain the idea itself, the target audience and the unique selling proposition, justifying business demand, considering affordability and feasibility of starting the business on their budget, with expected profit. Some groups chose to talk and show images, while others used PowerPoint slides and videos to convince the judges of their business ideas.
Best Teamwork to Group A with Jake Alderson, Amber Arnold, Alex Bousfield, Amy Brady, Keanu Burity and Meko Chang for the positive and mature way they worked together on their men’s fragrance, Driftwood, business idea.
Best Financial Understanding to Group D with Ella Lewis, Alex Keys, Cara Mattocks, Caroline Moehlenkamp, Alvaro Morato and Liam Reeve for their Eco Cup business idea.
Most Innovative goes to Group E Minnie Norton, Georgina Osmond, Irene Pardo Alegria, Daniella Redhead, Charlie Reid and Vinicius Semedo for their Christmas jumpers made from recycled and recyclable material.
Best overall goes to the Eco Cup business, Group D, who showed good financial understanding, strong teamwork and an innovative idea.
Special thanks to everyone who helped make this a successful experience; the teaching staff for their inspiring lessons, Mrs Murray and the Year 12 BTEC students for planning and running the enterprise event and to those Year 12 students who welcomed the Year 11 into Westmorland House at break and lunchtime.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.