Enterprising initiative for challenged pupils

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 Jun 2018

ENTREPRENEURIAL inspiration to help raise aspirations was brought to Grimsby’s Phoenix Park Academy, with success celebrated in style.

South Bank giant Cristal Pigment UK hosted an Our Business achievement event, after some of the children facing some big challenges got to grips with the world of work.

Our Business is one of the Young Enterprise programmes, aimed at Key Stage Two and Key Stage Three. Over a six-week period, 16 Phoenix Park Academy students learnt about what makes up a business by creating their own. They each took a specific role in the business, and together decided on their product, made it, carried out market research and finally went out to sell their product to the public. 

Phil Burns, headteacher, said: “This is the first year we have participated and we are excited to continue. The programme saw students plan, create and sell products to friends, family and during an open day at school.

“Throughout the programme, students were well organised, committed and eager to make their business a huge success. We have seen a vast improvement in students’ confidence and self-belief from participating in the programme, which has transferred into the classroom. They were able to present to a group of professionals at Cristal and speak confidently and proudly about their products.”

Read more: Charity Young Enterprise seeks help from South Bank businesses

Through a number of research methods and community engagement, each business came up with a product to sell.

The first group, Blue Phoenix Construction, spoke to residents who commented on the issues with litter and recycle boxes. Their product was a shed to hold three recycle boxes.

Group two, Candles R Us, decided to make a range of scented candles.

Mr Burns added: “We have recently had an Ofsted inspection and were judged to be a good academy. It is down to the hard work and dedication of our students to complete programmes such as Our Business that supported this judgement. 

The unique structure of our academy allows us to personalise our curriculum to meet the needs of students and provide excellent outcomes.

“I would like to thank Lucy Gray, Rebecca Kirvan-Rodgers and colleagues from Cristal for their support and for taking their time to listen to student’s presentations.”

At the celebration event the teams presented to a group of business leaders, while setting up trade stands to display their products. The students had to impress judges Karen Linton, North East Lincolnshire Council, and Sue Altass, Inspire Ignite, in order to compete for a number of awards.

Candles R Us made approximately £300 profit which they intend to spend on a trip to Old Trafford. Blue Phoenix Construction made around £100, which will go towards a trip to Air Kings.

As they deliberated Cristal’s Andy Patchett, operations manager, and Richard Worsley, maintenance and reliability manager, spoke to the students about what it is like to do the roles that the students were doing, in a global business.

Read more: Hull's clever sparks put their business brawn to the test as Young Enterprise competition returns

Cristal is a long-term supporter of Young Enterprise, which is a charity that aims to make the connection between school and the world of work, enabling young people to develop the knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed in their future careers; building on key business, communication and interpersonal skills.

Mrs Kirvan-Rodgers, pictured right, communications specialist at Cristal is also a member of the Young Enterprise South Humber Voluntary Board. She said: “It is so important for us, as a global business in the Humber area, to do our bit to inspire young people. There are such a fantastic array of careers available in our region, and yet companies like ours are still struggling to find the right people with the right skills and attributes to fulfil many of those roles. By working with Young Enterprise and hosting this celebration event, it gives us the opportunity to show young people some of the real opportunities that lie ahead of them, and we hope to inspire them to think more about their future and support them in finding the right path to get there.

“It was a real pleasure to have students of Phoenix Park Academy visit us here at our site. We were impressed with both with the way they presented their businesses to us, as well as their general conduct and respect for the professional surroundings they were in. 

“We would gladly have Phoenix Park Academy students visit us again in the future where we hope to show them more of the site and meet more of our brilliant people to hopefully inspire them even further.”

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