Pupils enter into the spirit of enterprise

Over 120 Year 5 and 6 students from all over Tunbridge Wells recently visited Salomons Estate in order to compete in the Tunbridge Wells Junior Enterprise Challenge. 

The event was established at Beechwood Sacred Heart School by its business teacher Rebecca Smith and through local sponsorship courtesy of Makerstudy Leisure the event has now been expanded to now include many more primary schools. 

“It was fantastic to see so many new schools taking part this year; all trying to win the title won by Southborough School last year,” Mrs Smith told the Times. “And here was much excitement on the first day when BBC South East presenter Charlie Rose came to interview and film the children.”

Students were given a project brief to work from which asked them to create an educational toy or game. They were treated to numerous presentations over the course of three days from industry experts on topics such as product placement, education through play, product design and branding, promotion, pricing, presenting skills and running a trade fair. The tasks they had to complete included idea mapping, creating a product from junk material, marketing the product (which involved filming an advert), pricing, holding a trade fair and then giving a short PowerPoint presentation. All their work had to be based on market research and innovation. 

The final day of the competition was open to parents, teachers and other guests. There was also a panel of judges made up of Cllr James Scholes (Mayor of Tunbridge Wells), Paul Clements-Hunt (CEO of The Blended Capital Group), Rebecca Randall (Rebecca Randall Colour and Design/Thrive Events), Matt Jenner (manager of Whirlygig Toy Shop) and Clive Evans (retired local teacher and magistrate). 

“The judges had a hard task deciding an overall winner but, after much deliberation, The Wells Free School pupils were crowed champions with Temple Grove Academy coming a very close second,” continued Ms Smith.  

The winning design B.A.T.T.L.E. was a logic and educational game where players have to challenge other players during the course of the game. Their professional trade stand and engaging presentation won the judges over. We were honoured that the Rt Hon Greg Clark came to see the winning designs and presented the prizes to the children.

“I have always been passionate about business, innovation and developing entrepreneurs of the future,” said Mrs Smith. “I have taught business for over 15 years in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells and to see what these young people developed and created in three days was inspiring. 

“It was fabulous to see a year of planning and hard work culminate in such a fantastic event and the challenge would not have been possible without the support of our great sponsors: Markerstudy Leisure, ID&C, The Blended Capital Group, Tale Digital, The Dance Studio, Knight Frank Estate Agents, JTS Tennis, Smartbits UK and Beechwood Sacred Heart School.” 

Mrs Smith is already planning for next year’s event where she hopes to include even more students and schools. If anyone would like any more information or to be involved next year in any capacity please contact her on r.smith@beechwood.org.uk.

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