Shrewsbury School

National Enterprise Challenge Update

Thursday 11 February 2021

Last week the Fourth Form navigated their way through the ‘National Enterprise Challenge’.

As a school we participated in this event last year, on site. This year with the lockdown restrictions we were able to adapt to enable pupils to participate in their tutor groups remotely. Natalia from Emma Darwin Hall shares her thoughts on the experience, as project manager of the winning team!

Over the course of last week, my fellow tutees, Anna, Mary, Georgia, Eva and Sophie, and I (along with the rest of our year) were given the exciting opportunity of creating a product to provide a solution to a problem we felt affected our local community. Throughout the week we were allocated the last period or two of lessons to accomplish this. On day one, we were given our first task: identifying the issues, proposing solutions and creating a viable business plan. We discussed problems like children around our age struggling with perhaps not fitting in, or too much work, stress etc. A few ideas like possibly a course to educate younger people about money were also bounced around. In the end we settled on an app dedicated to improving the mental health of struggling and/or stressed students and appointed a project manager – that being myself. The team came up with a catchy name for our app, “Foxie Focus” and a name for our group “The Foxies” – inspired by our tutor, Mr Fox.”

“On day two, we had to build our identity as a brand and think about which form of social media we would use to advertise our product. We set our most passionate artist, Eva, onto designing a logo and then delegated the remainder of the day’s tasks between ourselves. It was this day that we created what really set us ahead of the game – our TikTok advert featuring Mr.Fox. I have to say from the beginning it was quite a hit! It has to be said, the credits for its production go to Anna and Sophie.

Then after putting together our power point on Thursday and finally approaching the live presentation on Friday, we all sat in anticipation of our turn. On the whole, we were a little anxious about our chances, as the competition provided by our panel within the year group proved to be very high. To our joy, we made it through to the finals and after some eagerly awaited results we found ourselves to be the winners.

It really was a much-needed distraction from lessons, which during isolation along with reduced interaction with friends can be a little overwhelming. We got to think a little differently and come up with some fresh ideas in a new light. Most importantly, we got to have some fun in each other’s company. Who knows – maybe a few of us were inspired to take the entrepreneurial path in life? Nevertheless, the Foxies and I can happily say it was a week of afternoons well spent!

I would like to place on record my thanks to the thirteen Old Salopians, local employers and colleagues at other schools who kindly spent Friday afternoon supporting us with the judging side of this challenge, which enable all twenty nine teams to demonstrate their ideas. Additionally, the quality of the presentations and commitment from the pupils throughout was exceptional, making this likely to remain an annual fixture for fourth formers for the foreseeable future!  

Chris Wain, Head of Futures

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