We spent three days at Thomas Clarkson Academy with years 7 and 8 running the Duck Enterprise challenge. With over 100 students per session it was a bustling, busy and enjoyable few days. Split into teams the students designated typical work place jobs to each – Buyer, Accountant, Sales Exec, Production, Quality Control and an MD.
The aim of the sessions was for each team (now classed as a virtual business) to create origami ducks and the to sell these to a team of buyers, of which were made up of business volunteers from Anglian Water and also 6th form students from the school, to see which business could make the most profit. Using negotiation skills, USPs and communication the students would aim for the best price for their ducks. Lots of creativity and initiative was shown with ducks coming in all sizes and colours, families of ducks and one team even design a corporate logo and branding!
They would also need to buy the raw materials from the shop to create their product and also pay wages to their team members, rent on their work space and also repay the initial loan they had been given to start the business. Throughout the virtual week fines and bonuses were also given. Fines for anything such as messy work areas, late loan repayment to sending the wrong employee to do the wrong job (such as an accountant going top the shop instead of the buyer). Bonuses for teamwork, prompt accounting, creativity, politeness and much much more were handed out.
The sessions were a great way for the students to get a small glimpse of work life and how a business runs and structures itself, and although they are a way off from deciding what future paths they may possibly like to take it was a valuable experience which they will hopefully take with them.
It was also beneficial for the the volunteer 6th form students as they were able to gain some new skills themselves in terms of negotiating a sale and running the shop – all of which they are able to use on their CV’s.