Real Business Challenge
On Friday 13th February, a seven strong group of Year 9 and 10s travelled to Birmingham City Football Club to partake in the regional finals of the Real Business Challenge; a competition between schools to find the best young entrepreneurs across the country.
The team were faced with the long-winded challenge of designing and creating an app to inform people on the Los Angeles Special Olympics in July. However, it was more challenging than expected. As a group, we had to make decisions based on people’s strengths and weaknesses, but also to revolve around timed deadlines that certain pieces of work had to be handed in by.
The social media campaign was put together by J Lisztwan and J Mabey. As a pair, they applied their social media knowledge to create a pin-point plan based around the top four social media platforms. They also managed to come up with the app and campaign name whilst thinking of a suitable hashtag to use: #jumpmyhurdle. Alongside this, they, with the help of A Suresh, had the idea of setting up a twitter account to bolster the group’s presentation. This was aided by enlisting the help of Jackie Chan to boost advertisements across the platforms.
Another key part of the challenge was the poster. Y Aravindan worked on this aspect for most of the morning, basing it around a “more is less” idea. The poster was a picture of one of the special Olympians from team GB hoping to secure another gold medal this year. The Real Business Challenge team said that the poster is going to be put up on one of the bus stops outside our school in the near future.
The main part of the challenge was to design and create the centrepiece of the presentation: the app. J James and J Beaman were taken by Como, a company that allows you to build your own app, to learn the basics of the software. Once they came back, they began right away, working tirelessly for the best part of three hours creating the app. They came up with the idea of making a fantasy team of Olympians to follow through the Special Olympics. This was highly commended by the Real Business Challenge team.
Towards the end of the day, the groups, along with all other schools, had to present their ideas to a panel of five expert judges. They were all looking for different things: link to Special Olympics, presentation, viability of the campaign and app design. After much deliberation by the judges, the awards of Best App, Runner Up and Overall Winner were announced. The first to be awarded was the Best App, and one of Como’s employees took to the stage. He said that all of the apps had been quite admirable ideas, but one had stood out to him overall. The winner was eventually announced as Lawrence Sheriff School, and the app created by the team has been shortlisted to possibly be put into the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store.
The second award was the runner up prize, and this was awarded to Hall Green School. The last award was the most highly received: Overall Winner. Not only would this mean being regional winners, but the winning team would be treated to an all-expenses paid VIP trip to London for the final. This included a Parliamentary reception and a trip to the west-end, as well as a meal out. As the presenter stepped up to take the microphone, the tension in the Jasper Carrott Suite was increasing. The winner of the regional final was Lawrence Sheriff School.
Congratulations to the team of: S Basford, J James, J Beaman, Y Aravindan, J Mabey, J Lisztwan and A Suresh, who will now progress to the national finals in London on the 17th of March.
A number of year 11, 12 and 13 Duke of Edinburgh students were invited to a special event at Kingsbury Water Park. This day was attended by HRH the Earl of Essex, Prince Edward. During the day HRH observed a number of activities that students from a range of schools, including Lawrence Sheriff, were completing. Whilst observing these groups HRH talked to the students about their experiences of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
After visiting the various activities HRH visited the center itself to meet with Nathanael Salter and Brandon Holm to discuss their experiences of the award here at Lawrence Sheriff. Nathanael and Brandon were due to escort HRH to a nearby lake, however the inclement weather on the day caused this to be moved inside. Once completed Brandon introduced other members of last year's Gold Duke of Edinburgh group (Benjamin Simms, Cameron Gwynne, Elijah Harper, Tom Daniels, Luke Lucas and Jacob Barnaby) who then gave a presentation to HRH about their expedition, completed during the summer. These students, part of the original group set up by Mrs Twentyman a few years ago, talked with confidence and pride about their experiences to HRH.
Shortly afterwards the Earl was treated to a small musical piece, , performed expertly by Harry Brignall, Daniel Heathcote and Sam Tiller. The music was sublime and well received by all of the dignitaries present at the event. These students had worked on their instrumental skills as part of the award and it certainly was a highlight of the day. The work that these students, and the others that attended the day, have done over the last few years have been of a very high standard and it was very pleasing to see that this was acknowledged by the staff at Duke of Edinburgh Warwickshire.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a program aimed at 14-25 year olds throughout the country. In the award students work on a physical activity, a skill (whether new or existing), complete some voluntary work and undertake an expedition where they carry all of their equipment and hike for a minimum of 6 hours a day. At Lawrence Sheriff this is completed during enrichment and we currently have over 70 students completing the award at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels."
Duke of Edinburgh Award
A DofE programme at LSS is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from. You just need to be aged between 14 and 24 and realise there is more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.
You can do programmes at three levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold which lead to a Duke of Edinburgh's Award. You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you're going for Gold). You'll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only). You will collect experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Duke of Edinburgh (Gold). For those students who have already completed Bronze and Silver awards. Year 12
Duke of Edinburgh (Silver). For those students who have already taken Bronze at LSS. Year 11
Duke of Edinburgh (Bronze). Year 10