As part of their programme of careers and employability education this year, Year 9 recently got the chance to take part in the Ryman National Enterprise Challenge, the UK’s biggest enterprise competition and sponsored by none other than Dragon’s Den entrepreneur and Ryman CEO, Theo Paphitis!

The day started with all 180 students in Year 9 separated into teams of 5 or 6 – although some of the students were initially a little worried about being in teams with individuals they did not know very well, the ice was quickly broken as National Enterprise Challenge facilitators Ben, Liam, Simon and Adam set the students off on a variety of engaging tasks related to creating a new marketing campaign for ‘back to school’ stationery!

Starting off by looking at ‘target markets’ and ‘unique selling points’, the students had to work together to not only create a unique product for their perfect customer (whether in primary, secondary or higher education) but also a full marketing campaign for their brand, including an A1 promotional poster, website banner, in-store display, social media competition and YouTube advert! With the help of the facilitators and the teaching staff from TRGA, our students quickly started to develop some innovative ideas and began to practice their pitches for the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the school day is just not long enough to watch 30 separate presentations, so after the NEC staff had selected the top nine groups to perform their pitches after lunch, it was time for Mr. Webb, Mr. Woodhead and Ben from the NEC to get down to the unenviable task of judging which team’s presentation was the best!

All nine groups did themselves proud, showing great courage and resilience to present their ideas in front of a room of nearly 200 students and staff, and recovering well even when things did not go entirely to plan. Sadly, there could only be one winner and despite some extremely close competition from ‘Revise with Ryman’ (whose advert blew us all away!), ‘Ryde with Education’ were chosen as the winning team for their confident, polished and well-structured presentation and YouTube advert. Congratulations to Deborah, Abdullah, Mohamed, Vyshnavi and Bailey for coming out on top on the day – these students can now look forward to attending the Ryman National Enterprise Challenge Finals Day on Wednesday 4th July in Telford, where they will have the opportunity to represent TRGA against other schools from all over the country and have the chance to pitch their ideas to Theo Paphitis himself in front of an audience of up to 1500 people!

We wish team ‘Ryde with Education’ the best of luck for the National Enterprise Challenge finals in July and look forward to inviting the NEC staff back to TRGA next year to deliver the challenge again with our Year 9 students!