The Schools: Heartlands Academy and President Kennedy School

Heartlands Academy are now in their fifth year of Enabling Enterprise programmes, and President Kennedy joined the scheme last year. Both schools have been developing their students’ enterprise skills through a range of business trips, and today’s mixed teams of Year 9 students were especially selected to show off their Working in a Team and Using Imagination skills in the real world of work.

The Business: Birmingham Bullring

Bullring is one of Europe’s largest city centre shopping centres, attracting around 35 million visitors a year. It houses one of only four Selfridges department stores and the fourth largest Debenhams in the UK.

The Challenge: Retail Revelations

Students had the opportunity to interview a wide range of top Bullring managers from commercial, maintenance, cleaning, sustainability and security backgrounds. They then enjoyed a guided tour of the centre, including a free ride on an F1 simulator. There was a research reason for this: their team challenge was to devise plans to encourage shoppers to Bullring to stay longer and therefore spend more in the shops. On return to the management suite, this is the challenge the mixed-school teams attacked, with support from Bullring managers who were able to offer tips and advice.

The Results:

Working alongside Bullring managers, the teams quickly came up with imaginative ideas for attracting and retaining more shoppers including aspects of technology and culture.

Teams then had to pitch their ideas to the volunteers, who gave invaluable feedback on the ideas and the way they were presented.

What they said:

  • “It’s been brilliant. A lot of our students are sometimes quite shy, but today they have contributed loads. It’s also been great for them to interact with students from another school.” – Teacher, Heartlands Academy
  • “Students have had an outstanding experience, engaging in a real world problem to solve here at Bullring. They have surprised themselves and us, and shown real pride in their ability to be creative.” – Teacher, Heartlands Academy
  • “Another great day, some real stars amongst the group with a very bright future.” – Volunteer, Bullring
  • “This was a great experience and I enjoyed every minute. We all had fun and took part.” – Student, Heartlands Academy
  • “When I got put on this trip I thought it would be boring. But it wasn’t and I found it really interesting and got a lot out of it.” – Student, President Kennedy School

Thanks to Birmingham’s Bullring team for another great enterprise experience. Thanks also go to the students and staff from Heartlands and President Kennedy for their enthusiasm and engagement with the day.

Enabling Enterprise are working in partnership with schools and businesses to support students to build enterprise skills and aspirations. Find out more by contacting us.

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