The Schools: Herschel Grammar School and Ditton Park Academy

Based in Slough, both Herschel Grammar and Ditton Park Academy were keen to take advantage of this exciting opportunity for students to spend a day in the world of work, having meaningful encounters with employees and taking on a real-life challenge, all the while developing their essential skills.

Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for students from Years 7,8 and 9 to put their Problem Solving and Staying Positive skills to the test outside the classroom with the support of professional business volunteers. Throughout the day, students were also asked to draw on their Working in a Team skills as they were placed in mixed teams with students from other year groups and from another school.

The Business: Metro Bank

Metro Bank is Britain’s first new high-street bank in over 100 years. Metro Bank offer a unique, customer-focused retail banking service. As a business, they make every effort to offer simpler and more convenient banking to their customers. Metro Bank aims to have 150 stores across the UK by 2020.

Today, the students were very lucky to be joined by Nikita, a Customer Services Operative from Metro Bank, who brought a wealth of financial expertise and insight to help the teams with their tasks. They also had the opportunity to interview Local Business Manager Sarah about her role and the different skills required, especially how she manages to Stay Positive in supporting her clients when they experience difficulties.

The Challenge: Lend-a-Hand

The day started off with the students Listening Carefully to learn more about Metro Bank’s Creative approach to banking, and to find out about the different roles, responsibilities and the Essential Skills required to carry out various jobs within the branch. Students then went on a tour of the bank, which allowed the teams to see the great variety of jobs available in the world of finance as well as some of the unique services Metro Bank offers its customers. As well as speaking to professionals ranging from Contact Floor Team Managers to the Branch Manager, the teams were also able to see the drive-thru banking, high-security vaults, Magic Money machine, instant bank card printing machine and even complimentary dog biscuits!

Taking on the role of Financial Advisors, students were introduced to the concept of budgeting and managing income and expenditure effectively to avoid going into debt. They were given the task of advising a client to make sensible financial decisions for a range of different life events. Teams had to put their Problem Solving skills to work in order to consider the pros and cons of different suggestions and, taking the priorities and needs of the client on board, Presented their ideas and Worked in a Team to find the best possible course of action for their client.

The teams’ Staying Positive skills were tested when they realised that decisions they had made earlier on were having an impact on the advice they were giving their client later in the day. It was the prefect opportunity for students to show their Creativity in solving problems and they didn’t disappoint; all four teams were very adept at using their prior knowledge and experiences to help them with suggesting innovative ways for the family to manage their disposable income effectively and preserve a healthy balance between an enjoyable lifestyle and sound financial planning.

The day culminated in teams holding a budgeting meeting with the client to share their reasoned financial advice and justifications behind their decision-making. Students also explained how they had used their Problem Solving and Working in a Team skills to make the most sensible decisions along the way and reflected upon how they had formed effective working relationships with their peers.

What they said:

  • “Budgeting money is important because it gives you a set goal for how much you need to spend, and this will help you with the organisation of your finances.” – Student
  • “The students demonstrated great teamwork skills in working with peers from another school really effectively. They will take a lot from today in terms of their analytical thinking and working through different solutions to think about what is best for that situation.” – Teacher, Ditton Park Academy
  • “It’s been a really successful day. It’s so important for students to develop these skills and to see how these are so transferable to the world of work in a range of ways. Their critical thinking and inventive problem-solving was very impressive and I think they have seen the importance of thinking outside the box today.” – Volunteer, Metro Bank
  • “It was very interesting content for the students: these are engaging and realistic problems that showcased just how important budgets are to day-to-day decisions. They will take a lot of lessons on real-life skills and have had positive role models to bring this to life.” – Teacher, Herschel Grammar
  • “We all really enjoyed the day and felt that, as a team, we took a lot from meeting new people and being asked to work alongside others. For me personally, I loved solving problems in a different way and I then had the opportunity to listen to how others approached the tasks and made their decisions, which I can learn a lot from.” – Student

Thanks to everyone for such a great trip 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 or visiting

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