Forestdale Primary Year 5 and Year 6 students began their business challenge day with meeting the Brewin Dolphin professionals. Ian Burrows, Investment Manager also gave an introduction to what the wealth management company does to help their clients make their money work hard for them.

Brewin Dolphin Professionals use the Enabling Enterprise Challenge Skills

The pupils took part in a balloon debate whilst some technical gremlins were sorted. Then the pupils were able to discover more about the volunteer professionals from Brewin Dolphin. They asked them questions related to their roles such as ‘What is good about working here?’, ‘What did you want to be at my age?’, and ‘What skills do you need to do your job?’.

The team of volunteers readily answered and engaged the pupils into some excellent discussions focussed on the roles and skills within Brewin Dolphin. Kaiden discovered that maths and literacy were important and so were communication skills, as the employees there regularly meet with their clients. Lots of skills were also key to keep things moving quickly at Brewin Dolphin, like speaking clearly when dictating letters, which are then typed up by the secretary. Lauren liked the speed that IT brought to tasks. Jacen learnt that it is a good place to work, which is very friendly. Also highlighted, was the fact that, despite not becoming a nurse, racing driver or a cowboy, as they had dreamed about as children, the volunteer professionals all really enjoyed working at Brewin Dolphin. Bobby asked some in depth questions about how exactly the volunteers used the 8 Challenge skills in their working lives.

New work bags for Brewin Dolphin employees

The pupils then learnt the details of their task for the day and set about organising their processes to design a new bag for Brewin Dolphin employees. A tour of the workplace enabled them to ask other employees about what they put in their bags and what they would want in a new bag, to help stimulate the students’ ideas.

In their teams the pupils made mind maps of their bag ideas with everyone contributing their ideas. Good speaking and listening skills were used to solve the problem and some excellent special features were discussed. The volunteers helped the pupils to think about each element of their bags.

Next the designs were made, slimming down the number of ideas originally on their mind maps. In groups they really had to think of what was most important to ensure that their bag design was suitable for employees of Brewin Dolphin. Discussions ranged around arguing their cases for their great ideas and consensus was agreed as a group. All pupils were able to add to their design either through a drawing or labelling. All groups included a battery in their design to charge phones, but the best bags included a holiday theme to allow workers to experience a ‘holiday’ feel whilst at work.

Presentation Goals and Top Tips

The students had to think about how they could persuade the team of professional judges that they had the best designed bag. They set individual goals, many of the Year 6 pupils setting themselves a Level 6 goal for their presentation skills. The volunteers answered questions about presentation skills and Abbie realised presentations need planning really well. Milly and Robbie decided they mustn’t look down whilst presenting and shouldn’t talk for too long. Chris and Cameron were going to speak clearly and maintain eye contact. Nicole told the group to smile.

Professional presentations oozing with confidence

After a magnificent lunch, generously provided by Brewin Dolphin, the pupils planned their presentations. Nasema and Cameron organised ‘BBSHD’ Team to ensure their pitch was better than the others. However, the ‘Spider Bag’ Team were well marshalled by Lauren and Shania who supported one another with their individual sections of the plan. Lynn from Brewin Dolphin worked with Hollie and the ‘Best Bags’ group to improve their pitch. Meanwhile the ‘Platinum Dolphin’ boys were responsive to volunteer Charlotte’s input. Other professionals, Steven and Ian then led their teams in improving their presentation skills, with Sucama and Charlotte thoroughly engaged in making theirs a winning presentation. Despite a little ‘writer’s block’, Holly and Nicole wrote their sections for a first class pitch. As they practised for their pitch, smiles broke out on Chris and Milly’s faces as they ironed out the problems and improved their presentations.

Alana and Frankie brought their presentations to life as Steven, Lynn and Charlotte remained to judge the presentations. The ‘Platinum Dolphin’ team lead the way and delivered an excellent pitch, ably led by Bobby. Next up, were the ‘Big Blue Special Happy Dolphin Team’ (BBSHD), where Chris told the judges that he would like to have the bag himself. ‘Spider Bag’ were introduced by Shania and Lauren and produced a super professional pitch that was sleek and smooth. ‘Best Bags’ completed their pitch and from the start oozed confidence. Jacen brought their presentation alive in his delivery.

As the judges retired to deliberate over the winning pitch, the pupils reflected on their work and looked to improve their skills. Congratulations to the winning team, which was ‘Best Bags’. Steven summed up the day as a great success, explaining that they used the same skills at Brewin Dolphin as they had seen the students developing and improving throughout the day.

Thank You!

Thanks for reporting on the day! We’d like to say a big thank you to all the students and teachers involved in the day, and another thank you to the volunteers from Brewin Dolphin who gave up their time to support the students in their enterprising task.

Brewin Dolphin support skills development in schools,
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