John Perryn Primary took twenty lucky students from Year 3 and 4 on a business trip to the international insurance company, Royal Sun Alliance (RSA). They spent the day learning the in’s and out’s of insurance and were supported by directors who gave up their time to support students. Eager to showcase their enterprise skills they had been learning in the classroom to the RSA employees, students took on the challenge of redesigning the offices. Creativity and presentation skills were crucial for this to be completed to the highest of standards, and the students did not disappoint.
“It was a real pleasure for me and my colleagues to meet these students. Their open-mindedness and eagerness to learn showed just how important enterprise education is, giving such an early opportunity to explore the world of business.” (Neil Lightbown, Director of Global Speciality Lines, RSA)
As the students entered the beautiful offices of RSA in the heart of the London’s financial district they were eager to get started with the day. Before they got stuck in, there was one question on everyone’s mind…what exactly is insurance?
Well, there was no one better to explain this than Neil Lightbown, someone with decades of experience in this sector, ‘Insurance is a helping hand when something goes wrong…and the Royal Sun Alliance provides insurance for people all over the world. It is 302 years old, a bit older than me.’
In this exciting new work environment, students would be set the tricky task of redesigning the offices of RSA and pitching their ideas to a board of Directors. They would need excellent teamwork skills to complete this task in a strict deadline, huge amounts of imagination to come up with creative office designs, and persuasive presentation skills to create a winning pitch.
To support the students in their task was Paul, Director of Finance, Louise, Director of External Communications and Peter, Head of Global Corporate Responsibility. They would bring their varied expertise to support the students in their task, as well as revealing all about what it was like to work at an international insurance firm.
So, with the brief set, it was over to the students to put their creative skills to the test and get started on the task. After taking a guided tour of the offices, they got to grips with the space they were working with. Now it was time to think creatively about how to use this space to make workers happy, as well as ensuring that there was an increase in productivity.
Acknowledging that people work in different ways, team Super Six came up with a flexible work space where employees could move the desks, sit on bean bags or sofas. They even offered an incentive for people to work better by giving free ice creams to the directors, surely a winning idea?
The Fun House team designed an innovative ideas wall for employees to write on whenever they had a burst of inspiration. And for an energetic boost in productivity, they designed a canteen in the shape of a football boot!
With ideas generated and designs nearing completion, it was time to work on their presentation skills to create a winning pitch. To persuade everyone that their design should be chosen, the teams would have to present with great confidence and flair.
In preparation, the volunteers gave handy hints and tips to the students, sharing wealth of experience. Louise, who communicates messages to people every day had some wise words for the students, ‘Speak loudly and clearly and remember to smile’. And Peter who regularly holds team meetings said ‘everyone gets nervous, but the key is to show that you are confident and passionate about what you are saying’.
After drafting their speeches and practising them over and again, the students were eager to take the stage. First up were Team John Perryn who clearly explained their special feature that transported employees to different countries to save time and money on travel costs. Every person in the team contributed and they remained positive and energetic throughout. For their powerful ending, they chanted their school motto and showed just how true they were to it, ‘We aim high to achieve success in all that we do’.
In the end, and after some quite intense questioning from the esteemed judges, it was team Fun House who took the winning position. They caught the judges attention with their ‘team zone’ that was great for group work, and as well as their clear structure of their presentation.
And the final word goes to Paul, the Finance Director for RSA, ‘was a pleasure, best hour of my week!’
A big thank you goes to the volunteers who gave up their time to support the students throughout their task. They gave them a unique insight into the world of insurance and encouraged the students to aim high in their future careers. John Perryn produced great work throughout the day and this business trip enhance the work they were doing in lesson time. If you’d like to embed enterprise in your classroom and see the benefits, Contact Us.