Tag Archives: Woodrush High School

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Gill Hutchinson with Woodrush year 10 students

Woodrush High students enjoy high pressure world of business

Woodrush High students enjoy high pressure world of business

Year 10 Business and Enterprise Day was a great success at Woodrush High School. The entire year group were ‘off timetable’ doing challenges as varied as crisis management, reviving a toxic brand and trying new ways of communication.

The day kicked off with outside speakers. Simon Beckett spoke about his expanding business from farming to food retail, hospitality and lettings. Richard Whitby from Crisis Solutions talked about their work helping large organisations deal with unexpected events and adverse publicity. Gill Hutchinson from Aardvark Marketing shared with the students some more examples of how brand management can sometimes go wrong if there are problems with food safety and product recalls to manage.

The students then spent the rest of day in smaller groups. They did exercises using different communication styles (DiSC) and were challenged with guessing games and building origami models with very basic instructions.

They then tried a ‘Zombie Attack’ crisis management exercise. Their team had to plan what to do if Birmingham was under threat from the outside and schools were instructed over a radio news bulletin to ‘lock-down’. Some responses involved drama, modelling or splitting into expert groups to each tackle one problem in detail. In the science labs the staff improvised an electrical blackout by cutting the lights, drawing the blinds and using Bunsen burners as an emergency option.

The afternoon was different again, the students were challenged with reviving a brand that wasn’t selling well and had a competition to come up with the best new ideas for reviving the brands’ success.

Nila Choudhury, ASPIRE Coordinator and Teacher of Business and Computing, who organised the day, expressed her thanks for the help and resources provided by Richard Whitby, Gill Hutchinson and Simon Beckett. “The students gained an insight into high pressure scenarios and campaigns. They worked superbly as a team and showcased their skills throughout the day. The external speakers engaged and stimulated the students with their expertise and experiences. This was a successful day all around.”

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd is the Woodrush High School Enterprise Advisor. Gill is one of a successful team of 40 local business leaders in Worcestershire as the LEP are the first in the country to have every school engaged in the programme.

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Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Enterprise Advisor helps develop future talent

Aardvark Enterprise Advisor helps develop future talent

Aardvark Enterprise Advisor helps develop future talent

Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd has taken on a new role providing support for Woodrush High School in developing more effective links with local businesses as their designated Enterprise Advisor. Gill is joining a successful team of 40 local business leaders in Worcestershire as the LEP are the first in the country to have every school engaged in the programme.

The Enterprise Advisors are part of local networks deigned to build stronger links between schools, colleges and local business. In Worcestershire, the scheme is being delivered by the local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Worcestershire County Council. Their aim is to bring local businesses together to support schools as they develop their whole school careers strategy and, ultimately, support the development of Worcestershire’s future workforce.

For Woodrush school, there is an existing programme of careers advice and events, where students are encouraged to find out more about the world of work and different options after leaving school. These include many new apprenticeship schemes or further education at University. By inviting closer links with businesses, the students can increase their knowledge about the many opportunities available to them and business people can get involved with activities such as career talks and offering practice or mock job interviews.

Gill Hutchinson says “This new partnership programme provides a structure and better resources for all the county schools to deliver careers education. As a former teacher, I know how much students appreciate visitors and how they can benefit from learning from people with diverse backgrounds and experience. Doing a practice interview is a very valuable experience for many students who find the process of job application daunting, and they gain confidence as a result.” Woodrush High School make the process of doing an interview easy and even provide prompt list of questions to get you started.

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