The Year 6 students at Rupert House School were in for a treat on Monday 15th May with a special visit from Nationwide. In the run up to the school May Fair, Mrs. Williams’ class had the opportunity to talk all things business with Anthony Porter, Wallingford Nationwide’s Branch Manager, and Anna Trimmings, from Nationwide Henley.
For the school’s May Fair celebrations on Friday 26th, the 11 year old girls have been working in groups to create fun fair inspired games, overseen by their Art/Design and Technology teacher, Mrs. Poulter. The students spoke with enthusiasm and excitement when explaining their stalls to their visitors, detailing their inventive ideas. The stalls on offer featured more traditional games, involving throwing ping pong balls into plastic cups, to obstacle courses, and a particularly gruesome sounding ‘Gory Kevin’ in which participants have to identify the items in a dissected model body.
Profits from the games will go to a charity of the girls’ choice, and Anthony and Anna were on hand to provide valuable insight on how to maximise their earnings. Each team was given a guide on writing a business plan by the Nationwide representatives, who talked them through completing it.
Though the factor of cost had not completely gone amiss, with ticket prices already set by each group, there was an important lesson to be learnt in considering the return on their investment. Every stand offered prizes, from cuddly toys for the overall winners to sweets just for playing. The budgets needed to buy these started at £10, rising to a whopping £44 for one team. Despite insisting that any money lent by parents needn’t be returned, Mr. Porter was keen that the business plans included all start up costs. “If it was me, from the bank, who had lent you the money, do you think I’d want it back?” he asked the students, prompting them to compare to a real-life scenario. With the help of Mr. Porter’s spreadsheet, in which the girls could input their costs and projected ticket sales, the teams were able to calculate how much they needed to make to breakeven.
The students were also encouraged to think about marketing their stalls, though many had already begun to advertise with posters. One student, Ava, astutely identified the tactics behind her group’s poster, stating that, “by writing ‘everyone’s a winner’ on it, people want to play because they know they will get something.”
The introduction to business has been a two year project, with the girls having begun to enterprise in Year 5. Using a £5 investement from parents, they were asked to find a way to make money for charity. Some washed cars, others sold ice cream above purchase cost, and one offered ‘odd jobs’ to her neighbours, such a laying tables. It seems that Rupert House School is on a mission to build the entrepreneurs of the future!