As part of the Bicester Vision initiative to support Bicester schools, The Cooper School chose a Launchpad Masterclass for its Year 12 students on Friday 1st July, preceding the students’ Work Experience Week (Monday 4th – Friday 8th July). Young Enterprise offers a variety of one and half-day Masterclasses meeting the needs of different age ranges and learning/training objectives, presented in a fun and educational context. The Cooper School selected the Launchpad Masterclass as it includes a range of hands-on team activities for all abilities and personal skill sets and emphasises team and employability skills: areas that they felt their students would benefit from. There were 80 Year 12 students attending. They had recently finished their AS examinations, some students will be remaining at The Cooper School, others might be leaving at the end of this academic year.
Launchpad’s education mapping is to introduce team, business and employability skills concepts, assign tasks that build this understanding and provide students with the opportunity to apply these skills during their training day. Launchpad assigns tasks that initially appear disparate, but have common a theme. The day’s tasks built on business -based product development and marketing mix projects culminating in group presentations to a Dragons Den. The training module is delivered by the Young Enterprise Manager, together with the Young Enterprise Business Advisers; logistics and student behaviour/discipline is managed by the host school.
The Masterclass was supported by Mark Lambert from the Cooper School and the following Young Enterprise volunteers, who had each received a training guide for the day and a timetable for the event the previous week:
The day comprised:
Generally, the students engaged well with the tasks assigned to them throughout the day, with the support of the Business Advisers and the Young Enterprise Manager. At break time all students were consulted and assessed for engagement and enjoyment of the training so far and based on this feedback and that of the Business Advisers, it was decided not to launch the Shoe Challenge with the optional Finance Package. During the Shoe Challenge again all students were consulted with to test their progress and engagement.
The students produced some inspirational ideas for the judges, really enjoyed the creative business elements of the training day and presented their ideas and concepts especially well. Mr Baxter and the Head of Sixth Form were especially impressed, thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and let me know later how much the students had enjoyed the day. The students capably demonstrated their employability skills learning in communication, problem-solving, initiative, confidence, teamwork, organisation and resilience.
Mark Lambert’s teacher evaluation of the day was good: ‘The day was a great success, which benefited the students both in terms of appreciating their employability skills and as a morale booster. Almost all our students remained on task throughout the day and that was partly the activities and partly the way they were presented…… volunteers were varied and of good standing and many built good relationships with the students, their presence greatly added to their experience and feel of the day….. Overall a more than satisfactory set of outcomes for our students, who seemed to enjoy the interaction and activities’