Phonic Farm take time to celebrate, eat cake and reflect

After all the excitement of Wednesday’s final, the meeting yesterday was very quiet and relaxing.

At the start of the meeting the students were treated to cake which Mrs Manning brought in to congratulate them alongside various visits from members of staff including the Head of 6th Form Mr Hill and the Headteacher Mr Moir. Everyone at the school was so impressed and delighted to hear about their successes at the Area Finals. The trophies even made an appearance as Max, who had left the Area Finals before the winners were announced, needed confirmation of their success as he did not believe it to start with!

After a little time to celebrate and relax, the students got down to work. They started by going around the table reflecting on the positives and negatives of the stand design, presentation and team interview.

All the students believed the stand and the addition of the children’s play area were the most positive aspects as they appealed to their target market. The agreement was that moving forward this would not be a focus area but would be something that would be worth tweaking nearer the time.

The students then took a critical approach and reviewed their presentation. The team agreed that this was the area they could improve upon the most. It was impressive to see that the students had already started to reflect on this after the Finals as they came in with various ideas on how to improve it from including images of children engaging with their products to a breakdown of family activities and literacy statistics. Following on from the presentation, they also discussed the way they presented to the audience. The team had received some positive comments from others saying how well they came across, but the team did not believe that they presented the most passionate pitch they could in comparison to the others within the competition. The team decided this was going to be their main development area moving forward. At the finals, the students and I made a few connections with other business advisors and one of them specialises in branding and presentations. Due to our success, meetings are now being set up for the students to meet with them and do what they can to help Phonic Farm elevate their brand and pitch. The final point they discussed was business dress. The team felt their look was inconsistent and that moving forward they all need to have a consistent look, with this they are already looking into branded Phonic Farm ties and shirts.

Once the improvement points had been discussed, the students started to think about other business opportunities. One of the ideas they spoke about was developing a new story specifically for the Regional finals which was an overview of their Young Enterprise journey. The team loved this idea and it is now down to Lily to write this. I personally believe it will be a fantastic USP to launch at the finals and showcase to the judges. On top of developing a story, they also discussing developing their brand from re-designing their business cards to creating Haribo style adverts where the adults do childlike things and are voiced over by children. Tom, the Digital Director came up with this idea which was loved by everyone and has been tasked with seeing this through.

Based on previous experience, I also suggested that the team should seek funding from local businesses to help finance the new ideas. Many the students work for Tesco, so this was an ideal place to start. After time, the ideas kept rolling from places Parents worked to links with the schools Governors and local clubs the students work/volunteer at. Because of this, the students are researching local businesses and emailing them to ask for support. Max, the Company Secretary has already managed to secure a large sum courtesy of Western Power Distribution which is fantastic news!

It was such a productive meeting. Both Clare and I were delighted to see how winning the Finals had boosted the student’s motivation to succeed. They are truly turning into professional business men and women! Roll on the Regional Finals – if all the ideas they have come to fruition, I believe we will have a very strong change of succeeding further. 

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