Focusing On Business

Senior School Business Studies

At the end of the Summer term, our Fourth year pupils traditionally spend two days focusing on business and career preparation. The first of these days this year was once again run by the Business and Economics Department and consisted of the 'Bablake Bake-Off' and the 'Stock Market Challenge'.

Mrs Helen Sawyer reports on the day:

'The scenario for the Bablake Bake-Off was based on a garden centre that was diversifying and intended to sell homemade, locally sourced food produce to its customers. One product they wanted to sell was handmade, decorated shortbread in a luxury presentation box.'

Our pupils worked in teams of four acting as a small business that made luxury biscuits. They had two hours to make 10-12 luxury shortbread biscuits in a presentation box, complete with appropriate branding. They also needed to think about pricing and advertising. At the end of the session, each team had to present a two minute pitch to the 'garden centre management', to convince them that it was their product that should be sold in the garden centre.

Competition was fierce with over 25 local businesses wanting this contract. Businesses were judged on quality of shortbread, suitability of presentation box, professionalism of the pitch and appeal of the brand created.

The challenge allowed the pupils to develop many important work place skills in a competitive and time restricted scenario. Most importantly they had to work effectively as a team, both in preparation and on the day. They had to plan their raw material requirements for their products, discuss marketing strategies, work out finances and deploy their skill set appropriately, with those strong on baking going to the kitchen and those with a talent for art and design heading to Design Technology. ICT skills were also required in the presentation phase, as were excellent presentation skills in pitching the product to the judges with confidence and professionalism.

Eight businesses had their products submitted for final consideration by Headmaster Mr John Watson and Head of 4th Year Mrs Lisa French. The winning team was Planet Shortbread (Charlotte Allitt, Steven Floyd, James Hodge and Abhijit Palit) with their lemon stars and chocolate planets; they each received a Bablake Bake Off Winners 2015 Wooden Baking Spoon.

Second was the very colourful Poppies Bakery (James Sawyer, Chandra Singh, Tom Taylor and Dhuvegen Vicnakumaar) who each received a runners up spoon. A spoon was also awarded to businesses that had excelled in one area. Special mention must go to the business that used salt instead of sugar in its recipe! Fortunately the team realised and managed to produce another batch in record time – this time with sugar!'

We congratulate all our Fourth year pupils on investing so much energy into this activity, and thank the staff who assisted on the day, in particular Mrs Carol Davey (Heads of Food and Textiles) and Mr Chris West, (Head of Design Technology).

Photography from @BablakeDT

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