Sixth formers that are studying Business Studies Level 3 and Finance (with London Institute of Banking & Finance, LIBF) went to the Bank of England in London where they were spoken to about the bank’s history and the role of the bank in the UK economy.

The students asked some very insightful and thoughtful questions demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of their current studies where they were facing influential external exams this year. Students stated it was good to see their learning in context and to gain a deeper appreciation of what the Bank of England does for the UK. The tour of the museum showed the students the different ways inflation and interest rates impact society and the students were all fascinated by the real Gold bar, weighing 13kg, that they were able to try to lift in the box to varying success. A great day out bringing real life to learning.

To celebrate Enterprise Week and to promote business, enterprise and workplace skills we ran multiple events to ensure that every student in the school could participate.

Years 7, 9, 10, 11 and sixth form competed in a ‘hint of Christmas’ quiz where they had to watch short exerts of 20 different businesses Christmas adverts. Each form competed against the other forms in their year and it was spectacular to see some great participation from the forms and especially year 11’s who identified 16 of the correct businesses.

Year 8 students completed a full day’s workplace skills workshop with Enable Hertfordshire which is run by an ex-student from St Mary’s. The day involved students understanding key roles and leadership in a business and then each of them taking on responsibilities within their teams. Teams were then challenged to create their own music company where they had to write a new song and create the marketing material including posters and merchandise from products that were available via trading with other teams although supply and demand limited what there was available. Each team then showed off their presenting skills showing their professionalism and some even sang their new song they created demonstrating their skills and confidence. The days closed with an awards ceremony and feedback on the great work the students completed. The enthusiasm, creativity and business minded thought processes shown were excellent, well done Year 8.

Year 10 Business Studies students welcomed Paul Daniel, the Health, Safety and Environmental Manager from Warburtons who delivered a great talk about Warburton’s as a business including how it is owned and managed. The students participated very well and they had plenty of relevant questions to ask which they did very well using key business vocabulary. Having speakers from different businesses come and speak to our students is always fantastic as it helps them to see what they are learning in practice and to gain more insight by being able to ask questions. If you are a business owner or a manager in a business that would be able to come into St Mary’s to speak about your business please do contact Kristine Johnson

Our Opportunities Portfolio is up and running with new additional opportunities being sought, negotiated and made available to our students.

More and more students are gaining valuable additional skills and experiences which will support and enhance their futures. The commitment shown by our students is outstanding.

Sign Language – We have completed another 6-week British Sign Language (BSL) course with 12 year 12 students and one member of staff. The group of students are currently working on presenting an Act of Worship to other students to show them some sign language and to help promote how important it is as a skill to have. Students have confirmed that they have learnt the ability to be able to not exclude someone from a conversation. Well done Olivia K, Kayleigh, Tallie, Olivia M, Quincey, Huseyin, Jayde, Kristina, Tyra, Destiny, Tallie and Greta.

Emergency First Aid at Work – we are continuing to run the Emergency First Aid at Work qualification as a priority for sixth form students so they could help save a life if ever needed. The qualification provides participants with a three-year work qualification which seven more of our sixth form students have completed, well done Olivia K, Olivia M, Quincey, Kristina, Lucy, Rosie and Donel. We have another 8 students awaiting their training date.

Mental Health First Aid – A business contact provided us with 2 free places at a two-day course to become Mental Health First Aiders delivered by MHFA England at Mind in Haringey. Two of our year 12 students, Kristina and Kayleigh, completed the course as it will assist them with their future career aspirations. Feedback from Dave Smith from the Charity FROM REHAB TO LIFE FOUNDATION included; “I am very proud of you both. The work you both did with a room of strangers, when I know you will have been nervous just shows me that you are both going to do well in life”.

Our Young Enterprise team this year consists of 16 year 12 students who are studying a range of subjects in our sixth form and they have named their business ‘Majestic Gifts’.

Their business aim is to produce affordable gifts and cards to help bring joy to others. They created products for Christmas which included Christmas decorated baubles with sweets which they personalised for customers with names or messages, Christmas wreaths and seasonal posies.

Just before Christmas the team attended the Dickensian Evening in Ware and set up their own market stall where they sold directly to the public. Despite the cold the team were magnificent in their marketing attracting customers attention and selling their products. It was fantastic to see their confidence grow throughout the evening.

The team are currently creating their next cards and gifts for Valentines, Mother’s Day and birthdays which they will be selling at the Atria Watford Shopping Centre on Saturday 11th February; if you’re in the area please do pass by to see our team in action.

Well done to you all we are very proud of you and we can’t wait to see how your business does in the competition; Kayleigh, Jayde, Kristina, Shenese, Taylan, Donell, Lucy, Ali, Eli, Daniel, Akwasi, Jesse, Tallie, Rosie, Olivia and Christian.