Monkwray Junior School

We have got off to a great start. Mrs Tomlinson has set it up as an after school club with mainly class 6 and some class 5's. We (Myself, Stephen Mullen and John Crayston from Safety Critical) meet with Monkwray School every Tuesday 3.15pm and have had 2 meetings so far. The first session we had Welcomes and Intros, an Intro Bright Stars competition, Intro into business — looked at a business plan and everyone got a handout, then we did an Activity — 'Getting to know you' so the class wrote down their likes/dislikes, fav school lesson, hobbies and what they are looking forward to with the competition, the last part was a brainstorming session for ideas which we typed up on the white board.

This week's meeting (Meeting 2) we did greetings and welcomed anyone new to the group, which we did have one new addition — word had obviously got round how good it is! We then looked at the brainstorming results from last time and categorised them into 3 broad groups:

  1. Physical activities
  2. Food & Drink
  3. Art and Crafts

We then took a vote to see if the group should just pick a business idea from one of the categories or do a mix of the categories. The general consensus was to do a mix, although only one was interested in Category 1, so we are concentrating mainly on ideas from the Food & Drink and Arts and Craft categories. We then discussed roles and responsibilities and discussed who might be interested in working in the following teams:

  1. Finance
  2. Marketing & Selling
  3. Production & Design
  4. Admin & Comms

So to wrap up, the group was asked to work this week on setting a structure up of who is in which team and also to start focusing down on the idea/ideas that will form the business. Mrs Tomlinson suggested they met one lunchtime in the week.

There are a lot of good ideas, and enthusiasm from the group and so we are excited to see how it all flourishes!

Caroline Gate
Safety Critical

We have had two meetings, and we have sorted out our main idea.

We have decided to decorate and sell wooden crafts such as, painting a love heart box for valentines day filled with a chocolate treat, wooden fairy door and personalised boxes.

We are busy researching prices and materials during lunch time.

We are going to do market research to find the most popular designs.

We also still really want to make some food, and we have talked about doing an afternoon tea in school, but we think we will wait for our other product to sell.

Liam and Nathan

We've created our own email account for our business 'Wonder of the Woods'. We have used this account to take orders from customers outside of school.

Since our last update, we have been sooooo busy designing, creating and selling our Valentine's product — wooden hearts.

Take a look at our designs, which we sold for £1.20 each.

In total, we sold 110 hearts! It has been a very busy time!

We personally delivered these around school with our Valentines post box and some of us visited West Lakes Business Park to deliver to our outside of school customers.

Our production line. We offered personalised stamping on the hearts too!

We are now thinking about our next project. We are thinking about our product line for Mothers Day (and beyond!)

Well this is the final few days for the Bright Stars Competition but this has not deterred the Bright Stars of Monkwray Junior School or should I say the team behind the Wonder of the Woods business. Following on from the Valentines Hearts a new product range was launched by Wonder of the Woods for Mother's day. The new range included some large hearts with a choice of three different sayings, also flower shapes in three different colours with the choice of an initial on the back to personalise it and two chocolates and the final shape in the new range were wooden Teapot shapes; again in three colours with choice of a short name to personalise it and all nicely bagged up with a teabag and kitkat!

We visited the Wonder of the Woods team at Monkwray Junior School on a weekly basis and the big noticeable thing they are massive on here is TEAMWORK. They have pulled together when the pressure was on to get the stock out for Valentines and before the final trading bell tolls on their Mother's day range. The team have demonstrated again and again, week in, week out, that working together in a team for a shared goal, and collaborating well with mutual trust and respect for each other has not only added to, but without doubt has been the main key factor of their success.

Although the group split up into teams to work on specific tasks such as finance, design, production etc they all came together once the sales started flowing in order to keep up with the demand. It was great to see how quickly they managed to organise themselves so well that they completed every order on time without disappointing any customers. Especially when the stock didn't arrive that they were expecting! The team still managed to devise a contingency plan and complete everyone's orders. The team also quickly identified the need for a quality manager in order to check the orders were completed as requested and that the decoration and painting was up to standard.

As the Wonder of the Woods produced two products lines one after the other with half term in between it worked really well because it enabled the team to learn about LFE (Learning From Experience). Even though the Valentines Hearts were a big success and a sell-out, the team learnt a lot from their first line, and were able to incorporate any necessary changes into the new product line. For example they made modifications to the order form and the drying methods of the shapes — they discovered whilst painting the Valentines Heart that they don't dry very well on paper towel — they tend to end up sticking to the paper! But not only that, they learned a lot about each other and how best to work together, they were able to identify where the individual's strengths and weaknesses lay and managed to organise themselves to make the most of the individual's strengths for the team and minimise their weaknesses.

The pupils have learned so much from this experience about all aspects of business such as stock levels, stock ordering, costing, sales, marketing, ordering, setting up email accounts, advertising, customer service, design, and production the list goes on... but ultimately it was the immense level of team working and determination that made their success. They were knocking on the teacher's door from 8.30am, using all their breaks and lunchtimes to drive the business forward. The enthusiasm has been second to none. When I asked one pupil what they will do when it's finished they replied "I'll cry!" They've loved every minute of this experience and can't thank the Centre for Leadership enough for providing this opportunity and for Safety Critical to be involved. It really is an honour to see the Bright Stars of the future working together and developing so much over the course of the completion. Well done to all the Bright Stars of 2017!

The Wonder of the Woods business worked every spare minute they had right up to the final day for trading. On the final day, they visited West Lakes Technology Park where they delivered all their orders and also made some further sales. They all then stayed back after school in order to count the money and finish off a scrapbook they were putting together for the judges to show some of the journey they have been on!

A fantastic effort and it's going to a great charity. The charity of their choice is Howgill Family Centre, the Bereavement Group which helps children who have lost significant loved ones. This charity has done and currently does some great work with the school already. For example helping pupils affected by bereavements by creating memory boxes with them. So the Wonder of the Woods felt it would be a great way to give something back to them especially as one of the Wonder of the Woods team is being helped by the bereavement group currently.

Caroline Gate
Safety Critical