GCSE business studies students from Great Academy Ashton joined more than 600 students from over 50 schools in the Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures (5MF) initiative.
The national debating programme, in partnership with Debate Mate, involved students showcasing their debating skills with the chance to win £1,000 seed funding for an innovative idea.
Two teams from the academy had to research into their subjects of interest, set pricing and formulate a balanced argument in anticipation for question posed by the five members of the Deloitte team who were set for a virtual ‘Dragons Den’ style format.
Students pitched their ideas to the panel for a new app to support mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s plans for an improved London-style transport network. The app concept looked into how to make a seamless user experience from travel timetables, tickets to route recalculations.
The second team looked at options to improve access to digital technologies in support of disadvantaged children who require learning equipment and access to the world wide web from remote locations.
Business studies student Kegan Jones said “I was very fortunate to get the chance to take part in the Deloitte Futures Month.
“I thought our teams had some great ideas. We started of trembling with nerves, but as we began to settle into our pitch, we got much more comfortable with the debating style and gained confidence”.
The students, whose efforts were co-ordinated by Lyndsey Leech, received positive feedback from the judges who remarked it was excellent to see a group of students who are in tune with local and national news to know what is going on in the political world and the new policies being introduced.
They also fed back to the teams that it is really innovative of them to tie-in their business pitch with Mr Burnham’s transport initiative and the current issues in education, which demonstrated a good depth of research undertaken by the students.
Head of humanities Lyndsey Leech said “This national initiative is a fantastic opportunity for students to get involved with external activities which put them at the heart of a professional commercial environment.
“It also allows them to explore the subject in different ways rather than classroom activities with their peers.
“I feel it’s really important to provide students with a range of career options post school and our work with Deloitte Futures is only a small part. Students now have access to a range of career presentations and recent virtual visitors included a talk on law from crown court judges.”