Saturday, 21 October 2017

Students’ ‘bottle box’ is winning invention

PUPILS won prizes in the final round of a business competition at Gillotts School in Henley.

PUPILS won prizes in the final round of a business competition at Gillotts School in Henley.

The event was part of the school’s annual enterprise competition, which was open to all 900 pupils for the first time.

The children had to design products using recycled materials and pitch them to a panel of local business experts. They went on stage to talk about their ideas, demonstrate prototype models and give video presentations.

Judging their efforts were Julie Bricknall, manager of Boots in Bell Street, Ellaine Campbell, personnel manager of Waitrose in Bell Street, and Fiona Penn, chief finance officer of Henley watchmaker Bremont.

The overall winners were Emily Day (team captain), Eric Gurung, Finley Tubb, Erin Bradley, Maisie Webb, Laura Case, Kathryn Craig and Joe Edwards, of Itzamna House. Their entry was a “bottle box”, a frog-like plastic storage case made from the bottom of two-litre fizzy drink bottles. They won a two-hour river cruise for 12 from Hobbs of Henley, which was one of the competition’s sponsors.

Year 10 student Emily, 15, said: “We thought it would be a good idea because it’s simple yet effective. However, it was quite a surprise to win. The other teams had some really good ideas and it was very close.”

Another team from Itzamna won the environmental award for a scheme to make gifts from rubbish discarded during regatta week.

Calliope House, who designed jewellery made from old buttons, took the prize for most innovative idea.

There was also an award for teamwork, which went to Morrigan House. Bethan Price-Davies, of Brigantia House, was named best leader and Steph Clark was named most outstanding individual.

The event was compered by Martin Akehurst, Deputy Mayor of Henley. Several teams from each house entered when the competition opened in January and the finalists were nominated by their classmates.

Business studies teacher Sarah Price said: “This is the first time we’ve done it with mixed-age groups and it’s great to see them working on an even level. Bringing a real-life business perspective into their studies is crucial to preparing them for the working world. They have done very well and made me very proud.”

Mrs Penn said: “We got involved because children need to learn more than just the academic subjects to become well-rounded people. I have been very impressed and think all the ideas we saw are worth an investor’s consideration. It’s brilliant that a school should be so forward-thinking.”

The other sponsors were the Regal Picturehouse cinema in Boroma Way and Marc Antoni hairdressers in Hart Street.

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