Pupils face ‘dragons’ in county challenge
STUDENTS at Lodge Park Academy in Corby faced a Dragons’ Den-style panel when they held their in-school final, as part of this year’s County Schools Challenge.
The school is just one of 17 across the county that is taking part in the 2016 County Schools Challenge; an annual event in which pupils are asked to come up with a business or service based around improving a specific social issue.
This year the theme is healthy relationships, so students taking part are being asked to think about what makes a healthy relationship and what could help young people know where to turn when their relationships become abusive or unhealthy.
Each school holds its own in-house finals, when pupils have to pitch their ideas against each other and an overall winner for the school is selected.
The winning team at Lodge Park Academy includes year eight pupils Mackenzie Spiers, Macauley Skewis, David Aldridge, Aiden Aldridge, Joseph Hobson and John Docherty. In total, eight teams took part, presenting their ideas at the school’s final event, which was held on Thursday March 17 at The Core at Corby Cube.
The school’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ panel was made up of vice-principal Stuart Judge, Corby Borough Councillor Julie Riley, businessman Bob Riley, Sergeant Nigel Roberts and former winner of the in-school competition, Lewis Ilko.
Teacher Hugo Goodson, who has been leading the school’s participation in the challenge, said: “Students have once more proved they are very capable at thinking up solutions to the problems that face our society and are able to come up with workable and realistic solutions that, if adopted, might make a real difference. All the students at our in-school final have been a credit to the academy, Corby and Northamptonshire. We clearly have a bright future.”
The winners from each school will go on to take part in countywide semi-finals and finals, culminating in an appearance at the Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering, before a panel of experts who will pick the overall winning idea from across Northamptonshire.
Shaun Johnson, from the joint Arson Taskforce (Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service), who was one of the founders of the Challenge, said: “I’m impressed that Lodge Park Academy has already reached the stage of holding its in-school final and I’m really looking forward to the semi-finals, when we will hear what each of the schools have come up with.”
Pictured above – EXPLORING RELATIONSHIPS: Corby students face a panel of ‘dragons’ as part of this year’s competition.
Champions defend their 2015 title
WINNERS of last year’s County Schools Challenge winners are again participating in this year’s competition, as one of 17 schools now taking part.
Guilsborough pupils landed first place in the challenge in 2015, when the subject was cyber-bullying and online safety. They designed a purple bow, which they hoped would be worn as an emblem on an annual cyber-bullying awareness day.
Joanna Furnell, County Schools Challenge co-ordinator at Guilsborough Academy, said: “The students have been given freedom to decide how they are interpreting the brief of healthy relationships with guidance from their teachers.
“Some groups are concentrating on friendships while other groups are concentrating on how to keep safe online.”
Pictured right – SEEKING MORE SOLUTIONS: Guilsborough teenagers are again taking part in the county competition.