A group of students held a property auction to ‘sell off’ a section of their school as part of a programme of activity to develop their teamwork and leadership skills.
Seven senior surveyors, estate agents and marketers from local property firm Arnolds Keys devised the one-day workshop, which saw 23 students evaluate, market and ‘sell off’ parts of the Wymondham College campus in a realistic exercise designed to mirror the residential, commercial and agricultural property business.
Local business people, parents and teachers were all ‘bidders’ at the final auction, which saw the principal of the college, Jonathan Taylor, ‘buying back’ his own office, a staff flat and a piece of pony paddock for the school.
The day was organised by school student futures coordinator Liz Edwards and school enterprise adviser Jan Hÿtch, operations partner at Arnolds Keys, as part of the Shine Programme, which is working with a selected group of year-eight boys to encourage their engagement with academic and college life.
“The team from Arnolds Keys brought a dose of real life to our students,” said Ms Edwards.
“They were able to make clear the link between things students learn in the classroom and the kind of skills which they will need when they get into the workplace.
“The day involved observation, note-taking, using specialist equipment, creating spreadsheets with the property information, and then designing and producing property particulars. Finally, the students’ presentation skills were tested as they conducted the auction themselves in front of an audience.”
Ms Hÿtch added, “It is vital for businesses to engage with young people while they are still in education, to demonstrate in a practical way how what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the skills that they will need when they enter the world of employment.
“The corporate world sometimes bemoans the fact that young people leaving education don’t always understand the world of work. But it is incumbent on those of us in business to do what we can to put that right.”
As the school’s enterprise adviser, Ms Hÿtch is working with staff at the school to advise on their employer engagement strategy, and helping the school build a better network of business contacts.