Pupils mean business!

The year nine pupils who won first prize
The year nine pupils who won first prize

From broken bones to new beginnings

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Bright youngsters have scooped first prize in a prestigious competition for their excellent business and linguistic skills.

The group of six year nine students from Purbrook Park School, in Waterlooville, were applauded by a panel of experts judging the schools challenge called A Place in the World.

Their business plan to help a family of four move to Luxembourg, find them jobs, schools, a place to live with a mortgage, and even set up a bank account, wowed judges.

Andrew Heaps, a French and Italian teacher at Purbrook Park, says: ‘In almost 20 years of teaching, seeing our team perform and go on to win was one of my proudest moments.

‘I don’t think I could have come up with such a sophisticated business plan at their age – it was very impressive.

‘What amazed me the most was their maturity, excellent teamwork and brilliant ideas.

‘They all have incredibly successful careers ahead of them.’

Michael Whiting, 14, Lilia Gibbons, 14, Zahrah Goolam-Mahomed, 13, Sarah Crowder-Johnson, 14, Matty Norris, 14 and Joe Borsley, 14, beat teams from 12 schools across the region to win the competition run by the Portsmouth and South East Education Business Partnership (EBP).

Judges on the night included Dawn Wall, linguist and translator, Gloria Vessey, director of Periplas Training and Consultancy and Nicolas Beausseron, senior construction manager from the event’s sponsor, construction firm Warings.

The EBP praised the pupils for dressing in smart business clothes, wearing badges featuring their company’s logo and arming themselves with powerpoint presentations.

And their branded items and detailed corporate plans impressed all those who attended the final at the Holiday Inn Portsmouth and secured them the win.

Suzanne Lewis, EBP project co-ordinator, adds: ‘The teams combine their foreign language skills with an understanding of business by taking on roles such as managing, finance and marketing directors.

‘It is so inspiring to see the students focusing on their projects and achieving such impressive results.’