Year 11 pupils hone 'real-world' skills in enterprise challenge

The HSC Apprentice

Hereford Cathedral School Year 11 pupils this week enjoyed an enterprise challenge that put their entrepreneurial skills to the test. 

Working in small groups, they were tasked with developing an idea for a new business that would solve a problem relating to either health and wellbeing, the environment, or a community issue. Each group had to devise plans for product development, research, finance, branding and marketing.


After coming up with their initial ideas, the groups were then able to discuss their plans with a panel of leading industry figures, who offered advice on business strategy, logistics and marketing. 

Merry Albright
Steve Potter
Simon Lively

The 10 groups came up with some impressive business ideas, ranging from a plan to manufacture more eco-friendly fuel, to a scheme to recycle clothing into sofas and soft furnishings, to an app that would deliver remote therapy sessions.

The afternoon concluded with the groups presenting their business plans to their peers and the panel of judges, which included HCS Headmaster Dr Michael Gray, former Johnson & Johnson president Mr Will Finn, Border Oak creative director Mrs Merry Albright and The Beefy Boys director and founder Mr Anthony Murphy. As part of their presentations, the groups aired the 30-second videos they created to advertise their business ideas on social media.

Health Hub
Cream Chinos

After much deliberation, the judges announced that Team 6’s ‘Health Hub’ app, which facilitated people’s access to their medical records, to be the overall winner on the day. Second place went to Team 10’s ‘Green Bricks’ idea to create sustainable housing from shipping containers, while third place went to Team 8’s ‘Advance’ business, which would see the development of an efficient and eco-friendly travel network for Hereford’s university students and the wider community.

Spokesperson for the winning team (pictured below), Isabelle M, commented: “We had a lot of fun discovering each other’s different skills. Fortunately good team work paid off and after a day of challenging tasks, we were thrilled to win the coveted Beefy Boys prize.”

Team 6

Event mentor and judge Mrs Merry Albright said: “The questions the small groups asked the business mentors earlier in the day were thoughtful, focused and considered - and their willingness to learn and adapt was clear. We also thought the business ideas themselves were fascinating.”

Headmaster Dr Michael Gray commented: “A fantastic day with Year 11s… Some superb ideas, innovative marketing strategies, and meticulous financial planning. We were extremely grateful to the local business leaders who kindly joined us to offer their guidance.”

The purpose of the enterprise challenge was to give pupils an insight into the HCS Sixth Form and a taste of working independently under their own initiative. During the day, the pupils also explored the attributes and qualities which are required in an evolving employment landscape, such as teamwork, imagination, collaboration and digital literacy.

“In addition to enjoying the day, [pupils] developed the skills and aptitudes which are epitomised in the HCS Sixth Form experience and which equips them to be real-world ready,” added Dr Gray.

Many thanks to our panel of business mentors, which included Mr Anthony Murphy, director and founder of The Beefy Boys; Mr Ben Albright and Old Herefordian Mrs Merry Albright, Border Oak managing director and creative director, respectively; Mr Will Finn, former president of Johnson & Johnson; Mr Simon Lively, managing director of Quickskip; atmospheric scientist Dr Helen Rogers; former investment banker and HCS director of development Mrs Claire Morgan-Jones; Mr Steve Potter, managing director of Absolute Automation and Robotics; learning and development coach Mr Nick Ashton; plus Old Herefordians Miss Katie Alcott MBE, founder of Frank Water, and Brightwells managing director Richard Binnersley.