23 Mar

  • By Mr Wilson

We know that at least one of the groups have received investment from the Dragons and others are dangling on their deliberations. An exhausting experience for all involved, especially the students. This coverage may well continue into a second day.


Resilience is one aspect of lifelong learning which is being tested today as a lot of our students are having to cope with criticism and rejection from some of the community’s most seasoned businessmen. Students are finding it difficult to say the experience with the Dragons has been an enjoyable one but all are saying it has certainly been worthwhile.




Remember tip number 6: Don’t be greedy.



Some groups are taking a real grilling from the Dragons!

The speaking and listening skills on display are absolutely unbelievable considering that two years ago we had to drag students to speak for 1 minute in an assembly (and they would often hide behind a piece of paper). Students are speaking with confidence, articulating ideas in detail and occasionally demonstrating some flashy persuasive techniques. They must have had half decent English lessons along the way.



One of the pitches underway.

high pressure



Every member of each group believes their pitch is going to win over the Dragons. So let’s just call it a day and say everyone’s a winner. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way, which is another thing that today’s SLD is teaching the students: the harsh reality of the business world. Imagine the outrage if the Dragons said “great effort guys but we really can’t pick a winner”.

With only minutes to go until each group has to present their pitch – groups are taking all kinds of desperate measures to influence the dragons. Confectionary treats and cupcakes are usurping the school fridges; an abundance of persuasive techniques are being showered into presentations; the odd teacher here and there spilling their pearls of wisdom at the last minute.



WELCOME BACK – Students are now practising their pitches and fine tuning those all important communication skills which could make the difference this afternoon. The presentation is everything; you might have the best idea or product, but if you haven’t pitched it well and not paid enough attention to detail  – you might see all your hard work go to waste.

The students have now stopped for lunch – or have they? Lots of groups taking working lunches in the hope that it will make all the difference.



  1. How is your idea/service/product profitable?
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Highlight the innovative aspect of the product – what is new?
  4. An “eco” element is desirable
  5. Investors have a built in radar for detecting nonsense so don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes
  6. Don’t be greedy – get your numbers right
  7. Keep calm and carry on – if you lose your focus just take a deep breath and pick it back up
  8. Plan – short, medium and long term vision
  9. Relate to your audience
  10. Be yourself

Source: Thisismoney.co.uk


world domination

A realistic vision?


World Domination – Some very ambitious ideas flying around and very little consideration of the small deed, big difference concept. It’s encouraging to see such creative, entrepreneurial skills but make sure you’ve thought it through and consider what is already on offer out there.



Self directed learning in action: A year 5 student and year 11 student punching those all important numbers.


flower power

The competition is intensifying in response to Group 1’s progress. Don’t forget to apply this morning’s learning into your pitch. You spent 2 hours exploring and discussing sales, marketing, finance, operations, and management – this will need to be evident in your presentation as the dragons will be asking some pretty fiery questions.

LOC Photobook

GROUP 1 – If they get their pitch right and have sound figures – it’s difficult to see how they can be beaten based on what I’ve seen so far.


Look out for DRAGONS.


GROUP 9 ARMANDStudents are now returning to their groups and will focus predominantly on their pitch.

Food, glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard! My apologies – I wonder where that came from? BREAK TIME.



GROUP 4 – Making full use of the Learning Centre Library as they formulate their business plan.




“The Winning Group” (Mr Duffy) A.K.A GROUP 5. I think i’m allowed to say that this group are going down the service route – my words are being tightly policed.



GROUP 3 – Bringing together the business concepts into their plan (which I am not permitted to disclose).

SESSION 2 – The Students lead sessions on the Business concepts explored in session 1. They have to link these concepts to their product/service and embed them into their business plan.



Primary on Marketing

The Marketing session was led by Ms Qadar (Primary) and Mrs Ski (English).


Primary on Management

Mrs Sutherland, our Primary Lead, taking a session on Business Management. Again this is cross phase. Students are taking notes to feedback to their groups in 20 minutes time.

food tech teaching operations

Staff as well as students are learning plenty as another cross phase session on Business Operations being led by Mrs Murphy (Business Studies), Mr Hobson (Food Technology) and Mr Craven (HLTA) tests their expertise (or in some cases lack of).


Humanities teaching Sales

Mr Duffy and Mrs O’Connor (Humanities Teachers) teaching a Sales session to a cross phase class consisting of year 3 students through to upper sixth form. Where else could you possibly find this experience?

Students have now filtered out into groups for the only teacher-led session of the day. FSSC staff are leading sessions on: Sales, Marketing, Research and Development, Finance, Operations, and Management. This is the unique context in which the students will have to apply the Focus Learning Thinking Skills throughout the course of the day.  The delegates (students) attending these sessions come from 1 of 15 groups and must be extremely perceptive throughout the session as they have to give feedback to their group during lesson 2.


ENTERPRISE – is the theme of the day and the principal aim is for students to devise a comprehensive business plan that will convince a group of investors to invest money into and turn into an actual business. You read it right – at least one business plan will be taken on by an investor and turned into an actual business.


FSSC Headteacher, Mr Wilson, is reminding students what the day is all about. The day is a celebration of learning where students apply a repertoire of skills which have been fine tuned throughout the term and applied in a unique context. The measure of success depends on the desired outcomes but you can’t really beat Deputy Headteacher, Mr Bourne’s measure: “that the students should not be able to walk onto the buses without aid by the end of the day”.

SLD FIRST! Excitement is growing rapidly as the film crew for SLD has arrived!


The students have arrived and are now spilling into the hall for registration and an SLD briefing.


Good Morning everyone. Follow all the action as it unfolds from the FSSC Spring Super Learning Day.