To Market, To Market

Year Ten students have been getting some valuable hands-on business experience by designing and selling their own products. 

It’s part of a business unit within Social Studies to better connect secondary school students with “real world” learning.
The programme is Smart Waikato’s Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP), and it brings together students and mentors from the business community. The mentors help the students as they come up with a product concept, right through to selling it.

Classes who have already been through the 8 week programme have sold things they’ve made at the Thames Market, and the school hall. Those included food, candles and decorated jars.

The Year Tens are expected to carry out all the real world activities associated with launching a product; such as market research and SWAT analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). They also have to crunch the numbers, such as working out their margins and taxes, as well as submitting a financial report.

Head of Commerce Malcolm Belton says that as well as the high academic standards reached by students, they have also developed some great personal skills; confidence, leadership, negotiating, and time management. 

Thames High was one of five Waikato Schools selected for the pilot programme, and Malcolm Belton says they are working out details about how the programme could work next year.

Mentors this year have included Darren Donnolly from Toyota, Chris Harison from A&G Price, Sean Hayes from Smart Environmental, Matt Heap from Pak’n’Save, and John Lloyd from BNZ.