From disengaged and troublesome to empowered and motivated: Sir William Stanier School Story

With the finals just around the corner, we were delighted to hear from Sir William Stanier school who have taken part in The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge since 2013. Rebecca Clarke, Director of Business, Communities & Partnerships at the school outlined that the first challenge began truly with a challenge set by the school. They presented The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge team with a disengaged, troublesome Leisure and Tourism group of students who had all but lost interest in their GCSE course and seemed destined to become the school’s NEET cohort for the following year.

Motivating, Inspirational & Engaging

Rebecca said, “I saw enthusiasm, exceptionally high standards and a desire for all students to be successful, regardless of their background. Not only were our students impressed by the realism of the challenge and the, ‘money can’t buy’ nature of the prize on offer; ‘you mean my pencil case might actually buy sold in Ryman?’ but also by the presenters who delivered the workshops. Here were young men and women to whom the students could relate. They spoke about music and celebrities that the students knew. They talked to them

in a way that was inspirational and engaging. They coerced the students into presenting and participating in a way that was empowering and not condescending. They were motivational and brought out the best in our students. It was amazing to see how many of them were willing to stand up to present to their peers – something that most of them had never done before.”

“This is the aspect of The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge that I enjoy the most; seeing students push their boundaries and attempt something really new to them.”

Meeting Benchmarks & Government Career Strategy

As well as promoting the spirit of entrepreneurialism and transferrable skills, Rebecca reported that engaging with The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge has also enabled Sir William Stanier to meet several of the Gatsby benchmarks by giving student the opportunity to meet with staff from local employers such as Ryman, as well as develop key skills that are valued in the workplace and will prepare them for life in modern Britain – a key focus of the government’s Career Strategy.

Finally, Rebecca said, “I thoroughly recommend that other schools work with The Inspirational Learning Group and The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge.”