Video: https://drive.google.com/a/challoners.org/file/d/0B7lD8jy_W6fgZlpkRk5NTDhGMUE/preview

In the week before half term, whilst many of our older students began their public exams, Year 10 students were tested in a very different way. Anybody visiting the school would have seen small groups of boys dashing around the site in business attire, putting into practice some of the workplace skills they had developed over the course of the week.

The first few days of the Working Life Conference began on a steadier note with engaging presentations by a group of business owners and experienced professionals, led by an experienced businessman. Through in-depth discussions we realised that there were areas we needed to work on in order to be successful in applying to employers and in securing other career opportunities. This was enhanced by advice based on the personal experiences of the mentors.

Video: https://drive.google.com/a/challoners.org/file/d/0B7lD8jy_W6fgVEl6bjZCallKaFk/preview

Video: https://drive.google.com/a/challoners.org/file/d/0B7lD8jy_W6fgaFZwa0NaQWNxM1U/preview

Video: https://drive.google.com/a/challoners.org/file/d/0B7lD8jy_W6fgdEczcXAtbHFUQ2s/preview

By the third day, the presentations encompassed much more than office skills, delving into how to write a CV and even completing an IQ test as a group. To enable us to refine some of the skills we had learnt, the mentors also introduced several group tasks. For the first of these, each group was given a different pop song and asked to create and perform a dance routine, with one person designated as singer.

The task required the allocation of roles and it definitely got us dancing. The combination of mawkish music and the natural rhythm of Year 10 at the boogie was a source of great amusement but to everyone's credit each group managed to produce a full routine.

However, the main task was the product launch. After dividing into smaller groups, we were given a brief that asked us to simply 'launch an original product'. Again, time was tight with less than one day to create the idea and bring it to fruition, but during this period a great amount of creativity was demonstrated by the groups.

There were several contenders for the best product, including the smartphone app Supervise that promoted effective revision. BioLeaf was also very good, a new system of road lights made from bioluminescent trees. But the product that won the most 'brownie' points from the mentors overall was the electronic cookie jar with its biometric fingerprint sensor to prevent any cookies from going missing!

After providing us with so many insights and tips, our experts put us back in the hands of the school for the last two days. With the dance routines still fresh in our minds, we were split into small groups and tasked with producing a 30 second advert promoting Challoner’s. The incentive was that some of the best adverts might be played at the next open evening.

As filming drew to a close, the editors in each group worked their magic, producing an interesting and diverse range of adverts that impressed the external judge. Overall, the coveted Best Advert went to Rayner 2, closely followed by Pearson 1. Congratulations to the successful group, and a big thank you to everyone who helped the day to run smoothly.