Partnerships London support STEM education programme for female students in Enfield
Countryside Partnerships continue to support local schools across the London region with their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programmes.
The latest initiative has involved Partnerships’ Meridian One team working with the Heron Hall Academy - a secondary school located within close proximity to Partnerships London’s Meridian One site in Enfield. The school were keen find out if Countryside could support their STEM education programme, specifically with their female students.
Partnerships agreed to support the school and twenty-nine Year 9 and 10 students expressed interest in finding out more about the career opportunities available across the Built Environment
The Partnerships team, led by London’s Social Value Manager, Bryn Parker, subsequently devised a tailored programme of activities which, with support of colleagues from across a wide range of disciplines within Partnerships London, enabled a 7-week long programme to be produced including 6 sessions at the school, and 1 site visit.
Within the first session of the programme the students were placed into 4 groups, and within each session were met with inspiring Partnerships female representatives from across a variety of disciplines within Partnerships London where they were able to watch presentations about the various roles and learn about and what skills/education is required for that role and their individual journey through their career.
A specific subject was covered within each session, touching on each of the key elements of the development and construction journey, these included: town planning, development, design and technical, commercial, production and finally rounded off with sales and marketing, providing the students with the opportunity to experience typical construction orientated work tasks which will challenge them in the real workplace environment.
Activities were organised in order to flow seamlessly, with the plan that by the end of the sixth session the students had “managed” a fictional development from land acquisition through to completion stage.
Week 1 – Town Planning session with Robyn Prince – Senior Planning Manager. Students learnt about town planning and constraints. Students were provided with the site map and asked to list out all considerations when reviewing land opportunities.
Week 2 – Development session with Lisa Cummings – Senior Development Manager. Students learnt about stakeholder management and viability assessments. Students were tasked with deciding the level of housing mix, taking into consideration policy payments and ensuring that they met a 20% revenue margin.
Week 3 – Design & Technical session with Ross D’Arcy – Technical Manager and Kathryn Chung – Design & Technical Manager. Students learnt about technical risks and design considerations. Students were tasked with setting out their development on the site plan, taking into considering any design advice and technical constraints.
Week 4 – Commercial session with Adrian Webster – Commercial Manager. Students learnt about commercial awareness, budgeting, and forecasting. Students then created their own budget by listing out the elements of a building, then writing a cost against each item to form an overall budget.
Week 5 – Production session with Emily Brodie – Trainee Site Manager –the responsibilities of the site manager, which included an introduction to: Safety, Quality, Materials, Programme, Handover and “What is included in a programme?”
Week 6 –Sales & Marketing session with Lisa Lane – Marketing Manager - Understanding what marketing is and how it fits into the sales process. Explaining what a brand is though quizzes and applying this to creating a name for the development. Finally, creating a moodboard showing the USPs of their development and how they fit with their target audience.
Week 7 formed the finale for the programme with the 29 students visiting Meridian One and comprised the much talked about “site visit”.
During the final session upon arrival at Meridian Water the students were greeted by Partnerships London’s Social Value Manager Bryn Parker, Employment and Skills and Coordinator, Jana Spakova and Project Manager, Tony Farrow, who introduced the students to Meridian One project and talked through the different aspects of working on site.
The students enjoyed the talk and were able to ask Tony and the team questions regarding the live construction sites and challenges.
They were split into three groups. One group joined a tour of the Meridian One show apartment with Marketing Manager Lisa Lane who was able to talk through all aspects of designing / creating the interior of the show apartment and the ideas which form the designs.
The second group met with Sales Manager, Emmanuel Folivi who talked them through the development model and explained the customer journey, from a buyer’s first visit to the sales and information centre, through to the moving in stage, once converted to a purchaser. The students discussed which factors that they felt were the most important when buying a new home and came up with some fantastic examples of what they would like the development to include.
The final group undertook a tour of the Community Gardens with TCV (The Conservational Volunteers) and learnt about how important outside space is within an urban development.
The morning session concluded with a social value presentation summarising all that the students had learnt over the 7-weeks.
As part of their final project, they were split into five groups and challenged with their final task of which would require them to use their experiences and new knowledge gained from the earlier sales and marketing/branding session with Lisa; to come up with a name for their interior design company.
After lunch, each “company” was tasked with creating a mood board for a 2-bed home, using interior design magazines provided by the team as research tools.
They were then asked to prepare a pitch to sell the vision of their new company and the interior design ideas they had come up with for their apartment, to the project team.
The quality of presentations was outstanding, making it very difficult for the Partnerships team to decide who should be placed as the overall wining team!
Each team received constructive feedback and the winning “company” was presented with chocolate prizes, with all off the students receiving certificates for their efforts.
Feedback from the students and teachers has been fantastic, reiterating what an exceptional hands-on experience the programme had offered.
The initiative was so successful that Partnerships will now use the tried and tested model as a platform to engage with other local schools, going forward.