A shoebox collection for deprived children has helped lift the lid on project management for sixth form students.
The annual collection of boxes full of gifts at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, was organised this year by Year 12 BTEC business studies students for a coursework project.
It involved promoting the festive appeal across the academy, organising the logistics, arranging box-wrapping sessions, managing teams of students, quality control and communications with suppliers and benefiting charity Samaritan’s Purse.
Eve Smith, 16, said: “For our coursework we had to organise an event so we chose the shoebox appeal because it was something we thought we could get really involved in and we had lots of ideas for it.”
The group made posters, adverts and a presentation for tutor groups explaining appropriate contents for the shoeboxes, how they had to be packaged and the arrangements for collection.
They drafted in 40 volunteers from Years 7 and 8 and trained them how to wrap each box correctly and to check the quality and appropriateness of the contents during two lunchtime sessions.
The team had to source paper and elastic bands and also persuaded Tesco to donate small toys and toiletries for the project, which resulted in 243 filled boxes.
Megan Stubbs, 17, said: “Before we started we didn’t realise how much work goes into an appeal like this.
We had to make sure everyone knew about it, from our own presentations to asking for announcements to be made on the tannoy system, and we wrote a piece for the Academy Times.”
The other students in the team were Ethan Sutherland, Alex Stewart, Jack Sidgwick and Matthew Hill.
Their teacher Laura Manthy said the students had developed new skills and grown in confidence.
She added: “They were very determined and hard-working. They had to consider their individual skills and how they should be applied to the project to best effect.
“Now they’ve completed the project and the boxes have been handed over to Samaritan’s Purse to be sent to children around the world, the students are reviewing how it went. I was very impressed with how professional they were and their organisation, communication and teamwork skills were fantastic.”