A GROUP of Year 10 students are proving their business acumen by going into shopping centres and other schools to sell a road safety game they designed to help young children avoid accidents as part of a contest celebrating entrepreneurship among the young.
The pupils, from The Highcrest Academy in High Wycombe, set up a company last September called ‘Fun Learning 4 U’ as part of the Young Enterprise scheme, in a project sponsored by car giants Hyundai.
They have been so successful that last weekend they won £250 prize money after beating 45 other teams in a national Young Enterprise selling competition in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Jacob Burridge, 15, one of the students, said: “During the course of our meetings and through surveys we distributed, we concluded that road safety isn't promoted enough to young children these days.
“As a company we decided to educate young children about avoiding being in accidents and any dangers they could face on the roads. This is why we created our product.”
The product is a pack of playing cards which comprises a two-in-one game. The first game is based on the concept of “snap” and the second is a memory game using questions and answers.
The graphics on the cards were all drawn by members of the team and the cards are printed on recycled paper, thereby ensuring the game is environmentally friendly as well as fun and educational.
The packs of cards retail at £4.50 each, or £5 to be put in a box or home-made bag.
But not content with just devising the game, the ten-strong group of 14 and 15 year-olds decided to try to actively sell it – and have gone to the Eden shopping centre in High Wycombe, as well as Friars Square in Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Stratford-upon-Avon.
These selling exercises are part of a competition with other Young Enterprise companies formed by schools, and last weekend they won first prize of £250 – scooping first place in the contest in Stratford-upon-Avon. They raised £153.50 on the day, beating teams from all over the country, many of whom comprised of sixth formers.
So far, they have made a net profit of £705.312, meaning they have to pay £78.37 in corporation tax.
The team is also visiting schools in High Wycombe to show the game to young pupils.
Teacher Alex Merrick said: “This has been an innovative and outstanding product aimed at the heart of the community. It demonstrates that 14-year-olds are in an ideal position to educate young children on road safety issues. They are now going to reinvest their profit into other products.”
Pupil Jacob Burridge added: “When we received the prototype, we realised we were only targeting children who were able to read well. Our marketing team did some research on different types of font and found one approved by Dyslexia UK as an Easy Read Font.
“Our aim is to be proactive with road safety rather than reactive, and to reduce the number of children involved in a collision within 500 metres of a school to zero.”
The company will be competing today (Friday March 21) at Bucks New University in the local area finals of the Young Enterprise scheme, and are hoping their endeavours will help them qualify for the county finals.
The youngsters were praised by Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation at Buckinghamshire County Council. She said: “Road safety is an important subject for all ages, but encouraging children to learn about this at a young age is key. This game is a fun way to get a very serious message across. Well done to all involved at The Highcrest Academy.”
The group can be contacted through their Facebook page of Fun Learning 4 U, Twitter account is @FunLearning4U, they can be emailed at funlearing4U@outlook.com