On Wednesday 28th June, Bexhill 6th Form College held its inaugural Politics, Economics, Business & Law Awards.
The event began with a keynote speech from Jay Wootten, Events and Community Relations Manager at Hastings Direct. Jay emphasised the importance of the acquisition of 'soft skills' such as problem solving, effective communication and teamwork; he then commended the audience of current first year students on their efforts in dressing in smart business attire for the event.
The audience then benefited from Jay's explanation on the wide ranging professional career opportunities available with Hastings Direct ranging from working as an actuary to roles in marketing.
The event then moved onto a showcase of talent from each of the subject areas. The Business cohort were represented by three groups of students who took turns to present a strategic plan and strategy to a panel consisting of Chris Lowsley, an expert in international trade and global business, Simon J White, Head of Change and Continuous Improvement at Hastings Direct, and Dave Brown, Vice Principal at Bexhill 6th form College. After posing a series of challenging questions to each group, the panel took some time away from the stage to deliberate before announcing the winners of the competition, which was titled the Hastings Direct Business Challenge.
The winning team, who can be seen in the photograph above from left to right, are: Evie Jenkins, Sanaa El Yamani, Jack Chantler, Morgan Watkins and Harry Whiteley. The certificates were award by Simon J White, who emphasised how impressed he was with the mature and confident manner in which they presented their analysis and recommendations to the panel.
"Having never had the opportunity to take part in a public speaking event I appreciate the experience that I can now use and include on my CV. I actually really enjoyed it!"
Following this was an equally impressive performance from Harry Lee, Bradley Downs, James Terry and Pavel Helfer, who replicated their 'Moot' (a mock trial) that they had recently practised at Hastings Magistrates Court. Bradley took on the role of Prosecution Barrister with Harry waiting to provide the case for the defence. In addition, Callum Fielding and Clara Smith received awards for their recent performance in the Moot at Hastings Magistrates Court.
Vita Borzelleca-North and Conran Buis then gave a mature and perceptive analysis of the eventful year in politics, with reference to the UK political landscape and wider global events. Both students delivered in a confident fashion and reflected on the benefit of participating in enrichment events, such as, 'Question Time-style' political debates chaired by local MPs, a trip to the American Embassy and the Hustings (a debate between the candidates representing the different political parties in the run up to the general election).
The final showcase was introduced by Chris Lowsley, who has many years' experience in organising trade deals between UK and Chinese economic agents. Chris kindly offered to judge the Young Economist of the Year Essay Competition. This required students to select an essay question from a list of six produced by the Royal Economic Society. In addition to the College's internal competition, students were also entered into a regional competition which included students from other post-16 education providers across East Sussex. Impressively, Nicholas Bozyk, won both the internal college competition and the regional competition. Nicholas presented a summary of his essay to the audience of his peers and the panel of professionals.
Of Nicholas' essay Chris said:
"Nicholas has drawn on a wide reference base to put forward the arguments both for and against the proposal to impose a maximum wage to lessen inequality. He has looked at classical monetarist and Keynesian ideas and used graphics to illustrate their arguments. Nicholas has brought in international references to support points in the arguments and gone in to some depth in giving weight to both options. It was well written and persuasive in laying out the challenges facing a maximum wage limit and examined the consequences of both counter arguments."
The event came to a conclusion with the awarding of 'Student of the Year' awards for each subject. To be nominated, students had to meet the criteria of an attendance record of above 95% and the achievement of a grade 1 (outstanding) rating for effort and engagement in the three reviews throughout the academic year.
Politics Student of the Year: Vita Borzelleca-North
Economics Student of the Year: Krystyna Margiotta
Business Student of the Year: Shaun Clark
Law Student of the Year: Rebekah Batour
In his closing speech, compère for the event and Head of Section, Andy Pritchard congratulated the winning students and the audience for their conduct and performance throughout the year.
In closing he said:
"It is so important in the 21st Century employment market that in addition to your technical and subject-based knowledge, you develop the skills of effective communication, teamwork and problem-solving that employers hold in such high regard. Well done on your impressive performance both today and throughout the year."