Pupils are investors for the day in Leeds Beckett Stock Market Challenge
The competition, an initiative organised by the University in partnership with Global Investor Simulations, saw students put their financial and problem-solving skills to the test as they were tasked with applying their knowledge of mathematics, business and economics, whilst developing their communication, decision making, teambuilding and negotiation skills.
Taking home the trophy for the Stock Market Challenge for years eight and nine were the team from Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby Bridge (pictured above).
Ryburn pupil, Charlotte Beeden, said: “It’s been really fun. The highlight for me has been working with everyone in a team - people that I don’t normally get to work with - and we’ve developed some skills that we wouldn’t usually get to work on in class. I didn’t expect us to win so I feel really excited and happy.”
Ahmar Khan, the pupils’ Maths Teacher at Ryburn, added: “Events like the Stock Market Challenge give the pupils a really great insight into careers and higher education, teamwork and the application of maths. They’re a really talented bunch of kids who work incredibly hard in school, they love their maths and are really motivated. The most important thing today has been the teamwork: they’ve all had their roles and have worked together really well.”
The Challenge was held across two days: with almost 100 year eight and nine pupils taking part in the Stock Market Challenge at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Wednesday 16 March and around 25 year 12 pupils taking to Leeds Business School’s new professional trading floor at the Rose Bowl on Thursday 17 March for the Investment Challenge.
The overall winner of the Investment Challenge was Amar Chana from Roundhay School, with Calderdale College’s Connor McCallum winning the Return on Investment prize.
Amar Chana with Dr Peter Nelson, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law
Amar said: “Today has been such a good experience and I feel like I’ve gained something out of it. It would be good to do this more often because we’ve all really enjoyed it. I’m studying Economics which is related to today and it’s given me a good insight into potential future careers - I’d like to become an Accountant.”
Roundhay School Economics and Business Teacher, Mark Lee, added: “Today has been very useful for our pupils: they were really engaged in the subjects and they’ve got a lot out of it in terms of learning how the stock market works and they’ve found it really interesting. It’s enabled them to demonstrate some of their analytical skills and make judgements based on their analysis.”
Assisting the Stock Market Challenge pupils were five volunteers from Lloyds Banking Group, who will welcome the winning Ryburn team to their head office for a tour of the company as part of their prize.
Catherine Hatch, a Team Manager at Lloyds and former pupil of Cardinal Heenan School who took part in the day, said: “My role today has been as one of the stock market dealers. The children are doing Business Studies and Maths at school so this gives them a really good feel of what it would be like to go down the stock market or financial market route. I’ve really enjoyed the day and think it’s a really good opportunity for the pupils to think about their futures.”
The initiative offers a unique engagement opportunity between schools and the University and aims to help students leave school prepared for the world of work with the capabilities and confidence to handle future higher education and career decisions.
The Stock Market Challenge saw around 20 schools each entering a team of five people who worked together to manage a fund of shares and foreign currency, interpreting information and investing in the markets in a challenge based around the traditional ‘bear pit’ trading floor. As the Ryburn team had the highest total fund at the closing bell of the competition, they were crowned the winners.
Roundhay School and Calderdale College in Halifax took part in the Investment Challenge day: a similar competition but working with digital technology, replicating the methods currently used by those working in the stock market today. In the afternoon, the University’s Faculty of Business and Law ran workshops for the year 12 pupils, introducing them to the range of degree courses available to them at Leeds Beckett when they finish school or college and offering the opportunity to network with academic staff and current students at the University.