Ballard pupils have helped to shape future marketing plans for Ringwood based Avon Organics, which delivers organic beef, lamb, eggs and vegetable boxes which is a key local service, particularly in view of the current Covid restrictions.

Rather than just learning the academics of GCSE Business Studies, each pupil was tasked to help market Avon Organics and their services: to identify marketing goals, analyse competitors, outline a target market, and create a full strategy of marketing ideas. The plans were then presented to the owners of Avon Organics, Chris and Carolyn Snow, who were so impressed that they’ve decided to use two of the strategies for their future marketing.

Carolyn said, “We were absolutely astounded with the plans put forward by the Ballard pupils. It was like they’d been put forward by professional consultants, rather than GCSE pupils. They were so good that we just have to use them. They are packed with fresh and exciting ideas that we never would have thought of.”

This initiative comes from our head of Business Studies, Mrs Jo Hatton. As well as her role at the school, Jo is a Regional Education Consultant for LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming). LEAF work with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers, to inspire and enable sustainable farming. It was Jo’s work with LEAF that lead to the school choosing Avon Organics for this initiative.

The proposals chosen by Avon Organics came from Lola Gray and Jack Carter, who both received Amazon vouchers, provided by LEAF, for their work.

Jo Hatton, said, “We put a strong emphasis on applying the theory learned in Business Studies to real-life scenarios. We are working with a number of local businesses to enhance the students’ understanding of the real word, demonstrating that you can apply the theory is a massive benefit, not just to learning, but also for future employment.

“All of the pupils that took part loved having the opportunity to tie everything from the marketing module together, and present to and hear feedback from an actual business, rather than just a teacher.”