The sky's the limit


CoPE‚Äč students from a Birmingham school are flying high after being tasked with designing and marketing a new airline. Small Heath School worked with Birmingham Airport and British Airways to come up with the challenge, which was designed to deepen pupils’ knowledge of marketing techniques and how they are used in industry.

It also focused on the core employability skills identified by business leaders from the CBI, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and self-management, which link well with the six skills assessed within CoPE.

After being given a tour by airport staff, including an explanation of how advertising and marketing were used within the airport concourse, pupils were divided into development teams to produce the name of the airline, the aircraft tail fin logo, the airline colour scheme, a European destination map and an in-flight menu.

The whole programme was designed to take place over at least five sessions, giving pupils the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of activities and roleplay scenarios – both within the airport and on board a plane. Some of the tasks were carried out at Birmingham Airport Flight School, an educational facility within the airport, where staff from the airport and British Airways were on hand to answer pupils’ questions about their work.

A shorter version of this enterprise challenge has also been used with about half the Year 10 cohort at one of Small Heath’s curriculum enhancement days. This time students were given until the end of the school day to complete the activity and hold their launch event in front of an audience.

The programme is one of a series of work-related activities offered to pupils studying CoPE at Small Heath, with the aim of bringing real-life experiences into the course. Pupils also take part in similar projects around the themes of hospitality and catering and sports leadership.