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Sixth Form IT class gets down to business

The BTEC Information Technology class is going above and beyond with their first assignment to pick a fictitious business, plan and implement a full social media campaign.

The girls are gaining a real insight into the field of marketing as one aspect of their two year course, aiming to evaluate how businesses use social media to build up valuable brand awareness. The hands-on practical assignment involves setting up a website using website builder Wix, as well as the business' own social media that will run for around two weeks as if the accounts were real.

Libby’s business 'Born and Bread' is a fictional fully-fledged café and bakery based on Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield with an impressive selection of events such as 'Book and Bake Club' and 'Toddlers and Tea', for an audience consisting of children and parents from the two main secondary schools in the area.

The café was carefully designed with research on other local cafés and consideration that a younger audience wants a more bright and colourful space to eat. Libby took into account that Facebook is the most used site in the UK so the café has a page with essential information such as opening times and contact information, in addition to using Twitter for feedback and suggestions because most of its users are 18-29 and have gone to college. Incredibly, Libby’s campaign was so realistic that she received a message online from a world champion bodybuilder, Rachel Hayes, who wanted to visit the café!

Another stand-out business is Raina’s Kremer Properties. She made the daring decision to use the assignment as an opportunity to take on the social media and website of her father's already established business renting out flats. Working from the ground up, she's created a Facebook and a Twitter to advertise the business on and receive feedback from customers, which can continue once the BTEC is finished.

Sophie's up-and-coming Champion Saddlery is based on her own love for horses, producing premium saddles/accessories with fittings to broaden a niche market. She said about the BTEC, "There isn't a job where you won't use IT. It's really important and much more efficient as technology advances."

Sue Parnell, Head of ICT and BTEC class teacher, commented on the girls’ progress in the first year of the course, “It’s been great to see how much they’ve embraced the challenge of setting up a mock business and running the social media channels. Even though this is only the first year of the BTEC being offered to Sixth Form, the girls all have a really fantastic entrepreneurial spirit. They’re learning real life skills and useful practical expertise to take into a potential job, which really shows the benefit of running a course like this.”

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