Students, athletes...Dragons!

Published: Thursday 28 Mar 2024

Students from across the country faced off against the ‘AQA Dragons’ when they attended AQA offices for the Unlocking Potential midpoint events recently.

More than 100 students visited AQA offices in Guildford, Milton Keynes and Manchester for the second part of the programme where they pitched their social action project ideas to our ‘Dragons’ Den’ style panel made up of AQA colleagues, athletes and guests from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

For the past four months, young people on the programme have been working with their athlete mentors to plan a social action project in their school or local community. Part of this involves preparing a pitch for the ‘Dragons’ Den’, detailing what their project is, how they will deliver it and what they will need to do to make it a success.

After a couple of games to inject energy into the room, students engaged in some exercises focused towards helping them prepare for their presentations. These included the sales pitch, where they have 30 seconds to talk about a subject or themselves, memory challenges and verbal tennis.

The afternoon session saw students presenting their plans to the AQA Dragons, with lots of excellent and well considered project ideas. These included collecting clothes and cooking for homeless shelters, student well-being projects and a film to raise awareness of disabilities and inclusion in society and funding for a ‘bleed box’, a special trauma kit to treat knife injuries from a school where students had been personally impacted by knife crime.

Following their pitches, students faced questions from the Dragons about how they would overcome any delivery challenges, what they would do with the £50 of funding they received and if there was anything else they needed to consider or do to make their project a success.

The day ended with some self-reflection and congratulations for all the young people, and the announcement that they will be heading to London Zoo in July for the celebration event to recognise their achievements.

You can follow their progress on ‘X’ using the hashtag #AQAUnlockingPotential

Manchester event - morning introductions

Students presenting their social action projects

Students presenting their social action projects

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