03 Jul 2013

Last Friday, 7th June 2013, Year 10 girls at Farlington School competed in the Farlington Apprentice Team Selection Day. The girls were split into pre-arranged teams and spent the morning completing a number of mental challenges. These involved such tasks as identifying flags, creating an origami camel, solving matchstick puzzles, identifying TV programmes from cryptic clues, and performing a Farlington rap. The teams scored points for each round of challenges and by lunchtime the scores were very close so there was everything to play for.
The afternoon’s challenges started in the Sports Hall with a variety of bench games to warm up, this was followed by the chicken, fox and seed game that required both physical and mental ingenuity, not to mention great hilarity! Thereafter, the rain having stopped, the girls moved outside where they were faced with more challenges including a tug of war and negotiating “shark-infested waters” with the aid of some chairs and some effective communication skills.
All the girls worked extremely well in their teams throughout the day and their competitive spirit was very evident however by the end of the afternoon the winning team had been decided. They were “Team Two” who comprised Lucy Crichton, Charlie Ghazi, Katie Haase, Michaela Loach and Maddie Todd.
The second stage of the competition began on Monday 17th June 2013 where the winning team were pitted against one another in a bid to find this year’s Farlington Apprentice. The day started with a series of challenges set by Justine Harris, of Harris Lord Recruitment in Horsham and Lisa Jarvis, of Permanent Solutions Direct in Copthorne. They started with a team challenge to break the ice, here the girls were required to build the tallest structure they could using only a newspaper, a ball of string, a roll of Sellotape, a pair of scissors and a small bottle of water. The structure had to be able to support the bottle of water and be at least 50cms tall. Thereafter, the tasks were of a more individual nature and the girls learnt about writing their CV’s; a letter of application for work experience. They also had some interview training where the importance of positive body language and a firm handshake was stressed. This was followed by an individual interview where all the girls were able to put their training to good use. All of these activities were scored objectively and, sadly, at the end of the first day one girl left the process.
On Tuesday the four remaining girls travelled to One Forty, Cranleigh’s unique boutique-style store, to face the second challenge of this year’s competition. They were tasked by Richard Graham, Proprietor of One Forty, to look at social media concentrating on what ideas and strategies they could come up with to boost the facebook “ likes” on One Forty’s website. At the end of the morning each contestant delivered a five minute presentation of their ideas to both Richard and Marketing Manager, Rebecca Longstaff. The girls were extremely inventive and came up with some great concepts – some rather more practical than others – but all showed a depth of understanding of business needs beyond their years. Sadly, two further contestants had to be eliminated leaving Mikaela Loach and Maddie Todd as this year’s finalists.
Back at Farlington, Sara Greer Marketing Director, set the last challenge which was “A mystery benefactor has left Farlington School £1,000,000. How would you choose to spend it with the best interests of the school in mind”. The girls were split into two teams one led by Maddie Todd who was assisted by Katie Haase and Lucy Crichton, the other led by Mikaela Loach ably assisted by Charlie Ghazi. Both girls delivered excellent well thought through presentations helped by their teams. Maddie, having won the toss, elected to go first and decided to spend her million on a number of smaller items including an inspiration wall to be located in Farlington’s textile room, painting large country flags on the outside walls of the language classrooms to denote which language was taught therein, as well as some major structural changes to some of the schools buildings. Mikaela planned to build and equip a state of the art multi-functional gym for pupils (and staff after hours!) as well as introducing iPads and new software. Both presentations were given to a panel of judges who, after much deliberation and only one point between the two finalists, delivered the results to the waiting teams. Maddie Todd is the Farlington Apprentice 2013.