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Local students rise to financial skills challenge

St. Paul’s High School took top honours at this year’s Stock Market Challenge for schools on 4 April.  The competition is supported and hosted by Alliance MBS in partnership with Global Investor Simulations. 

Schools from across the North West took part in the challenge, which saw 130 Year 10 pupils competing on a live stock market trading floor in the Whitworth Hall. The challenge provided students with a chance to increase their business and economic understanding, put their mathematics to the test and develop key skills such as team working, problem solving, critical thinking, analysing information and communication.

Teams navigated their way through fast-moving, constantly changing market conditions with the aim of maximising their investment opportunities.  The students were also challenged to think about the importance of researching company news to help make informed investment decisions.   With all five members of each investment team working together, they were tasked with managing a fund of shares and foreign currency, with the team with the highest value fund at the close of trading scooping first place.

Paul Seddon, Head of Maths at St. Paul’s, said: “Our students really enjoyed taking part as everything was so realistic and it gave them a chance to put what they’ve learnt in Maths and Business Studies into action. They could see how prices were affected by the news and also the decisions they made. The trading environment was fast-paced and challenged them to work as a team. It was intense, but exciting.”

Over the past few months, teams from the participating schools had been preparing for their day on the stock market using the online Global Investor Simulations resource. On the day of the challenge, staff from the Business School took part as ‘traders’ to recreate a real-time trading floor.

Denis Buckley, Marketing and Recruitment Co-ordinator at Alliance Manchester Business School, said: “The Stock Market Challenge event is a fantastic way for young people from schools and colleges to build their understanding of the business world, while developing their skills and having fun. The initiative gives pupils the opportunity to apply their learning at school to a highly realistic financial context in a university setting that will inspire them and give them the confidence to go on to higher education.”