How many of us really know what goes on in the gleaming tower blocks and chaotic trading floors of the City?
By Lucie Parkes, Museum of London Secondary School Programme Manager.
This month the first Survive the City study day
was officially launched at the Museum of London
. The joint initiative by the Museum and The Royal Bank of Scotland is designed to help bridge the gap between the City as a global centre of finance and London’s wider population.
Learning specialists from the Museum worked in collaboration with a team from the RBS Markets and International Banking
division to develop a dynamic study day for GCSE Business Studies students. At the start of the day, students were given their own established London business to run. By exploring the Museum’s galleries they found out what changes and events could have affected their business in the past, before bringing the story up to the modern day. The pupils were challenged to navigate their way through the gauntlet of economic change, making strategic decisions in a bid to help their business prosper.
With support and advice from financial experts, the students created their own ideas for expanding their business. They weighed up the potential risks and rewards of their plan in order to put together a realistic bid for financial investment. In the final part of the day, the pupils went to the RBS Headquarters to visit a trading floor, before they pitched their bid to a panel of judges.
Bishopshalt School were the first to take part in the Survive the City study day. One pupil remarked: “visiting the bank was the highlight of my trip, it was an amazing experience.”
Study days of this kind are new territory for the Museum. Usually the wonders of our Museum are experienced only for arts and humanities subjects, so it’s exciting to bring in an entirely new audience.
Being positioned at the heart of the City, it has always been relevant for the Museum to connect meaningfully to its immediate surroundings. Furthermore, the creation of Survive the City has added to the richness and diversity that our schools programmes offer.
The world of finance can often seem like a removed and mysterious planet set apart from the rest of us. However, the crises of recent years have highlighted just how much it can affect our everyday lives – and therefore, the need to know about it and understand it. For this reason, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to provide an impartial link between this world and young people in London. Knowledge is power as they say! And our aim is to do what we can to support and empower young people to have the confidence to make successes of their lives and contribute positively to our City.
The study day was snapped up rapidly by schools with all dates for the year being fully booked within a matter of days. Survive the City will run several times a term until the end of the academic year.