The Codrington School - The International School of Barbados

Since 2016 The Codrington School has been invited to take part in the BEF’s very special Classroom to Boardroom initiative; the BEF is the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation, a charity that champions the spirit of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship across the island. A senior business leader sets a real-life challenge related to his or her business. Students agree to work on this challenge, with students from other schools, to come up with a viable business solution. They are supported by intensive coaching throughout the week, at the end of which the ideas/solutions are presented to senior executives of the business in their boardroom. Businesses involved in this great initiative in the past are Lime, Virgin Atlantic, Digicel, Automotive Arts and Harris Paints.

Classroom to Boardroom (C2B) 2016

Back in October 2016 I sat in a corporate boardroom in awe of the outcomes of a young woman’s leadership and of two people who worked so hard and presented like consummate professionals. The people that filled me with pride were our very own Saskia (DP 2) and Saxon & Nico (DP 1).  Saskia had spent the week leading a team of 30 people (whom in the main she had never met before) to present solutions in response to a very real challenge. The challenge was set by one of the Caribbean's leading companies, Harris Paints.  Saskia led her team, including Saxon and Nico, in three days, to not only present innovations that the company was truly excited by but also to her whole team being offered the opportunity to join a group internship scheme never offered before.

Our students’ hard work and success were show cased at the Classroom to Boardroom (C2B) 2016. C2B is just one example of how The Codrington School is working collaboratively with community partners, such as peer schools, charities and national entrepreneurship bodies creating authentic experiential learning opportunities for our students.  For C2B 2016 we worked with the Barbados Entrepreneurial Foundation (BEF), Entrepreneurs in Action (EiA), The Rotary Club, along with the host company, Harris Paints.  Our peer schools were Barbados Community College, The Lodge School and Harrison College.

As Saxon says “My role was being part of the Marketing team. I was also part of the development of the new social media as well as the storyboards and the advertisements. The week changed my perspective on being a young entrepreneur and I can now say that I really understand what it takes to be one. I have learned a lot of valuable skills about being successful in the business world and in the educational world. Being so exposed to the real life inner workings of a successful business like Harris paints has helped me to see what being an innovative and driven entrepreneur could look like in the future”.  

Saskia adds “The C2B initiative was an intensive week that propelled my development in my academic career. This year, the business in context was Harris Paints, a pan-Caribbean company that is a leading manufacturer and paint distributor.  My role was CEO for the consultancy brand we created; Full Spectrum, was to break down the challenge and understand the strengths of each of my team members to create innovations that solved the problem. The team consisted of 27 members from four different schools who all study different disciplines including; computer sciences, business studies, pharmacy, economics and languages. We were taught presentation and leadership skills that I can use in my everyday life. We were then presented with awards at a ceremony when the CEO of Harris Paints, Ian Kenyon gave us certificates and a life-long relationship with the business. What an amazing opportunity! 

Finally Nico says “I had a great time and I learned a lot about how working at a business really is. I remember clearly the very first day that we arrived at the C2B program it was daunting. I did not know anyone and I was very nervous about the whole experience. Next thing I know, 3 days have past and I have delivered a presentation to the CEO of Harris Paints, met and become friends with practically everyone in the group and overall had a great time. If I were presented to do this opportunity again I would do it without a doubt!”

In a word wow! We are so proud of Saskia, Saxon and Nico!

Ms. Vicky, Business Management Teacher & Head of Secondary School