Year 8 students showcase their knowledge and skills in the Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge 2016

The Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge (NCSC) is an annual competition in which students across the county are asked to develop an enterprising idea which will help other young people who are struggling with a specific social issue. This year’s theme is healthy relationships, so the students have been asked to think about what makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy and to devise a business plan that could provide young people with a useful resource so they can understand their relationships and know where to turn if their relationships turn abusive or unhealthy.

The challenge was introduced to Huxlow’s Year 8 students in February by Shaun Johnson from the joint Arson Taskforce (Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service): “The challenge is great in getting young people to think about social enterprise. We are encouraging them to think about a problem and come up with a golden nugget idea to help support healthy relationships in the community. We want them to think about the issue and think of a fresh idea that will make a difference.” The students have been working in groups during tutor time over the past month to come up with creative solutions and perfect their ‘business plans’.

Each form voted for a winning group to represent them in the Huxlow final, held on Thursday 10th March 2016. The groups pitched their ideas in a “Dragon’s Den” style to a judging panel in front of the Year 8 students. The entries were of an outstanding quality and were skilfully presented. Congratulations to the winning group, 8MCI, who will also be assisted by the runners-up, 8MB, in refining their presentation. The group will represent the College at the semi-finals to be held in April, and hopefully progress to the finals as last year’s Huxlow team did. Click here to read about NCSC 2015.

Mr S Letts, who has run NCSC at Huxlow for the last four years, said: “Every year the different themes are so important to our young people, as the world is changing so rapidly.

“Learning about healthy and unhealthy relationships is fundamental knowledge that will benefit young people in every aspect of their lives, whether it is in school, at home, with friends or boyfriends and girlfriends.

“I am a huge fan of the challenge and, although I would love to win it one year, it has always been about the process, not the winning for my students. The challenge gives students opportunities to showcase their knowledge and skills that have been learnt across other subject areas. Plus, students really do engage more when they are listening to other students’ ideas; it's a great learning tool.”

More information about NCSC can be found by liking the County Schools Challenge page on Facebook or following them on Twitter @ncsc_challenge

More information about healthy relationships can be found at