Building corporate links has become increasingly important to both Dronfield Hall Barn and Eckington Secondary School. Over the past few years, Eckington School has formed a close relationship with the Barn.
In 2019, the first group of Year 12 business students began researching how the Barn could become more attractive to business users. By understanding the needs of local businesses, the Barn has seen a gradual increase of commercial bookings in recent months. In 2020, the students’ project was handed over to another group of Eckington School business students. This year’s group have built on their predecessors’ work, by researching over 130 nearby businesses. This has achieved firm links between the community hub and a range of local businesses from manufacturers to distributors.
Through the projects, Eckington School students have been able to develop their understanding of how businesses work. The relationship between the Barn and Eckington School is mutually beneficial, and allows students to get hands on business experience as well as developing key attributes such as leadership, initiative and communication. Students have access to fields they are interested in and would like to pursue further. This is useful, as schools can only provide classroom education; having this business experience can make all the difference on CVs, personal statements or job applications. This close bond played a role in the school achieving a gold award for careers education. As a result of this, Eckington School has nominated the Barn for an Education and Business Partnership Award from the East Midland Chamber of Commerce. The Barn has been shortlisted, with the winners to be announced in October.
However, it is important to recognise this is just the start of the relationship. Every year group that passes through Eckington School will provide new ideas and unique skillsets. Although the Barn will face new challenges, the school is confident every group of its students will work hard to solve them. In addition, it is hoped that new departments will take the opportunity to work with the Barn, with digital media or photography students helping to enhance the marketing of the Barn, to further build on the corporate links that are so important to both Dronfield Hall Barn and Eckington School.