Abbeywood School

Abbey Wood School

The Olympus Academy Trust is committed to delivering an outstanding education for young people, ensuring that our students have access to the highest standards of teaching, resources and learning opportunities.

We work in close partnership with our schools, ensuring that we facilitate the sharing of best practice and provide access to a wide range of partners and resources for the benefit of our students and the wider community. Visit our website here or follow us on Twitter @olympustrust.

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Based on the popular TV series, The Apprentice, Community-Apprentice is an inter-school competition for Post-16 students to develop employability skills, such as communication and teamwork, confidence and connections in the business world.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees takes on Lord Sugar’s role but unlike Lord Sugar he won’t be looking for the team which can make the most profit. As leader of the local council, he’s more interested in the team who can make the biggest positive difference in their local community.

On the programme post-16 students work in teams to identify an issue in their local community, create a solution, plan a project and see it through (it could be on anything from mental health to homelessness!). Teams get support from coaches in weekly enrichment sessions and professional mentoring from local business people who share their expertise in public speaking, project management and problem solving.

During the competition teams must complete three fun, practical challenges set by the Mayor;

  • The Film Challenge; teams are tasked with making a film about the issue they have chosen to develop their communication skills.
  • The Pitching Challenge; a chance for teams to pitch to the ‘Dragons’ (leader’s local business) for £100 for their projects - a great opportunity to build confidence.
  • The Boardroom Challenge; Teams go out into the community and put their plans into action then report back, finalists will present in front of the Mayor himself who will be crowned Community-Apprentice team of the year.

Everyone who takes part also receives a personal reference at the end of the programme written by a business mentor which details the skills they have learnt and specific examples of how these have been developed (perfect for using directly in CVs UCAS applications or to prepare for job interviews).

“I used the competency reference in both of my interviews after Community-Apprentice which gave me a lot of experience to talk about - it definitely helped with getting my apprenticeship.”

Louis, Community-Apprentice, Grad 2016”

This Year at Abbeywood Community School

This year’s Community Apprentice cohort are in two teams:

Team Anti-Blazin’ Squad want to educate people about the dangers of drug abuse and will be running an event in order to raise awareness and funds for local drug charities.

Team Bin It To Win It want to clean up their community, and are running group litter picks around their local area to encourage people to get invovled in looking after their environment.

Both teams pitched to the dragons and received £100 each to run their projects, they are currently in the process of implementing their plans, with help from their mentors at Airbus.

Anti-Blazin’ Squad with their cheque after winning their money at the Pitch Event 

Quotes from this year’s Abbeywood cohort

‘Having done the Pitching Challenge, when I had to present to people I don’t know, I feel more confident about public speaking than before.’

‘Envision has helped me to view challenges as opportunities’

‘Envision has helped me to gain more confidence and improve my teamwork skills’

‘Envision has helped me by building more on my leadership skills, and has shown me how to plan and run a social action project!’


Summary of impact evaluation from end of programme 2015-16

INTERNAL EVALUATION We conduct baseline, mid-point and end point self assessment surveys to assess improvements. Last years results support external research because young people reported that they had developed critical skills and felt more confident talking to employers about their competencies:


 99% feel that they are better communicators as a result of participating in the programme

 98% feel that they had become better at team working

 92% think that they have become better leaders

 99% think that they are more adept at problem solving

 91% report feeling more able to put themselves in other people’s shoes

 96% say that they were more organised as a result of the programme



 97% say that they have a better understanding of the competencies valued by employers,

 99% say that they were more able to talk about these competencies,

 91% claim to be more confident about gaining employment following their engagement.

 Envision is different from school in that it broadens your horizons and what you see of the world… your views become much bigger than what you see at school and it teaches you skills that you wouldn't normally get”. Tibaba Adeniyi, Envision Graduate

 “Envision is an excellent programme. I have known the Envision students since Year 7 and some of the students I have taught all of the way through school. I know some have since secured high quality apprenticeships and I know that the work they have done with Envision has certainly contributed to their success. Thank you!” Steve Mosely, Associate Head of Ashton Park School. 

Please click on the link for the Abbeywood Graduation Story