Muntham House School Co-Op
Written in July 2016 by Ethan (student from MHS EEU)
My name is Ethan and I am really enthusiastic about my D.T lessons and making things to sell for our school CO-OP which I will get onto a bit later.
Our MHS CO-OP is a fundraising business that runs through our school and three other schools throughout Africa which we have a link with. Every day at morning / afternoon assembly the teachers nominate a student that has done well or made an improvement throughout that day, and then for the morning assembly someone who had done well the previous evening Mr Boyle (Principal) or Mr Anderson (Head teacher) will then choose a student from all the nominations and the chosen student will light the candle and then say ‘education is light’ which originally came from a school in Kenya called Lumuli which we were linked with a few years ago. The three schools we presently have links with are schools in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda who all make products to sell as well such as woven hats / baskets then sandals made out of old cut up tyres, bracelets and then many more amazing things.
The items we produce back at Muntham are candle holders, wooden pencil boxes, boot pullers, key holders and door signs. I have got a little business running in the school by going around asking members of staff if they would like one and what they would like burned on with the soldering iron and then again many more wonderful products. Once the stuff is made over in the three schools in separate countries out in Africa, it is then bought back over to MHS when the Principal (Mr Boyle), Mrs Dewsall and maybe another member of staff will go over there every few years and stay for around about a week and will then come back with some of the stuff the African teachers/students have made.
The stuff is then sold back over here in England in craft sales and our very own big fete we have every other year. Once the products are sold the money is then split between all four schools including ours and we have CO-OP meetings where we talk about the items that have been made / sold recently and how much money we have raised and got in the CO-OP savings.
Then what we might decide what to spend it on, which would be something that the school may need and could benefit the students at the school like one of the last things we spent it on a few years ago was some new basketball hoops to put up in the schools hard courts.
Some of the other things we talk about are when to do our next sale, and the pricing of the products of which we should sell them at. Also every year we try to get students to write persuasive letters to be able to get the chance to go over to one of the schools out in Africa including two members of staff that go out there with us for ten days but due to all the problems that have been going on in Kenya and their surrounding countries we haven’t been able to go out there for the past so many years.
Talking about Kenya, a few years ago before all of the riots / conflicts started we were also linked with a school over there called Lumuli even though we had raised all the money to pay for the flights and accommodations but due to all of the trouble out there in 2014, the trip out to Kenya was unfortunately cancelled so the two students and two members of staff that were due to go on this once in a lifetime trip weren’t able to go even though they had put so much effort into raising all their money.
My contributions to the MHS CO-OP
Over the many years I have been at Muntham House School like I mentioned earlier I am really enthusiastic and hard working at stuff I have made for our school CO-OP like I said they have then all gone and put with the rest of the items and then gone on to be sold. Some of the basic products that I have put my own effort into thinking about and then making are like some of the items I mentioned earlier on, for example are candle holders made only out of cut up pieces of logs with a certain sized drill piece which would cut the right sized hole for the candles to sit in.
Some of the other amazing things I’ve made are key holders which are cut out into the shape of a basic key then there’s boot pullers which are really quick and easy to make, I have even managed to sell two alone this year to members of staff at Muntham, and also one of my grandparents.
Some of the final things that I have made this year for the MHS CO.OP was a bird box and then a spice rack which was completely my idea to make. I am also giving up my own time to make stuff for the MHS CO.OP when I could be making other things for myself.
Since the end of the Autumn term 2015 just before the Christmas holidays I also started doing work experience down at Bellman’s Auctioneers in Wisborough Green on Thursday afternoons for three hours where I have been working with one of the previous members of staff who used to work up here at Muntham; the way I got this opportunity was when I wanted to get out in the world and do something that would raise my confidence levels up, as I have Epilepsy which has been a major holdback for me from loads of different things but I still thought I’d give it a go anyway so my tutor who is married to the person I work with at Bellman’s. She is a wonderful member of staff to be around who is also an LSA in some of my lessons and finally she helps me with loads of other things such as If I have got a problem. Going back to Bellman’s I just love to help around their Auction House and after so many times of doing my work experience there, the manager of Bellman’s who is a really kind man wrote a letter back to Muntham’s Principal (Mr Boyle) to say that I am the best student he has ever had for work experience and also said loads of other amazing things about my personality and how hard I work.
Then around the Easter holidays, Bellman’s Auctioneers also offered me some of their old bits of garden furniture to go on and sell myself. Tey took some photographs of all of the furniture, e-mailed it back to my tutor at school then it was put in the staff room with set prices which I had put on them and I also went and designed a poster back at home on my own personal Asus tablet where I copied a few pictures of furniture that looked quite alike some of the pieces I already had; I then printed four copies off and went and put them in certain places around the school where they were easily seen.
Then at another time Bellman’s also offered me two landscape pictures which my tutor told the members of staff in one of their staff meetings about and put down a piece of paper for all the staff to put their bids in for the picture/s and in the end one was sold to a member of staff from the school maintenance team for £10 and then to the amazing English teacher who first bided £4 and in the end gave me £10 as well, then half of it went to me, then the other half went to our school COOP; now quickly going back to talking about the English teacher, she was the one who inspired me to write this whole essay.
Another piece of furniture Bellman’s donated was an old white bench. So I decided to pull some of the rotten planks off and then nailed all of the planks back into place onto some new supports that I had cut out from thin pieces of pine wood. When I had put the new supports in, I then put a couple of coats of white paint on the bench to make it look brand new as it had algae on it before I painted it. After that I then made a plaque for the bench made from aluminium which was cut out by the CNC machine.
Something else I then did for the CO-OP was making survival bracelets and then selling them on. I first got the idea from my father/ sister as my dad is a scout leader down in Chichester in West Sussex who had been recently making at the time a four way Survival Bracelet stand to take to fetes so my sister could then sell bracelets to other people where they could choose their colour/s and size for their bracelet which my sister or someone else would guide their customer along on how to make it.
All this money would then go to my sisters fundraising to go out to Tanzania in the summer 2017 to go and do a project to build a campsite organised by the Hampshire scouts. So when I decided to do this bracelet making myself my Dad ordered me a mini survival bracelet maker out of his own money and then me and my mum then ordered a few different colours of paracord rope and a packet of buckles for the ends, so that is what I ordered to get started. I then created a poster again on my tablet and put a few up around the school and got loads of customers quicker than I thought I would. I also ordered a few more colours of paracord rope so there were more colours to choose from so hopefully everyone who would come to ask me for one and there would be a colour of their likings.
To begin with I sold the Survival Bracelets at £3 or a deal for two at £5 and got plenty of customers ordering bracelets off of me then a couple of members of staff said to me that they would happily pay more money for them so I then decided to put the price up a little to one for £4 or two for £7 as the new / raised deal.
The way I kept track of the money I was making was by putting all the orders down in a small work book and once it had been paid for I would tick it off so I know that person had paid in the money. I also put down the money I had raised from making other things over the year and the money that I had donated from the old furniture I had sold on from Bellman’s. Then once I had payed myself back from all of the money I had made with the bracelets, from there on out all the money I then made went towards the MHS CO-OP where since then I have made a reasonably good/ high profit and I would always be going to find Mrs Dewsall so she could put it with the rest of the schools CO-OP money.
Then in June / July 2016 towards the end of summer term somebody gave me another idea for a competition to guess the amount of bands on my rubber band ball which I had been working on for the past four or so years. So again I went and designed some posters, this time on the school computers, put the prices on them for 50p for one student guess or a deal of three guesses for £1 and for Adults £1 for one guess or three guesses for £2.
I then went and put a few of these posters up around the school and also went round to our laundry ladies and up on floor in the evenings to get a chance of getting more people to put their names down for my rubber band competition and in the end made more money than I expected on this to. When it came to the winner of my competition it ended up being my mother at the guess of 8999 bands on the ball, but when I told her my Mum felt really bad and said she would happily let the prize go to the second place winner whose guess was 8200 bands this person was Mrs Beales who is an LSA in English.
One of the last things I would like to say is the way I managed to work the overall answer out. The way I worked this out was by weighing the ball at 4.9 kg, then dividing the weight of the ball by 450g which was the weight of one bag of rubber bands and finally multiplying the amount of bags by 800 which was how many bands in one bag then my final answer came up too approximately 8711!
By the end of the year when I added all the money from the stuff I made in D.T, the money from the furniture I gave to the CO-OP, the money from all the Survival Bracelets I had sold and the money from my rubber band competition it came to around £200.00 in total without the deductions from paying myself back. Finally at the end of year assembly for the year 11 leavers, and the awards I won our co-operative award for all the contributions and money that I have made for the MHS CO-OP this year.
When I went to show the member of staff who runs the Muntham co-operative (Mrs Dewsall) from ready to learn she thought it was wonderful and also said it was pretty much all accurate to what I had written a few days later the receptionist then put it on the school website which I am sure you are aware of as you are reading it off there right now. Thanks for taking time for reading my Essay about Muntham CO-OP.
Ethan James Tunnell