International toothpaste project
On Sunday 30 June 2019, nine of our (new) Year 11 pupils set off to The Netherlands to participate in an international Toothpaste Challenge at our partner school, Alfrink College. This year’s project not only saw Deer Park joining the Dutch students. Alfrink College had also invited representatives from another of their partners in India, Calcutta International School.
The Deer Park team was accompanied by Headteacher, Chiquita Henson, and they were also joined by our Senior Science Technician, Mr Stook. In preparation for their trip and the competition, and after some initial research, Mr Stook helped the team prepare some toothpaste samples and everyone actively engaged in toothpaste tasting! Read more...
As an alternative to Work Experience the project focused on entrepreneurship and participating pupils, in mixed Dutch and English teams, researched and created their own toothpaste, prepared a marketing plan and pitched their new product. Prior to departure and once in Zoetermeer, they worked collaboratively with their Dutch partners to develop their brands. Our pupils created new and innovative toothpastes: ‘Foamlesse’, ‘The Daily Toothpaste’, ‘Mountain Fresh’ and 'Onyx Paste'.
It was a privilege to work with and travel to Alfrink College with the team. I was impressed by our pupils’ punctuality, commitment and readiness to embark on this international challenge. They demonstrated resilience and creativity. We all learnt a lot about toothpaste and the diverse range of products and related gadgets produced largely by a few multi-national companies. Many of this year’s teams placed a strong emphasis on the promotion of eco-friendly toothpaste which aimed to reduce the use of plastic and minimise waste.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
This was a cross curricular project: in addition to the chemistry involved in making toothpaste, pupils developed company logos and printed promotional t-shirts at an Arts Centre in Den Bosch, drafted an advertorial and made TV commercials to help them market their products.
Our pupils engaged in all of the activities and, because they were kindly hosted by families, many had the opportunity to see more of The Netherlands with trips into Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam and participate in excursions to the beach, trampolining and bowling. Furthermore, many of our pupils, immersed in Dutch culture, enjoyed a new experience, cycling to school!
The team returned home on Friday 5 July. They were exhausted and, while none of our groups won the Golden Toothbrush, they were all positive about the project and the learning that had taken place, as well as the friendships they had made. We are very grateful to the staff, students and families at Alfrink College for making us all feel so welcome and we hope we can create and host a reciprocal challenge in the future!
James: "It was an interesting and fun experience to work alongside the Dutch students from Alfrink College."
Diego: "A truly great learning experience alongside international and local students. A great way to experience a different culture first hand."
Saul: "A truly insightful experience. I had no idea about the steps and the process of creating a new business before I embarked on this cultural exchange."
Isaac: "Overall it was a great experience. It was very good working in our teams of different nationalities and I found a lot out about the culture whilst staying with my host family."
Finn: "This experience was very enriching and rewarding. It was exciting being able to interact with students from around the globe."
Monty: "Wow, words cannot describe the experience. It was great fun and if I could do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes!"
Olivia: "It was a wonderful experience and I had the opportunity to make a lot of great friends. It was stressful at times, but very eye opening."
Ali: "Great experience. Made a lot of friends and my host family were like my own. They didn’t make me feel different."
Floyd: "An absolutely brilliant experience. I have learnt so much about creating a business. I would recommend this project to other pupils."