Pupils from St Patrick’s Maghera triumph in finance challenge

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Financial knowledge, quick decision making, and good teamwork have helped three schools, including St Patrick’s Maghera, win a competition challenging pupils to show their investment skills.

St. Patrick’s College Maghera, St. Killian’s College, The Royal School Armagh were the winners of the Stock Market Challenge.

The schools worked in teams to grow a virtual investment fund, making decisions on what to buy and sell based on their own research and incoming news stories.

The competition is a Department of Education and Invest NI initiative supported by AXA, CME Group, Danske Bank, Deloitte, First Derivatives, FSCom and PwC in partnership with Global Investor Simulations. 18 schools beat 50 others to reach three regional finals, with Invest NI, PwC and Queen’s University hosting finalists in Belfast, giving them the chance to pit their investment wits against each other with support from the company mentor that visited them in school during the qualifying round.

Ciara Johnston teacher from St. Patrick’s College, Maghera winners of the North West Region, said: “The Challenge has helped my students improve their communication and analytical skills – both essential for their employability.”

More than 1,400 pupils took part in the competition using the online business simulation Dealing Room, with volunteers from all the supporting companies visiting schools to meet teachers and students and talk about opportunities in the sector.

The Department of Education and Invest NI is contributing £45,000 this year to this initiative. Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education, Derek Baker, said: “Such activities play an important role in equipping our young people with key skills that will lay the foundation for building a sustainable and vibrant economy.”