Following on from the success of the Genuine Jersey Christmas Crackers students from Le Rocquier School have worked closely with Jersey Oak to design and make a range of Genuine Jersey Oak Christmas Decorations.
This collaboration is a great example of how the Genuine Jersey mark not only gives consumers the confidence to know they are buying products with local provenance but also provides the manufacturers with a network of like minded producers who can and do share knowledge, expertise and on this occasion, resources.
Jersey Oak have joined forces with Le Rocquier School to develop a batch of limited edition Christmas decorations that are traditional in design and stunning in their simplicity.
But this is not just another story of a local business making and selling products, this is much bigger than that. Here we see a Jersey business working in partnership with a Jersey school to mutually beneficial effects. Whilst Jersey Oak have been able to broaden their range of products and giftware available for the festive season, the students at Le Rocquier School have been able to work on a ‘live project’, with a real client to support their GCSE studies.
Other than producing a fantastic product range for Jersey Oak and valuable GCSE coursework for the Le Rocquier School students both parties were able to further develop their skills and understanding in the potential of LASER cutting technologies.
Simon Bellwood, co-director of Jersey Oak said “I knew that Le Rocquier School had the technology as I had seen, bought and played with their Genuine Jersey Jigsaw (which is still on sale out various outlets across the island) so I approached Stewart at the school to see if there was the possibility of working with the students to develop some seasonal gift product”.
Stewart Elston, Senior Teacher at Le Rocquier School and Head of the Technical Skills Faculty, was more than willing to help out, having seen the benefits of the Genuine Jersey network and the opportunities that this would present for the students.
“It’s great for the students to be able to work with a local manufacturer, so that they can get real experience of developing a product that is suitable for the retail market place. This is what they have to do for their GCSE studies, so working with Jersey Oak presented a fantastic learning opportunity for the students” said Mr Elston.
What Simon and Stewart perhaps didn’t realise was how quickly the project would and could be turned around. From the initial visit by Simon to the products being made available for sale was less than six weeks. This included students making a visit to the Jersey Oak workshops in Grouville to understand better what was wanted, through generating and developing appropriate design ideas with the CADCAM software and hardware used at Le Rocquier School. Students made most of the chance to get feedback from Simon to make sure that they developed the best possible designs for Jersey Oak and Stewart had students volunteering to work late after school to be able to manufacture the required number ready for delivery at the start of December.
One of the Le Rocquier School student said “It has been great to be involved in designing and making products with Simon and Jersey Oak, it has really helped me to develop the skills I need for my GCSE coursework”.
To help the students get the most out of this, they were able to finish off the project this year by visiting the Jersey Oak Christmas Shop at Iceskate Jersey, Fort Regent, see their Genuine Jersey Oak Christmas Decorations on display and on sale. There they were met by Simon and given a further insight as to how well the decorations were selling, what they could do to improve their marketability in the future and the chance to see what other Genuine Jersey products are available and how they are presented.
Summing up what the students had been able to do Stewart said “They will now be able to apply what they have learnt from this project along with their growing skills and knowledge more appropriately to future coursework tasks and have a better understanding of the required design and make processes. It has been fantastic to watch them realise what can be achieved in a small space of time, when they are focussed and committed to meeting the needs of a client. Finally I can not say enough about how valuable it has been for the students to work with Simon and Jersey Oak to develop these learning opportunities”.
Stewart and Simon are already planning more collaborative projects for the New Year and seeing how they can better utilise the Genuine Jersey network to benefit retail, manufacturing and education opportunities.
The Genuine Jersey Oak Christmas Decorations are available, whilst stocks last, at The Christmas Shop at Iceskate Jersey, Fort Regent.