I don’t often get chance nowadays to work on aspirations days in schools with all of the other things that I need to do to keep a small business working effectively; usually Sonia gets that pleasure. But today and yesterday I was privileged to be invited to work in The Glebe Primary in Stockton. Following a whole school school assembly yesterday to kick off their aspirations week (and answering some incredibly insightful questions from all ages), I kicked off the workshops looking at healthcare with Y6. We worked through an interactive ‘Guess Who?’ quiz to discover different roles within the sector then broke into groups to try out different equipment that may be used in different roles and situations. You can see from the pictures below that they really enjoyed their experiences and many said that they had never realised that there were so many different roles beyond the obvious ‘doctor’ or ‘nurse’.

Healthcare session – Y6

Digital sector – Y5

This morning we split into two sessions, one for each of the Y5 classes. The digital sector covers such a wide range of roles and many overlap into all different sectors but after a ‘Guess what they do?’ quiz using some of the fantastic role models on the Spark resources. We focussed on use of VR. VR is used in so many industries today but we focussed on ‘layout’ and how it works in the film industry as a real context. The children were given a quick walkthrough of the software and then were asked to create virtual versions of themselves. To say that each group only got about 20mins to develop their skill and understanding is astonishing when you look at how they began to progress in the images below.

Construction sector – Y4

There is a lot of concern in the construction sector about the lack of skilled labour and people keen to enter the industry. Obviously I will continually point out that the way we ‘do careers’ even now, with all that evidence of what works and amazing people creating amazing resources, is largely overlooked by organisations and schools BUT working with younger pupils in an engaging and informative way has impact! It starts a mindset and the images below fully reflect the positivity and understanding of the sector that these children bow have. Yes we did fun things but every element of the sessions was underpinned with key information and opportunities to link personal interests and skills to different roles. And of course we were firmly promoting the gender balance that most sectors, not just construction, are aiming for. Our ‘Guess Who’ element drew actual gasps when they realised that the build manager they were seeing small sections of (to guess what their role was) happened to be Rylie Sweeney….a girl! Some great discussions came from that.

It is brilliant to see an increasing number of primary schools not just giving a focus to career related learning but thinking how to be effective. Of course using Spark resources means that any lesson, any day can feature a continuous linking of the curriculum to an actual role – why are we learning this? – but having an aspirations event or even a week like here at The Glebe can also be a focal point for the year.

Fantastic few days, fantastic children, fantastic school.