Allens Croft Primary School is located in Kings Heath in Birmingham and has approximately 380 students. The school is in an area of high social and economic disadvantage and parental aspiration is low, which has a knock-on effect on their children. The children are exposed to a limited number of career options which the school hoped to improve.
Teacher Dan Jones took the lead in organising an Aspirations Day, which involved local volunteers from the world of work talking with the children about their jobs in KS1 and KS2 assemblies followed by classroom visits. Sourcing volunteers through Primary Futures and his own contacts, 13 volunteers attended, including a Neonatal Nurse, an OS mapper and a Project Worker for a Refugee Charity. Each volunteer brought in some props which related to their role. The children were fascinated with a seeing hat for a premature baby: “I didn’t realise how small babies heads can be!”.
During the KS2 assembly, the children were very excited to ask the volunteers further questions about their role, including asking an OS mapper if he creates maps by hand or uses a computer and asking a Physiotherapist what exercises you can do at home to help with your physio treatment.
After the assembly, volunteers spent time in a specific classroom where they asked further questions and completed a biography about the volunteer. The children asked a variety of questions, including:
- What’s the best thing you’ve seen in your job?
- How did you start this job?
- What’s your favourite bit of your job?
- How many hours do you work in a day and is it hard?
- Have you had any help to get where you are?
- Out of all the patients you’ve helped, which was the trickiest?
- What inspired you to do your job?
Reflecting on the mornings activities, the children commented:
- I learnt that you can do any job. All of the visitors inspired me to think about lots of jobs and do any of them. Now I understand more jobs.
- I learnt lots bout different jobs that I’d never heard of before
- I learnt even though they may start off with completely different jobs they get to where they need to be in the end
- I want people to come more as I might not have heard about their jobs, might be interested in them and to learn about them at this age so I can gain lots of knowledge about it
Dan Jones, the teacher from the school, commented: “We used the Primary Futures platform to find delegates for our annual Aspiration Day. In the past, finding people to come in and talk about their work was an arduous task and took a lot of time. Primary Futures took all of that stress away and delivered a whole range of people from different career paths and different walks of life, who all inspired our children in different ways. The children and staff all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it generated a buzz of excitement around school, with children considering options that otherwise they might not have thought about. Some children even started to create a life plan based on their goals and ambitions! A fantastic experience, which w e will definitely be repeating again soon!”