Organising a WOW day

Our Inspiring the Future volunteers help to bring learning to life. One fantastic way to bring volunteers in to meet the children at your school is to host a WOW (World of Work) day. A WOW day could follow any format you like with a range of activities taking place, all supported by our passionate volunteers. If you’re stuck for activity ideas, why not use this example from St James Primary School in Chorley for inspiration?

But first, let’s talk about impact

The purpose of a Primary Futures event is to inspire children by introducing them to exciting people from a range of jobs. Arranging a WOW day could:

  • Raise aspirations by showing children what they can do in the future if they work hard
  • Challenge gender stereotypes by introducing children to male and female volunteers doing jobs they might expect
  • Open the children’s eyes to a world of exciting possibilities, encouraging them to keep their options open
  • Help children make the link between what they are learning now and future possibilities, motivating them to work hard at school.

As St James says, “Primary Futures has allowed the school to give the pupils an opportunity to glimpse through a window into the future and allows them learn more about a range of opportunities which help to make links in their understanding of why the lessons they learn today are so important.”

A WOW day

The first step to arranging a WOW day is to decide what activities you’d like to invite volunteers to take part in. If you’re stuck for ideas follow St James’ format:

  • A fun interactive ‘What’s my Line?‘ assembly which sees children attempt to guess the occupation of five volunteers from asking them questions
  • A series of 10 minute workshops where children get the opportunity to speak to different volunteers in small groups and ask them questions.

In the workshops, St James asked volunteers to talk specifically about how the subjects they learned at school directly impacted on their work and career path to date.

This a great format for an exciting and engaging WOW day but you could also consider subject talks where volunteers talk to children about the importance of a specific subject in their job, e.g. literacy. Or why not consider practical workshops where the children complete activities with the volunteers related to their jobs, e.g. designing a bridge with an architect. The possibilities are endless. Get creative.

Once you’ve decided on a format, start inviting volunteers via the Primary Futures online portal by:

  1. Sign in to your account here, or register here
  2. Go to ‘Manage Opportunities’ and ‘Create an opportunity, and fill in some details about your event
  3. Search for volunteers in your local area and invite them to take part.

It really is as easy as 1,2,3!

If your school, like St James, has a social media account you can also ask volunteers to post and share their experience with you in order to develop further links with the world of work outside the classroom.

Top tips from St James

St James’ Primary School have kindly offered their top tips for arranging a WOW day with Primary Futures:

  • Plan well in advance
  • Keep in touch via the ‘chat’ section of Primary Futures at key intervals so that volunteers know what to expect
  • Invite more volunteers than you actually need as inevitably some may accept and then withdraw
  • Create name badges for volunteers and children – it’s helpful.