“I felt there are millions of jobs that you can do and not just the ones that you’ve heard about!”
Baines Endowed Primary School has taken part in a series of engaging Primary Futures aspirational assemblies with role models from across the world of work. Volunteers spanned a range of job levels and sectors – from a university lecturer to head of film at ITV, a paramedic to a software developer, and a floral designer to a chief executive!
With activities taking place virtually during the 2021 lockdown, the school maintained a focus on aspirations during this disruptive period to give pupils purpose in their learning and sense of a wide world of opportunities. Adapting to children’s situations at home or in school, the sessions ran via Google Classroom and were interactive, with children having the chance to communicate and ask questions via the chat box. The ‘What’s My Line?’ assembly format involved children meeting several volunteers via their devices, guessing their jobs from clues and props, and hearing about day-to-day life in the world of work.
“I was surprised how cool the jobs really are” … “I felt excited about my future” – Year 6 pupils
Following activities with a broad range of volunteers, the school took a subject-focused approach for World Maths Day, looking at the diversity of jobs that involve the subject. Pupils met the CEO of Blackpool Grande Casino, the production accountant at Coronation Street and an IT programme manager from financial company Allianz UK, and learnt how this core subject could be relevant in their futures.
Towards the end of the school year, Year 6 pupils from Baines Endowed primary and other schools across the Cidari Multi Academy Trust joined a transitions-themed activity. The aim of the activity was to help them gain confidence and motivation for the change of moving up to Year 7. Pupils heard how the volunteers gained confidence and adapted to new environments – for example, one volunteer talked about the challenges she faced with her stammer when she started her job because she was nervous. However, when she became settled at work it was no longer a challenge for her and she felt much more comfortable.
Deputy Head Teacher Colin Walton, who supported the organisation of the activities, said:
“Primary Futures provided our pupils with a sequence of inspiring ‘What’s my Line Virtual Assemblies” over the academic year 2020/21. The volunteers gave our pupils a real insight into the world of work and inspired them to aim high. The main impact of the assemblies was the improved engagement of pupils in lessons and the discussions the pupils were having about their future aspirations.”
By introducing children to role models from a variety of jobs and backgrounds, these activities help pupils to broaden their horizons, challenge stereotypes and understand the importance of school subjects. Your school can get involved in activities with Inspiring Blackpool – find out more about our support and opportunities.
Not in Blackpool? Find out more about how we can help you connect with inspiring volunteers.