On Tuesday 16 October, volunteers from companies which hold a Royal Warrant visited Bordesley Green Primary School in Birmingham to meet the children and talk about the interesting and varied jobs they do.
And the jobs were indeed interesting and varied – there were printers, bookbinders, chocolate makers, engineers of military accoutrements, tailors, cabinet makers, car makers and an equestrian product manufacturer. The morning started with a ‘What’s my Line?’ assembly where children tried to work out what the volunteers did by asking them a series of questions – e.g. do you work outdoors, did you go to university, do you need to be good at maths to do your job. This enjoyable and engaging activity also had a serious purpose – to challenge the stereotypes children often have about the people who do certain jobs and to help broaden horizons and raise aspirations.
The volunteers then went into different classrooms and chatted to the children in different in smaller groups about their jobs – rotating between groups so the children got to meet a range of people. Many of the volunteers used props to help explain what they did as you can see here in these photos. They also gave examples of how they use literacy and numeracy in their day-to-day life, getting children to think more broadly about what they could do in the future and make the link between what they learn at school and future jobs.
Jayne Clayton, Assistant Head Teacher, commented on the morning’s events:
“It’s a valuable opportunity to open the children’s eyes to different and varied opportunities. Today helped focus the minds of the children and think clearly about what is open to them in the future. It was also particularly eye-opening because so many of the volunteers come from the local area, which gave the children a sense of what can be achieved on their doorstep.”
Head Teacher Miss Harris added that, “We are so grateful to Primary Futures and the RWHA for providing the children of Bordesley Green a view into the world of opportunity that is open to them, if they are given the chance to grasp it. We have children from a hugely diverse range of backgrounds, so an event like this that shows such a wide range of possibilities, will have an extremely positive effect on our pupils.”
Volunteers commented on the high level of engagement from pupils and their superb questions.
Rhys Smith said “I found the event intriguing and inspiring. Intriguing to hear the questions that young people have about the world of work and inspiring to see them so excited.”
And Sam Sargeant said “The children had really interesting and well-thought out questions! A very inspiring day. ”
Already used by 3,440 primary schools across the country, Primary Futures, run by the charity Education and Employers, connects schools with volunteers from the world of work. Volunteers talk to children about their jobs to inspire and motivate them to consider taking a path that they may not previously have thought possible for them because of preconceived assumptions shaped by their gender, ethnicity or social class.