Children At Elmridge Primary School look to the future

CareerScape – an exhibition of careers exploration by primary school children in Trafford

This week (6th -11th March) is National Careers Week. NCW has been launched in recognition of the fact that careers advice is vital for young – and not so young! – people if they are to discover how to achieve their career potential. During the week schools, colleges, Universities, Teachers and Careers Professionals across the UK celebrate quality careers guidance. Local careers advice provider, We Aspire is launching its careers poster competition during National Careers Week encouraging primary school children to explore the world of work.

Elmridge Primary School in Hale Barns is one of several primary schools in Trafford participating in the competition as part of the Aspirations Programme that We Aspire delivers to pupils in Years 5 and 6. Children at Elmridge, The Firs, Woodheys, Wellfield, Highfield, and Acre Hall primary schools are working in groups to explore different careers and produce a poster that will be displayed at their schools' Careers Fairs in the summer term, then at CareersScape an exhibition at Sale Library, Sale Waterside from Monday 17th July with the winning team receiving an award.

The Aspirations Programme takes children on a journey of discovery about themselves and about the careers they could have in the future. Nursel Tok and Isobel Freeman of We Aspire set up the programme in response to the finding of the Hughes report on access to education. The report discovered that access to further and higher education and the ability of young people to make informed choices about their futures was made more difficult because of low aspirations and poor careers guidance. The report stressed the importance of careers advice starting early stating that;

“Primary schools should, as a minimum, arrange for 10 and 11 year olds, a careers event or events where parents, family members and others come in to talk to pupils about their jobs and work, and give pupils the opportunity to ask questions about how to obtain and qualify for them.”

Feedback from schools about the Aspirations Programme has been very positive. Mr Dutton, Headteacher at Wellfield Junior School in Sale writes, “We Aspire has been a real inspiration to our Y5 and Y6 children, helping them gain a deeper understanding of the world of work. It opens their eyes, helps them to develop a sense of ambition and to understand and motivate them to work hard in school. It helps them to identify their own strengths and talents and believe in themselves. The careers fair was a real highlight, when the Y6 children had the opportunity to meet and talk to people from all kinds of working backgrounds.”

Pupils are also asked for their comments on the programme and the following is typical: “It was very interesting. It made me think about the career I want without directly asking me about it. I will continue to use what I learned from Aspirations programme throughout my life” (Logan, Y6).

Nursel and Isobel would like to invite everyone to visit the CareerScape exhibition over the summer. They would like to hear from any schools wishing to participate in the programme or employers who would like to be involved in the career fairs. Email today on  or visit the website here .

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