Raising Aspirations

Our Future project

As part of our curriculum aim of ‘raising aspirations’, we are part of a project called ‘Our Future’.

The project is being facilitated by Learn by Design with its aim being to inspire children and connect primary schools with the world of work in the following ways:

  • Increasing pupils’ awareness of careers and the world of work;
  • Increasing pupils’ understanding of the link between education, qualifications, and future opportunities;
  • Developing key skills aligned with Skills Builder;
  • Reducing career/role stereotypes;
  • Engaging parents, carers, and the wider community;
  • Ensuring sustainability and continuation.

Project Launch

To start the career aspiration journey, Learn by Design delivered three in-school activities and I’d like to share some photographs and information about these below.

In-school related learning activities

Activity 1: Yes, I Can!    Reducing Gender Stereotypes             
Classes who took part: 1, 2, 3 and 5

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand anyone can do any job they aspire to.
  2. Identify historical figures that have created opportunities for us (KS2 only)
  3. Identify my interests and passions and link these to future careers.
  4. Develop skills for success.

Research shows children as young as five have stereotypical views about the jobs people do based on their gender. These sessions aim to prevent those stereotypes developing and enhance an understanding that boys and girls can do the same job.

Within the session, children were exposed to activities and role models to inspire them and broaden their horizons, which were framed in a positive and constructive way. The activities encourage children not to rule out career options for themselves because of their gender.

KS1: Children were introduced to a Career Volunteer who broke the mould of stereotypes and offer an insight into their career. They completed a short personality quiz which lead them to different hands-on role-play activities based on their quiz answers. The activities the children took part in in this session are designed to demonstrate that it is our attributes, skills and interests that determine the jobs that we enjoy, rather than our gender.

KS2: Learners were  also introduced to Career Volunteers who break the mould of stereotypes to offer an insight into their career. They then explored influential men and women throughout history, and how these individuals had opened pathways for anyone to work in their sector. At the end of the session, children had identified their interests and celebrated the similarities and differences they have with their peers.

Activity 2: S.T.E.A.M. futures – Power Your World                

Classes who took part: 3 & 4

Learning outcomes

  1. Learn about different types of renewable energy and how we use energy to power our world.
  2. Understand the basic science behind wind turbines.
  3. Use hands-on skills and teamwork to construct your wind turbine.
  4. Test your wind turbine using our visual voltmeter.
  5. Find out about the job roles of people working in Renewable Energy.      
  6. Develop skills for success.

In this session, children worked in teams to design and refine their own wind turbine blades whilst developing knowledge of renewable energy resources and careers in the green energy sector.

The activity started with an introduction to S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) with a focus on energy. Children worked in pairs for the ‘Higher or Lower Challenge’ to order household items based on how much power they use. As a group we then demonstrated the components of the National Grid, using volunteer children and string around the classroom. A group discussion then explores renewable energy and identified renewable energy sources. The main task was to work in teams to design, construct and test their own wind turbine, using a visual voltmeter. A key focus was identifying ways to refine and improve their design.

Year 3

Activity 3: The Enterprise Challenge                            

Classes who took part: 5 & 6

Learning Outcomes

  1. Learning what an entrepreneur is.
  2. Learn about careers in businesses and enterprise.
  3. Develop skills for success.
  4. Design and advertise your very own product.

During this day, children spent a day exploring and developing the skills and attributes needed to become an entrepreneur. They were set challenges and worked in teams on a project to develop and promote a product aimed at children.

The activity started with an introduction to small, medium and large businesses and what makes them successful. As a group, children identified what makes a good invention and business idea. They were then tasked to work in a team and design a product, considering their target audience and it’s USP plus design a logo and slogan. The second part of their challenge was to think about how products could be marketed successfully. They then worked together to create and perform an advert selling their product, exploring jobs in design, marketing and media along the way.

Unfortunately, no photographs were taken of these sessions.

Next Steps

As a school, we will be using Career Volunteers & Primary Futures Portal: ‘Career Volunteers’ to enable us to connect with interesting volunteers from the world of work quickly and easily linked to our curriculum content.