Backed by Education and Employers and supported by grant funding from the Edge Foundation, Primary Futures is a programme to introduce primary school pupils to the world of careers information.
Orchestrated by Headteacher, Stephen Pearce, twelve volunteers from a wide range of employers assembled in East Acton to talk to the Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils (aged 7 to 11) about their jobs and the range of careers open to these young people.
Starting with a whole school assembly, six volunteers took part in a ‘What’s my line?’ game where the children had to try and guess their guests’ occupations by asking only ‘yes/no’ questions. There was a sea of raised hands as almost every child tried to get to ask their questions. The volunteers helped matters by producing a range of props to give clues to their jobs and eventually the children unmasked Beth as an ad designer for You Tube; Alex as a designer for branding and design agency Coley Porter Bell; Sebastian as an F1 technician for Renault/BP Technology; Kerry-Ann as a drilling engineer for BP; Mark as a neuroscientist at Imperial College London and Deona as a Military Doctor in the Royal Navy.
The pupils then went back to their classrooms where, working in small groups, they were able to ask all the volunteers more detailed questions about their jobs, how they discovered what they wanted to do and what skills they needed to do their jobs. As well as the six panellists for ‘What’s my line?’, the children also met Victoria – a journalist for Channel 4 News; Hannah – who works in HR for The Disney Story Limited, Charles from Transport for London; Carmen from Brompton Bikes and Susan – the Managing Director at Penguin Random House.
Susan spoke about Penguin Random House’s commitment to working with schools like East Acton Primary. Introducing publishing as a career choice to young people not only helped Penguin ensure their future workforce was vibrant and diverse but enabled them to give back to the school community.
The children heard about a whole range of jobs and were amazed to realise that an interest in science could lead them not only into becoming a scientist but a doctor, a fuel technician working with racing cars or an engineer drilling for oil and gas around the world. Similarly a talent for art would open up options around product design, marketing and working for internet companies like You Tube and Google.
Headteacher Stephen remarked that he had been wanting to organise a careers event for some time and having being introduced to Education and Employers’ Inspiring the Future programme was delighted to find the Primary Futures website guided him through setting up an event and enabled him to get in touch with a range of local employers willing and eager to help out. Stephen was delighted with the success of the day and wants to continue using Primary Futures to help current and future pupils to discover the host of opportunities open to them.
To find out more about the work of Education and Employers or to see you can run a Primary Futures career event, visit https://www.educationandemployers.org/