Need support in exploring careers at Primary School level?

Academy9 took the Roadshow Event to Alvie, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Aviemore, Strathdearn and Daviot Primary Schools last month. As part of the Roadshow, pupils are taken on a journey of exploration and discovery while they research local animals and ground conditions that must be considered before designing and developing a large-scale infrastructure project.

Evidence shows that children start to form ideas about their future as they start primary school[1]. The paper ‘Career-Related Learning in Primary Schools’ lists the following key insights:

  • Start early: Perceptions about the suitability of different sectors and career paths are embedded in the minds of children from an early age.
  • Make provision open to all. Career-related learning should be offered universally to all pupils in primary schools.
  • Ensure activities are age dependent: Primary career related activities are most effective when they are planned, delivered and adapted depending on the age group.
  • Involve external organisations and employers: It is important that the person imparting knowledge about jobs and careers brings real-life, authentic experience of the workplace.

The Roadshow Event has been developed with these insights in mind. As part of a ‘real life’ learning opportunity pupils work with professionals from three diverse disciplines currently working on the A9 Dualling programme. Through a series of practical tasks, they will develop an understanding of the purpose and role that Ecologists, Geologists and Engineers play on a project of this magnitude.



As ‘Nature Detectives’, pupils work with an ecologist to undertake a wildlife survey, gathering information and assessing how the A9 Dualling may affect wildlife. They use this knowledge to choose a preferred road option that has the least impact on the surrounding wildlife.

Pupils assess clues to determine what animals, e.g. bats, otters, squirrels, are located in the area. They then assess potential route options by considering the impact on wildlife, ancient woodlands and villages.


The ‘Ground Beneath Our Feet’ module introduces the pupils to ground conditions and how this affects the building of bridges and other infrastructure. Pupils investigate which bridge support is most appropriate for various bridge types. They are also encouraged to consider sustainability to reduce material wastage.


Once pupils have considered local wildlife and the ground beneath their feet, they assess one of the preferred route options. They tabulate information on journey time and identify constraints. Pupils check each other’s work and the engineering professional adds their signature to sign-off their work.

Throughout all activities pupils are encouraged to share their knowledge of the topic and ask the professionals questions. The Roadshow aims to bridge the gap between school and the world of work in an engaging way. While pupils may or may not want to pursue a career in geology, ecology or engineering, they gain a sense of what they could do in the future.

To use these resources with your class see our Roadshow page. For more stories like these see our latest news page.

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