St Mary’s Primary School, finalist at the Scottish Education Awards 2017, has developed a systematic approach to career education weaving work-based learning opportunities across the curriculum. This includes an assisted work placement programme for all P7 students with local business across a wide range of sectors from science and technology, IT and the hospitality sector. The programme is now running in its second year. Headteacher Mary Hume says: “We have built excellent relationships within the town evidenced by the fact that they are willing to work with our pupils again this year but moreover, we have been able to diversify and offer more choice to our pupils.”
One of their partnerships allows pupils to shadow interpreters at Concentrix (IBM) dealing with complex issues of cyber security on a global scale. The partnership also extends to staff visiting the school to supporting the 1+2 languages agenda at St Mary’s.
This initiative sits within the wider career education programme the school offers all learners across the curriculum. Parents and employers are co-designing and delivering exciting project work that enhances learners’ skills for learning, life and work. From Nursery to P7 they are invited in to present workshops to the children on skills for work as related to their own jobs and at the child’s level. Children now have an awareness that learning is lifelong and they have to take responsibility for their own developments. Both children and parents value the skills which are being developed in partnership with them and the community. Parental Engagement is fundamental for this rich experience to continue.