Tag Archives: Skills

TES feature: Primary career education should broaden children’s horizons

By Nick Chambers for TES

The focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on ‘career-related learning’, argues Nick Chambers

The last few months have seen a sudden enthusiasm for careers education in primary schools. Of course, it is a simple and seductive idea.
But many teachers and parents have expressed their concerns that we risk making our children grow up too fast. They are understandably concerned about the dangers in directing children towards a particular career or job at a time when their aspirations should be wide-ranging and, in large part, without boundaries.
I share their concerns. We should not be providing careers advice in primary schools: instead we should focus on broadening horizons and raising aspirations, giving children a wide range of experiences including the world of work. It is about opening doors, showing children the vast range of possibilities and helping to keep their options open for as long as possible.
And there are a range of attributes, skills and behaviours that can be encouraged in this early stage of a child’s life that will leave them in the best possible position as they begin their transitions to secondary education and to future life.
There is often alarm, too, when people hear or read the word ‘careers’ in the same sentence as primary schools. In my opinion, the focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on what I refer to as ‘career-related learning’.
Teachers would tend to agree. Our recent survey, in partnership with Tes and the NAHT headteachers’ union, found that the majority of teachers believe that children should be learning about the world of work and different jobs in their first years of primary school. Nearly half (47 per cent) believed this should start from age five and under and that linking learning to the real world helped increase motivation, broaden aspirations and challenge gender stereotypes.
Politicians, too, are on side. Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee was spot on in saying in Tes recently: “The impact of early engagement can have a hugely positive impact on wider academic attainment, motivating and inspiring both children and their families, by helping them to see a future to which they can aspire and which feels achievable.”
Earlier this year we tried to explore this a little further by exploring who primary-aged children ideally want to become, and, what shapes (and often limits) their career aspirations and dreams for the future. Drawing the Future asked children aged 7 to 11 to draw a picture of the job they wanted to do when they grew up. More than 13,000 children took part in the UK and it was clear that, from a young age, many children had ideas about careers. Some 36 per cent of children from as young as seven years old, based their career aspirations on people they knew. For those who didn’t know anyone who did the job they drew, 45 per cent stated that TV, film and radio were the biggest factors influencing their choice.
Meanwhile, less than 1 per cent of children knew about a job from someone visiting their school. This has huge implications for social mobility, as children from poorer backgrounds may not have access to successful role models from the world of work and their aspirations are limited as a result.
All children, regardless of their background should get the chance to meet a wide range of people doing different jobs, in different sectors and at different levels – from apprentices to CEOs.
This is essential if we are to improve social mobility and gender and ethnic equality. It is vital we support children to challenge the perceptions they may have about certain jobs, and to better understand the evolving world they are growing up in while they are still in primary school.
While teachers appreciate the importance to children of career-related learning many say that the lack of time and availability of volunteers are preventing them doing more. The NAHT has taken a lead to tackle this and created Primary Futures in partnership with my charity, Education and Employers.

Emma Fieldhouse from South Parade Primary school in Wakefield explains why her school got involved: “It was amazing to see the children talking and listening to the volunteers, and each other, as they begin to make the link between what they do in school every day and the exciting world of the future where they will be the next scientists, teachers, politicians, vets”.
We must not rest until we see this kind of ambition running through all of our students in all of our primary schools.

Nick Chambers is the founder and chief executive officer of the charity Education and Employers. The charity runs Inspiring the Future and its Primary Futures and Inspiring Women programmes and undertakes research into the effectiveness of employer engagement

My World of Work: New ‘pathways’ feature support the search for jobs

mywow-pathwaysThere are now more ways for young people to browse pathways and explore potential qualifications routes on Skills Development Scotland’s career information and advice web service, My World of Work.  Senior Service Development Executive Mairi Rule explains how these changes will help young people, and those who support them:

“Our new ‘pathways’ feature is changing the way our users can search for, filter and explore job profiles.   The idea behind them was simple. We grouped all the jobs on the web service into one of six broad pathway groupings based on common high level activities and skills.  We then gave individuals the ability to browse job profiles, and further refine search results, by one of these six pathways.

The six pathway verbs and their descriptors are:

  • Care                       educating and caring for others
  • Create                  creating things and expressing new ideas
  • Discover              exploring problems to find answers
  • Produce               making and fixing things
  • Protect                 defending people’s rights and keeping them safe
  • Support                supporting customers and organising things

These simple groupings provide young people with a new way of exploring jobs that challenge traditional industry stereotypes.

For example, the ‘Create’ pathway shows customers that jobs that involve creative activities can exist in a range of industry areas, such as engineering or information and computing technology.  It’s a great way of showing the range of jobs that could be of interest, broadening horizons and allowing exploration of a wider range of opportunities.  You’ll find the new filters within the My Career Options landing page of My World of Work and within the subject choices tool.

Similar thinking also sits behind our work on qualification routes.  We know that young people in schools, particularly those focusing on passing exams, can find it difficult to understand how the subjects they are studying relate to future careers.

In addition, some young people, parents, carers and employers can be unfamiliar with the current range of available qualifications, and how all of them relate to the world of work.  By introducing new qualifications functionality, we hope to help increase that understanding of the relationship between learning in the classroom and the world of work, as well as highlighting the range of learning opportunities available.

The functionality is above the ‘Getting in’ section of 150 job profiles on My World of Work, allowing users to create personalised qualification routes.

Users can view and select from different types of qualifications, including new work based learning options such as Foundation Apprenticeships, in order to build up multiple routes for one or more careers.  They will also be able to view detailed information about the qualifications that are shown, such as length of study, and select links to related course and apprenticeship information.

At the end of the tool, users can view and print off the routes they’ve created which they can then compare or discuss with their SDS careers adviser, parent, carer or teacher.   If signed in, customers can also save their qualification pathway to the book marks section of their My World of Work account.

We’re continuing to add qualification routes to job profiles, all of which will have the tool by the summer.”

The six new pathways on My Career Options landing page and the Subject Choices tool

To see an example of qualification routes check out https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/my-career-options/accounting-technician

Creativity: The Big Picture – new Creativity JPEGs available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGs and PNGs (with a transparent background) are drawn from the Creativity: The Big Picture infographic available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

 

What are creativity skills? – new Creativity JPEGs available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGs and PNGs (with a transparent background) are drawn from the What are creativity skills? infographic, poster for learners, poster for staff, and poster for early learning and childcare settings, all available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

Why are creativity skills important for attainment? – new Creativity JPEGS available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGs are drawn from the Why are creativity skills important for attainment? infographic available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

Why is creativity important to employers? – new Creativity JPEGs available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGs and PNGs (with a transparent background) are drawn from the Why is  creativity important to employers? infographic available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

Support for creativity – new Creativity JPEGs available for use in presentations, reports, posters and online.

The following JPEGS are drawn from the Unlock Your Creativity and Support and Resources for Creativity infographics available on the National Improvement Hub.

Please use and share the images as widely as possible with educators, learners and partners in presentations, reports, posters and online.

You can also build your own infographics from scratch using the Everything Is Creative online tool and make your own use of the artwork you see here.

SDS news: Labour market low down for parents

PSDS In-School Infographics AW2arents have been getting the lowdown on the labour market as part of special careers events at two North Lanarkshire schools.

Coltness High School and Airdrie Academy worked with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on the events for parents and carers whose children were making subject choices.

The events – attended by more than 200 people – were part of work to expand SDS career information, advice and guidance services in schools.

Find out more about the events, and read about calls from the National Parent Forum of Scotland to parents and carers to make the most of the careers services changes.

 

 

Thinking Global about Social Enterprise? – new resource pack

logo--hi-res…. then you might be interested in the new Social Enterprise Resource Pack developed by the British Council,  Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) and Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) helping teachers to deliver activities and lessons on social enterprise.

Written in clear English and aimed at students aged 7-14, the resource pack is suitable for any educator – no previous experience of social enterprise is needed – and is designed to help achieve key teaching objectives, promote valuable skills and enrich the quality of education in schools.   It also offers advice on how to use the content in an international school partnership and how to find a partner school.

The pack contains six principal lesson plans as well as suggestions for activities in the classroom and community. The activities spur students to think about social problems in their localities and further afield and the role that businesses and social enterprises can play in addressing them. As the lessons progress, students working in groups develop a business plan for their own social enterprise and the most promising of these plans is turned into a real social enterprise.

One example highlighted in the pack is the partnership between Bishopbriggs Academy in East Dunbartonshire and the Karma Project in India whose privately funded school provides free education for 70 children who would not otherwise receive it.

 

For more information please visit:  https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/classroom-resources/list/social-enterprise

For more enterprising ideas, resources and case studies go to Scotland’s Enterprising Schools