Igniting interest at an early age
To coincide with National Careers Week 6th – 10th March 2017 Russell Scott Primary School held a Careers Week introducing the youngest children from nursery to Yr6 to the ‘The World of Work’.
This is very unusual for a primary school but our event was aimed at raising aspiration and inspiring the children to want to succeed at school and in whatever direction they choose in life. Children of primary age invariably don’t really understand the word ‘careers’. They need simple phrases they can relate to…’…what job do you do? What kind of jobs have you seen or read about? Suddenly the change in question gives a slightly different answer! The myths are busted when we talk through our jobs particularly if the people in those jobs lived in your locality and even went to the school. Aren’t we lucky…we have lots of willing parents and friends who attended Russell Scott when they were at school only too happy to share their experiences.
The breadth of profession and employment that were represented was fantastic. From one extreme to the other …we had a male opera singer and a female engineer who was the UKs apprentice of the year representing Tameside Council fantastic apprentice scheme. She was able to describe the pathway from primary school to qualified engineer that she had taken and describe the fact that she was an ordinary child in an ordinary school just like them that worked hard and followed a dream of being an engineer and she succeeded because she didn’t give in. The week was full of those messages that all children need to hear…if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.
On one morning we had a little 6 year old boy who brought his Lego plane into school to show the guest…a plane engineer (see twitter feed).We have had a tremendous response from our school community from Doctors to Vets, mechanics to estate agents, pest controllers to a film producer and plane engineer who will come in and chat to the children about their jobs…real world ones…not footballers , UTubers or children setting their sights on Big Brother or X-Factor!
We had over 30 professions or occupations represented with every day filled with visitors explaining and demonstrating to the children what the world of work actually looks like and inspired them to challenge themselves to reach high and to achieve what they can dream.
Andrew Gwynne our MP was one of our final visitors of the week and was able to relate how from being a little boy living in Denton and going to school at Russell Scott just like they are doing, firstly became a local Denton councillor eventually becoming the MP for his home area and was now in a position to campaign and challenge to get their sports field reinstated that he once enjoyed. All our guests explained how they worked hard at school and didn’t give up when things got tough but tried harder and eventually succeeded…great messages for the next generation from people who are all enjoying their work and enjoy fruitful lives.
Our MP Andrew Gwynne a past pupil of Russell Scott came along as did: Greenspace Development Manager, Chartered Surveyor, Midwife, Traffic Engineer / Road Safety, Business Compliance Officer, Paramedic, Stone Masons, Creative Director, Highway Engineers, Environmental Services Manager (Markets), electrical engineer, dentist, doctor, solicitor, prison officer, Trading Standards Officer, Pest Controller, Pilot, mechanic, electrical engineer even an actress and famous opera singer.
It was fantastic to be joined by past pupils who shared their experiences of school and work with the next generation urging them to do their very best every day. We had an electrician, consultant doctor, dentist, mid-wife, film producer, pharmacist and an MP all of who attend Russell Scott describing it as the best time of their lives.
I was particularly proud when the Consultant Lung Specialist Mr Wassem Khan (right) explained to the children that when he was in my class in 1989 at Russell Scott, he was inspired by the science lessons that he did and developed a love of science that eventually led him to become one of the country’s top doctors.
Tameside Council have really supported the week and provided over 20 employees to explain their roles and jobs that keep the Borough working and bringing with them equipment…road sweeper, snow gritters etc to demonstrate to the children. The apprentice masons even showed them how to lay block pathing with the children wearing PPE and getting hands on, actually laying patterns of blocks in purpose made frames. Tameside Council really did go that extra mile to introduce their individual world of work inspiring the children with their jobs and occupations
The week was organised and timetabled by Rachel Matthews our Assistant Headteacher who said ‘…we couldn’t have wished for a better response from so many different people, the children have not stopped talking about their experiences.’
Here’s what was reported about our fabulous week: http://www.meetdcn.com/russell-scott-career-week/