Primary and Secondary School Pupils are to be taught about the World of Work by an army of professionals that will go into schools and talk to them. The new scheme, Primary Futures has been set up by NAHT (the Head Teachers Union) and it wants the scheme to explain to pupils how their lessons relate to their future jobs. Russell Hobby, the union's general secretary, says: “It is not about specific careers advice, or fixing on one path for the future at age 11. Children benefit from understanding the practical requirements of the working world so they can be motivated to improve their literacy and numeracy.” The scheme is designed to improve youth engagement within education, especially within the state school system.
The scheme hopes to recruit up to 100,000 people from CEOs to apprentices, to go into schools in a bid to make the lessons more relatable and relevant. This scheme hopes to finally answer the questions “what’s the point of this” or “why do we need to learn this” and as well as answer the questions, the scheme wants to show why learning is so important. Hopefully this will result in greater pupil engagement within the classroom.
Athersley South Primary in Barnsley was one of the first schools to run the pilot scheme, and they had a senior female paramedic visit the pupils. Thanks to her presentation the children realised the importance of high standards of literacy, they were told that when writing notes for seriously ill people bad literacy can lead to mistakes and higher risks to patients in their care.
The School’s Head teacher Steve Iredale remarked, "The children could see a real link as she highlighted the importance of writing patient notes neatly to avoid the threat to someone's safety caused by illegible case notes."
The scheme is already off to a good start with 13,500 volunteers already registered to visit schools in England. The charity is hoping that volunteers can pledge an hour in a year to talk to children within local state schools. They hope that the visitors will cover a range of topics from their background and cultures to the routes they had to take to get into their careers.
How does Primary Futures work?
Through the scheme, schools can access an ever expanding network of volunteers from different professions and areas who are waiting to be invited into schools to talk and work with children. The school registers with the service which then allows teachers to view profiles of different volunteers and then message them directly. When new volunteers join they are asked if they would like to talk about their career and they also are given the option to become reading or numeracy partners either within their one session or on separate occasions. They can also act as judges for school competitions again inspiring young people to put more into the school system. This scheme offers flexibility to both the schools and the volunteers. Think of it as a LinkedIn system just for volunteers and schools.
For further information on Primary Futures or if you would like to know more or volunteer your time please visit their website.