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Careers-themed Christmas show is just the job for Gateshead pupils and parents

Mechanics, meteorologists and vets are just some of the jobs that pupils from Fellside Primary School in Gateshead are exploring during a rather special Christmas performance this year.

The school has written its very own Christmas show - ‘A Job for Christmas’ - based around the theme of careers, with pupils aged four to 11 playing a range of roles from postal workers to chefs, all working together to make sure that Santa completes his Christmas mission.

Team work and skills are at the very heart of the festive tale, which sees workshop elves, Santa’s chefs, postal workers, reindeer vets, mechanics and meteorologists all pulling together to ensure Christmas is a huge success.

The unique show has been scripted by Head Teacher, Mrs Kerrie Hood. She explains: “We thought that a Christmas performance themed around jobs, skills and teamwork would be a great way to get our children and parents to think about the different yet equally important roles that people play in society through the jobs they do, and the wide range of careers that are out there for our pupils when they leave education.

“The children have loved playing the various roles and we’ve had great feedback from our parents and audience members, who say it’s helped them to understand why it’s important to think about careers, even at this age.”

The theme of the show was inspired by a region-wide project that the school is involved in, to introduce careers guidance to pupils from the earliest age.

Fellside Primary School is one of 70 North East Primary Schools taking part in the North East Ambition Career Benchmarks Primary Pilot. The programme is delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and supported by the EY Foundation and the European Social Fund (ESF).

During the two-year pilot, primary schools across the region are exploring how they can adapt and implement the government’s Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks for use at primary level. This includes delivering age-appropriate careers guidance and experiences, such as work-themed projects in school and visits to local employers.

Matt Joyce, Regional Lead for North East Ambition at the North East LEP, added: “Our North East Ambition programme already works with all secondary schools and colleges in the North East to support them to achieve the government’s Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks, but we believe strongly that it’s important to start that work even earlier, at primary school age. We know that children can begin to make life-limiting judgements about their career options from as early as five, and by the time they have reached secondary school, those judgements can be embedded and harder to shift.

“Our primary pilot allows us to test how we might be able to introduce age-appropriate careers guidance at primary school level and sow the seeds of ambition from the earliest age. Fellside’s ‘Job for Christmas’ show is a fantastic example of how careers can be explored in really creative and engaging ways, and we’re delighted that they’ve been inspired by being part of our primary pilot.”

Ruth Thornber, year two teacher and the school’s careers leader, added: “We are excited to be part of the North East Ambition primary pilot, as we’re very keen to support our pupils to think about skills, jobs and careers from as early as possible. Our pupils have really enjoyed this performance and we’ve got lots of great careers-related activity planned for the coming year.”

The Careers Benchmarks Primary Pilot is part of North East Ambition; an education and skills programme delivered by the North East LEP that supports all schools and colleges in the North East to achieve the government’s Good Career Guidance Benchmarks by 2024.

Working in partnership with education and industry, it aims to ensure each and every young person in the North East has access to quality careers education.

Discover more about the Careers Benchmarks Primary Pilot.

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