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Creating a child friendly and easily accessible careers area in a school

In order to start a conversation with children about future career options, Lingey House Primary School chose to create a child-friendly careers area within its school.

Research conducted by the school found a lot of children aspire to jobs they experience during roleplay, so staff created a series of job booklets that could be used as part of roleplay exercises.

Booklets entitled ‘I want to work with animals’ and ‘I want to work in healthcare’ broadened children’s knowledge about particular careers. They also shone a light on specific jobs you could do in each sector. The idea behind this was to show children that just because you love animals, it doesn’t mean you have to be a vet.

Each booklet included the roles and responsibilities for each job, as well as salary information and the qualifications needed for each position.

Raising career aspirations amongst student

Staff also created a careers display board that showed examples of work completed by students during various educational trips. Artwork was added that helped challenge career stereotypes and highlighted ‘famous failures’, so pupils understood it was ok to get things wrong sometimes.

Special characters of different ethnicities and backgrounds also helped children learn how different people achieved their goals.

Computers have been added to the area as well so children can learn more about specific careers on the internet.

Top tips for success:

  • Identify a careers area that is easily accessible to children.
  • Ask for suggestions from the children on what they would like to see in the area.
  • Plan the design of the area to ensure consideration is given to gender stereotypes and it reflects a wide range of different career pathways.
  • Create the job booklets by researching each career individually and present them in a child friendly manner.

Biggest challenges:

  • The time it takes to create the job sector booklets is considerable. This was only possible through some staff release time.
  • Ensuring the area is planned in a way that children understood and like. Asking for input and opinions from pupils at every step is imperative.

What next?

The careers area at Lingey House Primary School will constantly change and adapt according to the aspirations of pupils. The school plans to conduct research every year to identify current trends and amend/produce new job sector booklets as required.

For more details contact Sarah Ibinson, Careers Lead at Lingey House Primary School, on [email protected].