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Tracking children’s aspirations throughout school


Children attending Ryhope Junior School in Sunderland can now track their aspirations through a booklet which stays with them throughout their school years.

The new Careers and Personal Development Booklets have been designed to help all pupils in years three to six keep a record of their personal aims and to help the school plan future careers and personal development guidance. 

Prompts such as ‘When I am older I would like to…’ encourage children to think about their aspirations for the future and lead to discussions around how they can achieve these.

Staff also log all careers encounters that take place throughout the school year. This includes visits from speakers and trips to places such as Beamish, where children could be encouraged to think about the types of careers that exist within museums, or how jobs have changed over time, for example. 

A basis for careers guidance 

Each child keeps their booklet as they progress through the school, updating it every year.

Although the project is in its early stages, it’s hoped that the booklets will help to form the basis of each pupil’s careers guidance when they move on to secondary school.

The booklets also provide evidence of the impact of the school’s participation in the Good Careers Guidance: Primary Benchmarks pilot and gives the school a way of keeping a record of each child’s careers encounters – a challenge that Ryhope Junior School had already identified.

Top tips for success: 

  • Ensure the wording and design is appropriate for each school or setting. Primary or infant schools would have to tweak the design to replicate in their own school.

Biggest challenges:

  • Finding time to fit the activity into a packed timetable. Therefore this is designed to be a short activity to give teachers and parents a snapshot of children’s current ideas around careers.

What next?

Booklets will be shared with parents – at parents’ evenings or by a copy being sent home – to ensure parents know what aspirations their children have for the future and how they can help nurture these at home.

To find out more, email Gemma McDonald, Class Teacher, Careers Ambassador and Science Lead, on [email protected]