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Updating an existing model of careers guidance for primary pupils

Updating an existing model  

At Cleadon Academy we’ve been delivering careers guidance for our year six pupils for the last 10 years.  

We have a busy careers fair, organised with the support of parents, giving the children a taste of a wide range of jobs - a lot of our children believed that only certain genders could do certain jobs, so we had a programme in place which showed them a range of professions, and we opened the event up to other schools as well. 

When we saw the primary benchmarks pilot, we knew we’d really like to be part of it. We quickly realised that we could tick off a lot of the elements of the benchmarks already – we had links with colleges and universities, for example – but we needed to refine what we were doing to make sure we were giving pupils the breadth of experiences they needed. And we needed to put a more structured programme in place for our younger pupils, as well as year six.  

One of our teachers created a framework from reception to year six so now careers will be embedded throughout the academic year. It’s now much more of a whole-school approach.  

We also wanted to move towards having a bank of ideas and resources that staff can choose from, and we’re getting feedback from staff on the new framework, to see if there’s anything we should add or change.  

Gaining accreditation  

We were identified along with four other schools to receive the Career Mark Primary accreditation. Not many schools have it and we wanted to celebrate what we’ve done.  

The assessor came in and was blown away. Watching our pupils talking to him – our reception children talking about careers, what their parents do, and what they want to do themselves - was amazing to see. And talking to year six, they knew what they wanted to do and the route to get there. It was pretty mesmerising.  

Advice for other primaries  

For other primary schools that might just be starting out on their careers programme, I’d say don’t worry too much as you’re probably doing a lot of what’s required already.  

When we’ve spoken to the secondary school where a lot of the children will be going they’ve been really pleased at what the children can verbalise. It’s about getting them ready for the next step in their journey.