Primary 6 and 7 Careers Fair
Mid Calder Primary School
As part of our Developing Young Workforce school improvement plan agenda, we wanted to engage our learners with adults and volunteers, who have a range of skills, attributes and careers. Our Career fair was the culmination of our Inter Disciplinary Learning topic of “Developing You”, which included aspects of core learning within Literacy, Health & Wellbeing and STEM.
As we have begun our school journey into DYW and Enterprising schools, we focused this event on our P6 and P7 pupils, with a view to rolling out the event and widening it to other areas of our school.
This also built upon current parental engagement links which have already been developed in our Early Years setting, with parent visitors, to talk to our nursery children about their jobs.
How it developed
- An initial letter asking for parent volunteers was sent out in April, relevant details of careers and skills etc were gathered and collated.
- I then contacted the West Lothian Developing Young Workforce team to connect with different organisations and businesses to widen our volunteer base.
- Jean McFarlane of STEM East requested support from STEM ambassadors after I had emailed to ask if there were volunteers from this sector, as we have such a keen interest in STEM learning as a whole school.
- Final contacts were then provided with details and a break-down of how the event would run.
- In classes, pupils focused on using Higher Order Thinking questions stems to begin to understand what made a good quality question. During our IDL, we investigated interview techniques, body language and how to both ask and answer questions in an interview scenario – we practiced these skills in a drama context (we also included how to do a good quality handshake and introduction.)
- During literacy and writing lessons, we gathered high quality questions, developed by the children and distilled them down into 5/6 key questions which could be asked to a range of jobs and careers. Another class looked specifically at the skillset required for particular jobs, based on the volunteers who would attend our event, and then created job specific questions to ask individuals directly.
- We focused on developing our skills in note taking, especially under pressured circumstances – we used daily Newsround bulletins to gather information using key words, to summarise the news topics of that day. Pupils then were challenged to ask their devised interview questions to a real life working adult (me), then note-take and summarise the answers given as they listened.
- Linking to our digital learning agenda, we also looked at how other questions could be collated using GLOW forms. Pupils typed and created their interview questions ready for the Career Fair.
- During the afternoon sessions, pupils rotated around the volunteers in a “speed networking” style. They successfully introduced themselves and asked their questions, using their note taking skills to capture key information.
What pupils gained
Pupils response to the event was incredible:
Sam-“It was a really cool afternoon! The Leonardo Apprentices use lasers!”
Finlay – “It was great because we got to find out all about the jobs and what they did.”
Ben – “They were all unique in different ways. But I was really interesting to find out all of the skills they all had to use.”
Lexie – “I really enjoyed speaking to the make-up artist, because it was a job that wasn’t to do with STEM but I was interested in it.”
Niamh – “I was really interested in how Iain’s company made a mine-craft version of different places in the U.K.”
Matthew – “I liked talking to Jocelyn because she had two completely different jobs and what was a hobby became her work.”
Dylan – “Everyone said that paperwork was the hardest part of doing their job. Most people said the best part was working with people.”
Our volunteers responded very well to our pupils, commenting on firstly, their manners, but also how articulate they were in asking their questions and engaging in dialogue with them.
“Pleasure to be involved and worth noting the calibre of pupils attending and insightful questioning on the day !”
“Thanks for having me today, it was a real pleasure and the kids were wonderful ambassadors for your school.”
Through connecting with our volunteers, we have potential future business links and associates which we can contact again for further events. We are looking to provide workshop sessions with some volunteers, following pupil evaluation from the day. Pupils were able to make valuable suggestions on how they would like to develop the event further and have asked to participate in job based activities or to visit places of work to see adults in their working environment.
Is it sustainable?
This is a sustainable and easily run event, dependent on parental and volunteer responses.
What costs did you incur?
There were no costs incurred to the school.
Did you involve other partners?
We have now successfully established future contacts and links with businesses and volunteers who are keen to return to school in future.
What support did you get?
The West Lothian Council Developing Young Workforce team gave us some assistance and contacts for potential business contacts.
STEM East were also an invaluable contact, who provided us with a vast range of volunteers who were keen and eager to participate.
Pauline Ross: Principal Teacher
Phone: 01506 882092