Research shows that children’s career aspirations are unlikely to change between the ages of seven and 17. More than a third of children base these early aspirations solely on people they know and this can mean that some children’s horizons may be narrowed at a very early age. Being introduced to new possibilities for the future can have a transformative effect on pupils’ outlooks and achievement.
At Palm Bay School we aim to cultivate curiosity, raise aspirations and ignite excitement in children about their own futures. Raising aspirations is about helping children and young people to find options that suit them as individuals, ensuring they go on to have happy and fulfilling working lives.
Linking learning to different careers
During our topic lessons at Palm Bay, children are shown how the work that they find enjoyable can be used in different jobs and will help them to begin to form ideas about what they might want to do, by showing them that it could be useful for them in the future. At the beginning of the topic, the class brainstorm what careers they think would be linked to their topic and this is then repeated at the end of the topic to show the real variety of career possibilities.
Below are some examples:
Introducing real people
We are focusing on raising aspirations by organising real-life interactions with working people, through parents and carers with different careers volunteering, as can people in the community.
Some types of work are heavily dominated by men or women or by people from particular social backgrounds. Thankfully, this is changing and at Palm Bay we are instilling a sense of possibility and passion in children to pursue what they enjoy, regardless of their background, gender or socio-economic status.