Careers Support: How can we encourage children to raise their career aspirations from as early as age 5?

BallySally primary school is in an area of social deprivation and this has an impact on students’ aspirations.

We see in this short film how careers can be linked to areas of the curriculum even in primary education.

Headteacher Geoff Dunn tells us this is easy to do subtly and daily, teachers just need to believe it is important.

Geoff says: “We need to look at every topic and ask how does this impact the world of work?”

Geoff goes on to say: “If we aren’t asking ourselves that as teachers, we are missing the end game.”

BallySally primary school invites lots of people from different jobs and industries to come into school. These people work hands on with the children and give them examples of what they do in their day-to-day work. The children can interview the visitors about their jobs and love hearing about different careers.

The school have found this is also a great way to engage parents.

Mr Dunn says: “Our careers events allowed us to invite parents in to see first-hand what was going on in school. The feedback was very positive. The parents could see the enthusiasm the children had for the careers events and also for their own future employment.”

Interestingly a parents also comments: “The careers event has made me see that I am not limited to the career I chose when I was 18, that we can change careers and roles and that we can encourage our children to pick an area they are interested in and we can help them to identify jobs within that”.

The school also promotes independence and creativity and encourages the children to take responsibility for their learning by managing their own small business. The children all get fully involved in this enterprise project.

Finally, we see how primary school children are being encouraged to visit a university.

The children are encouraged to believe, 'I can do this; I can be what I want to be.'

This is one of a series of five, which looks at how a diverse range of schools and careers practitioners from across the UK approach careers support and examines what’s working well for them.

More from Careers Support:

How do you create a personalised careers journey for every student?
How do you meet the careers needs of a diverse catchment area?
Delivering careers education, guidance and experience of work to students with additional needs
Using creative enterprise projects and links with external organisations