CAREER-RELATED LEARNING (CRL) ARRIVES IN BALLYSALLY PRIMARY SCHOOL, COLERAINE, N.IRELAND

CAREER-RELATED LEARNING (CRL) ARRIVES IN BALLYSALLY PRIMARY SCHOOL, COLERAINE, N.IRELAND
April 15, 2019 dmh

Primary Futures:Northern Ireland

The visitors shared with the pupils how they use literacy and numeracy in their day-to-day life, encouraging children to think about lessons in the classroom and to make the link between what they can learn and future possibilities. The aim was to broaden children’s horizons, raise their aspirations and challenge the social and gender stereotypes children often have about the people who do certain jobs. The event aims to kick off a national conversation about what more can be done across Northern Ireland to inspire children from an early age.

Geoff Dunn MBE, Principal who jointly organised the event and is seen here introducing an engineering apprentice, commented,

“As a school we continually are seeking to be innovative, creative and inspiring to the children and families in our care.  The future is very much unknown. Research states that 60% of jobs for new our Primary 1 children have not even been thought of! I believe wholeheartedly that children need the necessary skills to be equipped and to be ready for the jobs of the future. However, I also believe that children need to be exposed to the world of work, as new technology gathers pace. To this end, the Primary Futures initiative and concept has greatly enabled us to connect education and the world of work.  We know that the seeds of hope have been planted.’

A ‘What’s My Line? activity included: Jenny Bristow (Ireland’s Good Food Ambassador/ Cookery Writer and TV Celebrity), Jonathan Lennox (Nurse) Paige (Fire Fighter), Eddie Johnston (Ice-Cream Maker), Dan Lavery (Surf Instructor and Lifeguard), and Laura Fleming (Overhead Lines Apprentice, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE)). Coleraine Football Manager (Rodney McAree) came along with the Irish Cup and talked about teamwork and achieving success.

The volunteers rated the event as 10 out of 10, with 85% of them commenting that it made them feel that they could make a difference to young people and 70% refelecting that it made them feel they can be part of the local community.

Other comments included, “The assembly was fabulous. The energy in the room was brilliant and as was the engagement with the children”, “A great event, super school, fantastic polite and engaging kids” and finally, “Massive thank you to the school Mr Dunn and the staff. Lovely children. I greatly enjoyed being part of today.”

Other comments included, “The assembly was fabulous. The energy in the room was brilliant and as was the engagement with the children”, “A great event, super school, fantastic polite and engaging kids” and finally, “Massive thank you to the school Mr Dunn and the staff. Lovely children. I greatly enjoyed being part of today.”

Nick Chambers, CEO Education and Employers explained the rationale, “We were delighted that Ballysally Primary School was so enthusiastic about hosting our first ever Primary Futures event in Northern Ireland. Research tells how important it is to connect young people to the world of work but seeing it action captures the excitement demonstrated by these pupils as their eyes are opened to the opportunities that could await them.’

In a first for ‘Primary Futures’ a calendar featuring drawings done by the children will be sent into every child’s home on the housing estate with a clear message to parents and carers that children have hopes, dreams and career aspirations that need to be nurtured.

Geoff Dunn, Principal at Ballysally Primary School, reflected on the event:

“The Primary Futures event held in Ballysally Primary School was a spell-binding, interactive and inspiring learning experience for everyone involved. With over 40 volunteers from a range of employments, nearly 300 pupils and 40 parents were encouraged to be curious about a vast range of jobs through the ‘What’s My Line game show’ assembly and face-to-face discussions in classrooms.

“Following the event, I had numerous parents tell me not only how much they enjoyed the assembly, but also now that their child wanted to be a… when they grow up. Furthermore, staff commented on how many pupils were now asking more insightful questions linking school work to jobs. A member of Education and Training Inspectorate witnessed the, ‘What’s My Line’ and saw first-hand the impact upon pupils and parents. He told me afterwards that he, ‘had never seen anything like the Primary Futures concept’ but that it, ‘ticked all the right boxes’ in linking school to the world of employment.

“The school along with the local Council are currently creating a calendar of pupil work which showcases pupil aspiration. This calendar will be free for every child in the school and will consist of a number of pupils ‘Drawing the Future’ drawings of what the aspire to be along with inspirational quotes. It is very much hoped that this will be as a means of deepening the thinking already started in Primary Futures event by placing these quotes within each home.”

We are grateful for the support this event have had, especially from the volunteers who were there and the local press.  The Coleraine Chronicle wrote an article that shows the range of volunteers who inspired the children at Ballysally Primary School.  Read this article by clicking here or by clicking the picture below.

This is the start of a journey which will continue over the coming year(s). Thank you to Geoff Dunn and his brilliant team, working closely with the impressive Education and Employers charity, London. It’s a privilege to be part of this.

For more information on the work of Education and Employers visit: https://www.educationandemployers.org/

Also, look out for more information coming soon on a major new CRL initiative in primary schools within the East Midlands region of England. dmh associates is working with partners leading on CRL evaluation and impact assessment with Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel at Education and Employers Research.

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