Career Related Learning
Career Related Learning at St John with St Michael’s
Career-related learning at SJSM is about helping children to understand who they could become and helping them to develop a healthy sense of self that will enable them to reach their full potential. Early interventions can bring a lasting impact on children’s development and perceptions of different occupations, and of the subjects enabling access to them.
Starting career education early is important. As longitudinal studies have shown, holding biased assumptions and having narrow aspirations can influence the academic effort children exert in certain lessons, the subjects they choose to study, and the jobs they end up pursuing. Research has also shown that the jobs children aspire to may be ones that their parents do or those of their parents' friends, or that they see on the TV and/or social media. Low expectations are often shaped by biases or commonly accepted stereotypes, such as ‘science isn’t for girls’ or ‘university isn’t for the working classes’. These societal expectations act to restrict children’s futures by limiting what they believe they can do.
Career-related learning encompasses activities that involve: employers’ raising aspirations and broadening childrens’ horizons (through careers insights and ‘what’s my job’ events etc.) and careers in the curriculum (through topic-based activities, discrete lessons and/ or themed weeks) designed to motivate children, to give them self-belief and to connect learning to life. Also, this includes children learning to improve their non-academic skills (i.e. activities often based in the curriculum but geared more towards improving enterprise and life skills, financial awareness, socioemotional skills and behaviours).
The likely impact relating to improved pupil outcomes includes:
• More pupils and teaching staff learn about themselves and develop a better view of their self-efficacy; increased pupil and teacher awareness of career/work opportunities;
• Increased pupil and teacher understanding of the link between education, qualifications, skills and work opportunities, preparing pupils for adulthood from the earliest years;
• Gender stereotypes are identified, addressed and linked to opportunities to overcome barriers;
• Pupils’ evolving perception of their own potential place in a future world of work is explored and nurtured;
• Pupils and teachers exposed to businesses and the world of work, develop a realistic view of differing occupations and sector skills gaps;
• Amelioration of restricted views by broadening horizons and raised aspirations, particularly for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities;
• Parents/carers’ attitudes, perceptions and aspirations broadened relating to their children’s education and career preferences.
During the summer term we annually hold a careers week, when visitors are invited into school to talk to the children about the professions and job roles. We try to ensure that children are given a wide range of experiences. Members of our wider school community who support us with the delivery of this. A variety of visitors are arranged for classes and assemblies are held on the theme of work. Pupils also carry out age-appropriate tasks about wishes for their future careers during PSHE lessons. This is built on in upper Key Stage 2 during the second half of the summer term. We hold an ‘Enterprise Week’ for Class 4 children during which they are given a budget and a project to complete.