18797The National Careers Service in the North East has helped inspire eight primary schools in Redcar and Cleveland to launch a dedicated careers education programme.

The Aspire Learning Partnership, a Co-operative Trust of eight Primary Schools comprising Bankfields, Caedmon, Grangetown, Overfields, South Bank, Teesville, Whale Hill, and Wilton, now delivers a package of careers education for eight to 11-year-olds.

The concept for the programme followed senior leaders from the Partnership attending the National Careers Service’s Supporting Inspiration regional launch event.

This led to the Supporting Inspiration team forging closer links with the Partnership by sharing best practice and presenting ideas to enable the development of an action plan for Primary careers education.

In the wake of the Supporting Inspiration input, the Partnership has created a wide-ranging programme which has included:

  • An enterprise project, linked to the curriculum, focusing on work-based skills where pupils run a business and have to budget, generate sales and market their venture.
  • A scrapheap challenge that involved groups of pupils creating a space hotel using scrap materials at an external event.  The youngsters also had to liaise with teams back at their schools, who were tasked with developing a marketing strategy, via a live link.
  • Working with the Brilliant Club to deliver PHD-style tutorials in science and engineering, philosophy and English leading to those taking part writing a dissertation and attending a Graduation event at Durham University

Sue Cochrane, Aspire Partnership Business Manager, said: “Our contact with Supporting Inspiration representatives was the first step in developing a really exciting and enriching careers programme.

“Supporting Inspiration helped us focus our minds on what we needed to do to and what could be achieved by exposing Primary School pupils to information and experiences that would start them thinking about future careers.

“Since then we have worked with a range of organisations to deliver an inaugural careers education programme across the Partnership’s eight primary schools.

“It has proved to be a great success and we plan to build on it for the next academic year.”

Carly Hinds, Partnership Manager for the National Careers Service in the North East, said: “It is rewarding that we were one of the main catalysts to the establishment of a careers education programme that will help make a real difference to the future prospects of primary aged children in Redcar and Cleveland.

“What the Aspire Partnership is accomplishing shows that younger pupils have an appetite for and a keen interest in learning about the work place.”

The National Careers Service in the North East also has supported the Partnership at one of its enterprise activity days at which the children said the biggest lesson they had learnt was ‘the importance of teamwork’.

Sue Cochrane added: “The careers activities we have and will continue to undertake demonstrate the importance of communication, teamwork planning and organising skills when it comes to the world of work.

“It is important that pupils, whatever their age, appreciate the softer skills needed in the workplace as well as the academic qualifications they will need to follow a particular career.”

Other organisations that have supported the Partnership’s careers programme include Enabling Enterprise, Durham and Teesside Universities, and the Brilliant Club.