Primary Futures: Key Stage 1
Career insight talks with younger pupils
Volunteers talking to younger children about their jobs and why reading and numeracy are so important in what they do
Careers insight talks can be done in many different ways. Many schools do these through assemblies or classroom sessions, where volunteers from different industries come in and talk to pupils about their jobs and why their school learning was so important. This allows younger pupils to connect what they are doing in the classroom to the adult world as they start their learning journey.
Volunteers could be asked to bring in their favourite book and as well as talking about the jobs they do, can be asked to so they can explain why literacy and numeracy are so important in the world of work.
It might be a talk from a doctor, pilot or firefighter – jobs that KS1 pupils already know – through to the more unusual forensic scientist, adventure journalist or fashion designer. It’s easy to find who is available in your area.
Careers insight talks can be done in many different ways. Many schools do these through assemblies or classroom sessions, where volunteers from different industries come in and talk to the pupils about their jobs. This allows younger pupils to connect what they are doing in the classroom to the adult world as they start their journey through education.
Case study – Read about Professions Week in Year 1 in a West London primary
We have produced a PowerPoint presentation including a step-by-step guide for teachers using the system, as well as the rationale behind the Inspiring the Future career talks.
How does a career insight talk look?
These talks offer insights into a job or profession from ‘an insider’ who can share their experience. They could be part of an assembly or integrated into teaching themes and/or community visits, depending on the needs of the school. Volunteers giving a career insight talk to young people in a school are encouraged to address the following:
- What they do. They might talk through ‘an average day’.
- What advice would they give young people hoping to get into the field when they grow up.
Volunteers can be encouraged to bring in props or objects from work to creative a more interactive presentation. KS1 pupils are just starting to learn about what kinds of jobs exist, so a key part of career insight talks at this level is showing them how many different kinds of jobs are out there.
Top tips for using Inspiring the Future for career insight talks
Employee volunteers are keen to engage with schools and colleges and contribute to their local communities. Many schools have built up fruitful and longstanding relationships with their visitors.
Where to start
- Put someone in charge. A single point of contact, will keep the communication simple right from the start.
- Decide what support your school/college needs. Decide which pupils would benefit most
Choosing a volunteer
On the Inspiring the Future website schools can view brief details that volunteers have entered about themselves, their jobs, and what they can offer. Private email addresses and phone numbers are not visible to either party.
Making contact and creating an ‘activity’
From the Inspiring the Future ‘My Matches’ page, they can email appropriate volunteers and ask them to get involved in an activity they have coming up. After discussion through the email messaging system, schools create an ‘activity’ giving a few more details of the event – the date, number of pupils, ages of pupils and other useful information. Volunteers can choose to ‘accept the event’, and once it has taken place schools ‘close it’, triggering feedback.
- Ensure the volunteer arrives with time to prepare
- Let everyone know that the visit is happening and what to expect in the session.
- Organise car parking if required
- Ensure there are some questions ready to kick start the Q&A
- Let your volunteer know how the visit went. Through feedback they can develop their communication and presentation style.
Inspiring the Future asks four or five questions of both volunteers and schools about how the event went. We strongly recommend that this is completed, as it allows us to keep an eye on the quality of volunteers and whether the service is working for both parties. We also use your feedback to report to funders, which will help to keep this service completely free to schools and volunteers.
Visit our FAQs section for more details about the volunteering and registration process.
To see what Daniel Upfield, Head of Ark Atwood Primary School in London, says about his experience of running career insight talks with Year One pupils, click here.
Our 2013 teacher survey, sent out to all teachers who use Inspiring the Future, found that 85% of teachers would recommend the service to a friend or a colleague, while over 80% agreed that it was easy to find relevant volunteers for their requirements.
You can also read about how one primary school used ‘dream catcher’ assemblies to involve career insights in their learning: Dream Catcher Assemblies.
Teachers who had used Inspiring the Future also said:
“It is an incredible site and I love the concept. I have always been passionate about bringing outside expertise into school but have never had the contacts to do it. Inspiring the Future does this and a lot more.”
“Accessing these volunteers provided untold benefits; their impact might take some years to appreciate, although the immediate feedback was consistently positive for the audience.”
“Brilliant innovation … the quality of delivery has been consistently high and the profiles provide just enough to formulate an idea of what they were offering.”
Research has shown that events and activities that give pupils insight into different careers at KS1 and KS2 can not only help to raise aspiration, but can also increase pupil enjoyment of other career-related activities at school and reduce future chances of being unemployed.
A comprehensive study in this area is an evaluation carried out in 2010. It was funded by the former Department for Skills, Children and Families (DSCF). It evaluated the effect of a career insights pilot run across 38 primary schools in seven local authorities, and used 120 other schools for comparison. This allowed them to measure the real impact of the programme on pupil attitudes, aspirations and understanding of career options.
Stereotypes about occupations formed by age six
The National Foundation for Education Research was commissioned to carry out the research. They found that career insight activities in primary schools had a significant impact, particularly because children begin to form stereotypes about occupations, careers and universities from the age of six:
Pupils showed increased understanding of the link between education, qualifications and careers and a more positive attitude towards school and education
They also showed increased awareness, knowledge and understanding of different types of
- School staff felt it helped to broaden the horizons of pupils, increasing their
confidence and resilience; and
- Pupils also showed a decrease in stereotypical thinking in relation to gender
For more details on how the pilot worked, and its results, click here.
Visit the Teachers Guide One-Stop-Shop for advice on how to get started and plan your work with employers.
We have produced practical guidance to help teachers use Inspiring the Future volunteers: Practical Guidance for Schools and Colleges
Please see our FAQs section for more details about the volunteering and registration process.
Reading partner schemes link up volunteers with individual and groups of pupilschildren to support the work of the school in improving basic reading skills. At KS1, many teachers find that reading partners simply listening to pupils read can make a big difference, particularly key for those who don’t get any get limited reading practice at home. By using adult volunteers, who might talk to pupils about their favourite book or why reading and writing is so important at work, positive learning messages can be reinforced and aspirations raised.
When volunteers sign up for Primary Futures through Inspiring the Future they are asked if they would be interested in being approached bylocal schools to potentially act as a reading partner. We explain that this is may to mean a more regular commitment. This will be agreed between the school and volunteer.
As a teacher looking to launch a reading partner scheme, Primary FuturesInspiring the Future is a quick, efficient way to find and contact potential volunteers.
This free service links up responsible adult volunteer who are willing to become reading partners with schools who are looking for some additional reading help for their pupils.
Click here to see Sheila Jones, the Head of a primary school in Wiltshire, talk about the importance of reading partner work in her school.
Read a case study here from Brenda Bigland, who used literacy partners in her school, Lent Rise Primary.
From the Tower Hamlets Partners programme, 100% (n=27) of teachers felt that pupils had developed confidence and become better at expressing thoughts and ideas as a result of the programme, as well as all of them improving basic skills. 96% also felt pupils had learnt how to listen more effectively.
One teacher explained that: “Our business partners are fantastic and very understanding with our busy school life. The children look forward to them coming”.
See this toolkit for teachers on running a paired reading scheme
Click here for prompt cards to help volunteers talk to primary pupils about the books they are reading
Visit the Teachers’ Guide One-Stop-Shop for advice on how to get started on using employee volunteers
For a resource pack for teachers running additional reading programmes, with useful hints and tips, see this pack from the National Educational Psychological Service
To check whether you need to DBS check volunteers for your reading partner programme, see Ofsted’s guidance for schools
The Welsh Government’s guidance on literacy catch-up programmes provides a useful step-by-step guide to different reading partner and number partner programmes, and can be found here
Number partner schemes usually consist of volunteers doing being involved with number games or basic number based activities with primary school pupilschildren on an individual or group basis to help them improve and develop theircore number basic numeracy skills and confidence.
Primary Futures Inspiring the Future helps to connect the teachers schools withresponsible enthusiastic volunteers through the Inspiring the Future programme who are willing to give that extra help to pupils who need additional support to develop their numeracy skills.
See the Osmani Primary School case study
Inspiring the Future’s online platform will allow you to search for volunteers in your area who would be willing to be involved in a reading partnership scheme. You can contact them directly and discuss exactly what kind of scheme you would like to run and how they can get involved.
There are various ways of running number partner schemes and a scheme might include:
- A one-off event, such as a number day, where volunteers work with one pupil on number games and activities that improve their basic numeracy
- Extended number partnerships, where a volunteer attends for 30 minutes to an hour weekly or fortnightly to work with the same pupil on their maths skills, particularly through the use of number games
- Monthly number sessions, where volunteers come to work with struggling pupils individually, after school or at lunchtime
Some volunteers will have more flexibility than others; some will be happy to commit to a weekly meeting, and others will only be able to attend one-off events. It may depend on their work commitments, and in some cases committing for extended periods of time will be difficult.
A DBS check (previously CRB) will not be needed if volunteers do not have unsupervised access to pupils (see here for Ofsted’s guidance on DBS checks and safeguarding).
Top Tips for number partner schemes
Where to Start
- Nominate one teacher to manage the scheme, to be the point of contact for potential and existing volunteers. A single point of contact will keep communication simple
- Decide which pupils will benefit most, and get parental consent for their participation
- Assign time and space in the school for the scheme, ensuring a nominated teacher is present at all times, meaning that volunteers do not need DBS checks
- Before contacting a volunteer, ensure that you know what kind of time commitment you are requesting, and make that clear in the first communication
After contacting a volunteer
- Prepare resources and information for volunteers so they know the level of their number partner, which areas to cover and how best to help the pupil learn
- Offer in-house training for volunteers committing to weekly or fortnightly sessions to help them get to grips with how they can best support their pupil partner
- Assign two volunteers to every pupil for extended schemes so that busy work schedules do not leave a pupil without a partner
Inspiring the Future asks four or five questions of both volunteers and schools about how activities went. We strongly recommend that this is completed, as it allows us to keep an eye on the quality of volunteers and whether the service is working for both parties. We also use your feedback to report to funders, which will help to keep this service completely free to schools and volunteers.
Visit our FAQs section for more details about the volunteering and registration process.
Leicestershire Cares: Number Partners project
An evaluation of the Leicestershire Cares number partners project was carried out. The project provided weekly support from business volunteers to primary pupils who needed additional support their maths. 122 volunteers were involved, supporting 512 children across 40 schools.
The evaluation found that, as a result of their 12 week programme with primary school children:
- 91% of pupils increased their self-esteem/confidence
- Pupils on average increased their numerical ability by 1 National Curriculum sub-level in just 12 weeks
- 84% made good or excellent progress, increasing ability by 1 or more sub-levels, 55% increased by 1 sub-level, 25% increased by 2 sub-levels and 4% increased by 3 sub-levels or more
- 39% of the pupils made better than expected progress
A summary of numeracy ‘catch up’ interventions in primary schools, conducted by the DfE’s Education Standards Research Team in November 2012, collected evidence from various reports and evaluations, finding that:
- Earlier interventions can reduce ‘mathematics anxiety’
- Arithmetical difficulties are highly susceptible to intervention
- Both partner work and small group interventions are effective for pupils with low attainment
- Interventions such as number partner schemes are increasingly being used across the UK
- Peer tuition is not an effective substitute for adult interventions, including adult volunteer programmes
To find out more, register with the Number Partners websitehttp://numberpartners.org/register/
The website takes you through a step-by-step guide of how to
get involved http://numberpartners.org/get-involved/volunteers-get-involved/
case studies http://numberpartners.org/explore-number-partners/case-studies/
online training http://numberpartners.org/self-assessment/ and more.
You can download the Number Partners handbook, including
advice for volunteers here: http://numberpartners.org/content/uploads/Number-Partners-Volunteer-Handbook.pdf
For tips, hints and resources for running number partnership schemes, see theNumber Partners website, and their top tips, and for a case study where Osmani primary school ran a reading scheme with Bank of America Merrill Lynch
To check whether you need to DBS check volunteers see Ofsted’s guidance for schools
Numeracy catch up summary DFES:http://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/resources/53/index.html