Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland supports Primary Futures ‘Who’s in Health?’ campaign NI launch

The Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael Mc Bride, visited Tor Bank Special School on Tuesday 20th October on behalf of the Primary Futures ‘Who’s in Health?’ campaign.

The Primary Futures Who’s in Health? campaign sees volunteers from all roles in the health sector talking with primary school and special school pupils about their job and how they use science, maths and literacy in their career. The idea is to bring learning to life, raise aspirations and awareness of the huge range of jobs in the health sector.

Schools taking part in this particular ‘Who’s in Health?’ visit:

  • Tor Bank School (Special School)
  • Dundonald Primary School
  • Brooklands Primary School
  • Millennium Integrated Primary School

Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland said: “I am very pleased to take part in the Primary Futures programme for Northern Ireland. Growing up is a time of considerable health and social needs. Schools are vitally important settings for the personal and social development of our young people, encouraging self esteem and self confidence, promoting life skills and readiness for work. I believe that programmes such as this, which make the link between learning at school and future job opportunities, show young people what they can achieve and promote aspirations which will influence later life chances. It is my sincere hope that the healthcare professionals at today’s event will act as role models and inspire pupils here and across Northern Ireland to strive to succeed in realising their potential.”

Colm Davis, Headteacher at Tor Bank Special School said: “We are delighted to be able to launch the Primary Futures programme in Northern Ireland and to be able to host it in a special school is really important to the inclusive and integrated educational community we are working hard to create in NI. It is a great way of getting our children to be positive about the futures, by raising their aspirations and broadening their horizons while ensuring employers gain a more enhanced understanding of the capabilities of all children whether they have disabilities or not. The programme aims to help our children to make vital but real connections between their learning in school and the world of work beyond it. As well as people from different professions getting involved in such a programme, we will be able to also introduce them to many inspirational people and role models who volunteer and serve their communities in inspiring ways.

We are particularly pleased this to be welcoming visitors from the medical profession to the school. This will enable children to explore the range of work opportunities by following a STEM curriculum which may lead to a career in medicine. What better way to widen participation in the future medical or health profession than to start talking to primary school children today?”

Professor Stuart Elborn, Dean School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast said: “This project provides primary school children with an opportunity to learn about working as a doctor. A series of creative learning activities are used to inspire young people to expand their career aspirations and consider medicine as a future occupation. The programme also fosters an appreciation of the importance of language, maths and science on this journey.”

Tor Bank Special School is situated in the Dundonald area of Belfast. The principles of the Unicef ‘Rights Respecting School’ are deeply embedded into the fabric or the school community. The school works collaboratively with many schools, many of which are in areas of high disadvantage and deprivation. They have invited three other Primary Schools to Tor Bank for the launch of this programme.