Free, fun, and inspiring activities to motivate children and bring learning to life by connecting schools with workplace volunteers.

Carr Lodge Academy

“Our children sat with awe and wonder and really enjoyed the session.”

  • Name: Tricia Lownes / Sarah Wakefield
  • School: Carr Lodge Academy
  • Role: Vice Principal / Y6 Teacher
  • Theme: Creative arts / putting on a performance
  • Area: Doncaster

Tell us a little bit about your school.

Carr Lodge is a large primary school in Doncaster, located on a new housing development. The school was built in 2015 and since then, we have grown in numbers and will be a full two form entry in September 2021. The school is the hub of the new community where most of the parents work in a wide variety of occupations and some diverse backgrounds.

Why did you decide to get involved with Primary Futures, and when did you sign up?

Carr Lodge is part of Exceed Learning Partnership and as a Trust we decided to embark on this programme in 2021 to further develop and improve our cultural capital and diversity. A focus of our Trust development was to broaden and enrich our curriculum and we felt that we could do this through engaging with Primary Futures.

What kind of activity have you held with Primary Futures?

We had a workshop event, through zoom (due to lockdowns) giving us the opportunity to virtually meet with three professionals within the performing arts/ theatre industry. They gave us a short presentation about their roles and what their day to day experiences. Our children sat with awe and wonder and really enjoyed the session. They then had the opportunity to ask questions that they had prepared and learn a little bit more about the opportunities the different role provided.

Please share an example of an inspirational volunteer. What was their job role and how did they engage with the children?

All three volunteers were great and brought different things. We loved the way the Mason from Northern Ballet had not given up on his ambition to become a dancer and that he had worked all over the world. Michael, the Head of Technical and expert in lights, music and set design was truly amazing. The children could really see the links between their own DT work in school and how it could be used in this creative role. They were astounded by all of the prop models he had designed and made from scratch and the stages along the way.

Michael talks through his presentation slide - images of a puppet hare he created for a show, in three different stages of being created.

Volunteer Michael shows children a puppet he made as part of his job in theatre, and talks about how he thought creatively to do this 

What kind of impact do you think the activity has had on children participating?

The initial impact was on the experiences of the focus class in year 6. They learned a lot about how to put on their end of school performance and the possibilities of working within this field. Children were then inspired to talk about their hopes and aspirations following this. As a whole school, we don’t want to stop there. We have now worked within our phases to plot in links to careers and job opportunities for each of our topics – trying to be more diverse in our choices that was aided by the support of the Primary Futures collection of volunteers.

What would you say to schools interested in signing up with Primary Futures?

Give it a go, there is such a wealth of information available in order to develop cultural capital and your curriculum… The key speakers were amazing. I have to say that the support is a strength – someone from the Primary Futures team is always on the end of an email if you need any help at all.

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