Through our Words for Work: Dream Big programme, we give primary school children the chance to visit a real workplace and discover what happens there for themselves. Recently, a Year 1 class from Howard Primary in Croydon visited Reed Business Information, a provider of data and analytics. The children put on their hi-vis vests and took the train to Sutton in Surrey for an action-packed morning of activities.
First up was an interactive office tour. Pupils particularly enjoyed exploring the post room and different meeting rooms, imagining themselves in different roles. Volunteers from Reed worked with the pupils in small groups to tell them about their jobs and to show them how they use speaking, listening, reading and writing every day in their roles.
The volunteers read What Do Grown Ups Do All Day? by Virginie Morgand to the pupils and with each page turn the children discovered more new and exciting jobs. Reena, the class teacher, said that the visit was “one of the most amazing days for my class. All the children really enjoyed the experience. The volunteers spent valuable time with our children and provided them with a greater insight into the working world.”
After the workplace visit, Reena kicked off the Dream Big programme in her classroom having discussions in circle time about careers, aspirations and the skills that the children will need as they get older and enter the world of work. Howard Primary reached out to parents, asking them to volunteer and hold a talk about their career. Parents with a diverse range of careers took part, including a fashion designer, train driver, nurse and Gatwick Airport employee.
After the visit from parents, the school held their ‘Dream Big day’, where pupils had the opportunity to imagine themselves in a range of careers through free play and literacy activities. They wrote prescriptions for each other, reported on news stories and read books to each other. Their parents were invited along at the end of the day as part of the celebration, who were excited to see what their children had been doing as part of the programme.
The pupils used their speaking skills to explain what the programme had entailed, with a photo presentation to prompt them. They received certificates to put in their Dream Big folders to celebrate their hard work throughout the programme. In reflecting on the programme, Reena said:
“All the children in my class now feel they can be whatever they aspire to be”.