Lessons in real-life careers are being taught to young children – by their parents.
Mums and dads are volunteering their time to speak with pupils at Vita et Pax Preparatory School, in Southgate, about their professions.
A parent who works for the Institute of Health, a Red Arrows mechanic, a chef, a pilot and a fashion designer have so far spent time inspiring children to think about their potential future career paths.
Headteacher Allana Gay said: “In my newsletter and at the school gates, I asked our parents if they had a specialism that they could share with us. I gave them ideas of what they could offer as they do not always know how to convert what they do into what pupils will be interested to hear.
“One parent, a pilot, spoke with pupils about the training, the hours, what it looks like inside a cockpit and showed them a video on YouTube of a flight simulator. We had been learning about world war and he was able to speak to them about it in a modern sense. The children designed their own planes. They were learning the same science, but got it in a real-life context in more depth.
“All the parents who have been in have explained what they do in their roles to the children. It is making the pupils think more deeply about careers. The workshops bring alive something for them to get enthusiastic about; it gives a totally different perspective which is essential for learning.
“It is just the same as getting a child to eat their lunch; you want them to eat as that is the ultimate aim, but you want them to have an adult palate, so you introduce different foods. You want them to gain the confidence to try it and then decide what they like. Then, they can hold a conversation with someone as they have at least tried it. This is about developing an adult palate from a really young age; we give them a taste of everything, so they are informed about what is going on around them.
“This is why our pupils progress at a much faster rate. Our parents want their children to be competitive for grammar schools which are not just looking at academics, they are looking at well-rounded individuals. Therefore, that has to be a part of what we offer.
“There is a real sense of pride for the children when their parents come in to talk. Our parents love the opportunity to come in.”