THE assistant headteacher at a Derbyshire school recently commended for its ‘happy and nurturing school community’ by Ofsted inspectors has praised a ground-breaking Government-backed scheme that aims to challenge gender stereotypes and connect pupils with the world of work.
Ashover Primary School are one of several schools in the county who have been participating in the ‘Our Future’ project which helps to broaden the horizons of primary school pupils.
The project – delivered by a consortium of experts including Learn By Design, a market-leading education outreach company, dmh associates, who are specialist in careers policy, research and practise, and national charity Education and Employers – began as a pilot scheme in Derby but, earlier this year, was rolled out across the county, and to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire too, following further funding.
More than 60 schools and multi-academy trusts are participating and benefiting from the Our Future project, with over 10,000 children and teachers supported through a range of inspirational career-related learning activities.
Sharon Hallsworth, assistant headteacher at Ashover Primary School, says that being involved in projects such as Our Future has helped the school to show that it is committed to helping pupils learn about the wider world. This was highlighted in the report by Ofsted, who witnessed a ‘Yes, I Can’ session being delivered by the Learn By Design team during the inspection.
“We’re an enterprising school and pride ourselves in teaching our children important life-skills,” she said.
“Our school leaders are ambitious and enrichment days – such as the ones that form part of the Our Future project – help to develop their future aspirations.”
In the Ofsted report, which was published earlier this month, inspectors said the pupils ‘learn from educational visits, and from visiting speakers to the school who talk to them about their different careers.’
Mrs Hallsworth added: “Our children love learning and have taken part in various sessions delivered by the Learn By Design team; our years 5 and 6 really enjoyed their robotics day while the younger children, those in years 3 and 4, learned more about wind turbines and green energy.
“The whole school were privileged to participate in a gender-busting ‘Yes I Can’ session, too, and we have been highly commended in the Primary Engineering Awards this year.”
It is hoped that the Our Future project will leave a lasting legacy with career-related learning resources available online for teachers, parents and carers of primary school children.
The resources – which were created as part of the innovative programme, – include presentations, activity worksheets and videos that cover various topics such as STEM, English, challenging gender stereotypes and the environment.
One of the latest resources is ‘The Robotics Challenge’ which introduces learners to the world of robotics and coding, and ties in with a competition recently launched by the Our Future team in partnership with UTC Derby Pride Park.
Robotics are one of the most popular sessions available to Our Future schools and youngsters from Wyndham Spencer Academy, in Alvaston, enjoyed learning about robotics earlier this year.
Every school that is part of the Our Future project – including Ashover Primary School – has been tasked with designing a robot to help around school.
The competition can either be run in school or completed at home. Closing date for entries is Monday, June 13 and competition guides for teachers or parents/carers along with the competition entry form can be downloaded here : www.learnbydesign.co.uk/robot-competition