Recently Liam and I applied for a volunteering opportunity called inspiring our young people. It caught our eyes straight away and we were eager to apply. We soon found out we were both successful and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
We were given a brief of what we had to do. We were given a topic: - the importance of having a job - and were told we could pretty much do what we wanted. Liam and I got our heads together to brainstorm some ideas. We decided to make the sessions for the children as interactive as possible in order to keep their attention.
Once our plan started to come together, we decided to make a visit to the school to speak to the teachers about what they thought of the session we had in mind and if they had anything they wanted us to cover. We also wanted to visit the school before the presentation so we knew more about the children we would be working with and the setting we would be in. The school made us very welcome on this initial visit and we learned lots about the children. It also helped us to finalise our plans.
The day finally came to present our sessions to the children. We had a year 5 class, 9 and 10 year olds, of 29 pupils and a smaller year 6 class, 10 and 11 year olds. Each year group spent an hour with us.
We started the session off by introducing ourselves and told the children the learning outcomes for the day. We then started activity 1, which the children couldn’t wait to begin. They were asked to put 10 pictures in order of the most expensive item, going down to the cheapest item. The items ranged from a house and a car all the way to a packet of haribo sweets! The children in both classes were very good at this, and they were brilliant at discussing why they thought certain items were more expensive than others. This activity helped the children realise the cost of the items that they wanted. We then went on to explain the value of money, the importance of having a job, earning and getting paid and explaining that once they got paid they could buy what they wanted. The children found this very interesting as they all wanted an expensive holiday and a brand new Xbox!
We then asked the children to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. We had footballers, hairdressers, doctors, nurses and even a politician! We then showed them a timeline and explained the process from leaving primary school, going to ‘big school’ and then their options after that. We explained the principle of an apprenticeship, which they found very interesting and explained their options for college and university.
At the end of both sessions, the children took part in a quiz and were rewarded for their good behaviour with sweets. Overall Liam and I both found the whole experience very rewarding. It was a wonderful feeling to be giving something positive back to the local community and realising the huge ambitions that the children had. We were able to show them some guidance and support in their futures. And hopefully, when they leave secondary school and start making big decisions for themselves, they will remember the advice that we gave them.