Last Tuesday, November 19, 120 primary school children from Five Elms, Manor Longbridge, Riverside Primary and Thomas Arnold attended Inspire Health Industry. This was one of a series of events in the Primary careers ‘Grown Up Me’ programme.
They had short talks in small groups from presenters including an operating theatre nurse, a physician associate, a community matron, speech therapist, occupational health therapist, psychologist, mental health nurse and trainee midwife.
The children asked insightful and empathetic questions such as “how do you get mental health illness?” The presenter’s reply was powerfully straightforward: “when you begin to have more sad days than happy ones.” All the presenters were equally skilled communicators in their work with all those they support. The children’s sensitive engagement was a good omen for a country that is becoming more open about mental wellbeing – and to futureproof a caring society with a rapidly aging population.
The following day, Wednesday, it was the turn of sixth formers who are considering Law as a career. At Pathways to Law, 56 students from a variety of borough schools heard about the routes into law, and the tough application process from a speaker from City University. This was followed by three of the solicitors within the Barking and Dagenham Legal Team who spoke about their experiences of the university, and apprenticeship route into the profession and their day to day work. It is a long journey to qualification, but all said it was worth it.
Finally, on Thursday, 140 Year 8 and Year 9 pupils from All Saints, Barking Abbey, Dagenham Park, Eastbury, Greatfields, Jo Richardson and Sydney Russell gathered at Jo Richardson for the Aim Higher STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Professions Morning.
Once again in groups they listened to six inspirational talks including Construction (Proposals Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Services Engineer), Software development, Sustainable Fashion, product design, Biochemical Engineering, Material Science and Cryptology. The latter subject was an exciting mystery to many – it is the study of codes within the world of computing. Everyone left inspired by the many opportunities that today’s so-called ‘fourth industrial revolution’ with new trends like 3-D printing and Artificial Intelligence offers.
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