NHS70 celebrations to encourage primary school children to consider a career in health
Health Careers is currently piloting some work with primary schools to increase awareness of the NHS as an employer and to challenge gender stereotypical views of health professions.
The children involved will also be producing work to celebrate the NHS 70th birthday.
Some independently commissioned research in late 2016 found low awareness and understanding among primary school pupils of the role of the NHS and the jobs people do, other than doctor and nurse. Worryingly, gender stereotyping was also very evident, for example that men are doctors and nurses are women.
The research found that, while some children are very clear about which career they wish to pursue, not many consider careers in health. The opinions were deep rooted, primarily due to the pupils’ limited frame of reference such as their school, family and local community.
Work with primary schools
Our current work is twofold.
We want to reinforce the views of the pupils who already want to consider pursuing a career in health. And, secondly, we want to have an impact as early as possible on those who have never considered a career in health or realised the wide range of opportunities available.
A learning journey
With the support of education specialists and some primary school teachers, we’ve developed a multimedia toolkit including a short film, personality cards and a myth busting quiz for primary school teachers to use with Key Stage 2 pupils. Using the toolkit, teachers are working with pupils on a learning journey to:
- explore what they’re good at, what they need help with, what their favourite things are and what they want to be when they grow up
- investigate how and why jobs might change over time and look at the role of science and technology
- find out the wide range of jobs in the NHS to raise awareness of how many different jobs there are in the NHS and the places they could work
- look into the future to see how developments in technology impact how we work and what we can achieve
- celebrate what they’ve learnt through a competition to celebrate 70 years of the NHS
What happens next?
Competition entries will be judged and prizes awarded in spring 2018 before the project as a whole is evaluated to decide on next steps.