The NAHT led Primary Futures project in partnership with the Education and Employers charity aims to support the raising of standards of achievement for all primary age children, broaden horizons and aspirations with regards to their own futures whilst reinforcing the importance of literacy and numeracy in their learning both in school and later life. Helping children to see a clear link and purpose between their learning in primary schools and their futures is a central theme of our work.
We are currently working across England expanding into Wales and Northern Ireland working with the NAHT Executives later this year. In addition we are planning some exciting Primary Futures activity in Special Schools and have recently begun to pilot some project work in coastal towns. Additional projects are being developed in Blackpool with a group of primary schools, with the Reach2 Academy Trust in East Anglia, the North Tyneside Trust and the Birmingham Education Partnership to name but a few. We have full support from the main political parties in England but receive no funding from them. Our limited financial backing comes from NAHT with some additional charity support. We continue to look for external sponsorship as clearly the more funding we can find the more Primary Futures team members we can recruit to work with schools on the ground in clusters and individually. We know this works! There are currently nearly 26,500 volunteers and over 2,300 schools registered although not all are active.
How does it work?
Schools are encouraged to sign up to join Primary Futures through our website. They then have immediate, free access to a growing number of volunteers who have also signed up to share their experiences with the children linked to our aims above. It is up to individual schools to plan events with their volunteers messaging via the website and database, fully supported by Primary Futures team members and the Education and Employers charity team based in London. Primary Futures is a school led project! We offer telephone support and guidance and are keen to help set up initial high profile activities which we use as a way of introducing PF to a new area.
In order to support these events the Primary Futures website contains a number of case studies developed during Phase 1 of the project in 2014. They provide some practical approaches and suggestions to make PF not only a successful event but also one which is ongoing as an integral part of the school year linked to the school curriculum ………but only if that’s what your school chooses to do! Schools who have run activities and events are also buy atorvastatin generic encouraged to complete simple online review forms to share their ideas with others. Blogs are also most welcome!
In addition we have recently added some curriculum links to support schools in working with our volunteers which is now on the website. This development, led by teachers from a number of our schools, provides some ideas of how schools might choose to link volunteers to subject areas across the KS1 and KS2 curriculum with some suggestions of what they might do in school to enhance the aims of Primary Futures. This document will grow as schools add more of their ideas.
Volunteers from all walks of life are encouraged to sign up via the ‘Sign Up’ tab on the top of the website homepage. They come from multi-national companies to local employers. They can find out more by checking our blog and following the ‘Join Us’ link. Once volunteers have signed up they join a growing database of volunteers that schools can access. We ask our volunteers to offer just one hour a year to inspire the next generation although experience tells us many give more than that as they find working with the children highly rewarding. Further registration information can seen on this YouTube clip.
Their volunteering could cover a number of areas and could be delivered in a variety of ways. For example they could talk to groups or classes of children about their background, their journey through the world of work to their current post and how their primary school learning, particularly in literacy and numeracy, was so important. They are also often involved in ‘What’s My Line’ activities in schools which has proved popular as an introductory activity to a PF event and is also good for challenging gender and ethnic stereotyping https://primaryfutures.wordpress.com/resources/
It’s up to schools to make direct contact via the website database which is the start of the school and volunteer relationship inspiring the next generation of children and young people. We recognise that one of our ongoing challenges is to find more willing volunteers in certain geographic areas as more schools register but again this is where the Education Employers team are focussing their efforts. Schools who register and find not many volunteers in their locality are urged to contact us using the email link to Charlotte below. We can help!
Other useful links