Parental Engagement toolkit case studies
Cockton Hill Junior School
During the lockdown period in 2020, Cockton Hill Junior School in County durham decided to revamp the school website to include a section to inform the families of pupils about the careers learning happening in school, and local labour market information.
In planning this task, the Careers Leader decided on the following strategy:
- Researching what information other schools had posted on their websites with regards to their careers programme and labour market information. This varied from incredibly detailed to scant, and most examples come from secondary school websites.
- Using the school's careers overview for the year to produce a term by term plan for each year group that they could post to the website.
- Exploring and embedding links to local Labour Market Information for County Durham using the Office for National Statistics website which included lots of detailed information including employment sectors, qualifications, businesses and workless households.
- Adding links to a range of useful websites to add to the posts - such as the National Careers Service website, and links to local Sixth Form centres.
The next step in the process of engaging parents with their child's learning around careers is to inform them of their children's aspirations and what ideas they had raised in school. Various avenues are being explored including using parent's evenings discussions and pupil comments on end of year reports.
In preparation for National Careers Week 2021, a staff meeting involving all teaching staff convened to discuss the aims of the week and brainstorm activities that would engage both children and parents. It was felt that the situation with partial school closure, provided a unique opportunity to really promote careers with parents, with many supporting their children with home learning and daily communications was in place between school and home through Class Dojo.
The week started with a whole school post on Class Dojo from the Careers Lead, promoting National Careers Week. This reinforced the school's aims and commitment to Careers Learning and gave a picture of what parents could expect during the week. Parents were signposted to BBC Bitesize careers webaire and it was suggested that after lessons had been completed, it might be the ideal opportunity for parents to have conversations with their children about their career aspirations.
Throughout the week, the following activities took place - both in school and via home learning:
- All children from Y1 - Y6 were involved in an introductory lesson through a teaching video for pupils at home or delivered by staff to pupils in school.
- Children were reminded of school careers events over the past yeat and the school's aims of ensuring that children are 'Learning for Life'.
- Children were involved in a quiz with clues gradually revealed and they had to guess the career.
- Children were then directed to a list of a wide range of different careers, each with a link to a video with a person explaining more about their job.
- Children were asked to watch a number of videos and were then asked to consider what type of person would be suited to the career.
- Some year grops focused on identidying favourite subjects and researching careers linked to these.
- The school website was utilised, with a careers section in the kids zone, which allows children to tick the things that interest them, before directing them to a list of career choices related to their interest with further information.
- Older pupils took part in the Buzz Quiz, which identified personality and character traits which led them to identification of their 'animal', and then suggested appropriate careers for each 'animal'.
- Other pupils used the link with world book day and the 'Share a Story' resource to focus on jobs involved in the making of books. Children were asked to make written notes and reflections and then these were sent back to the teacher for feedback using the portfolio on Class Dojo.
- At the end of careers week, posts were shared on Class Dojo, the school website and the school Facebook page to celebrate learning during the week with parents and the wider community.
- As a follow up on pupils return to school, personal career conversations took place between teachers and pupils identifying and recording current career aspitations and these are planned to be discussed as part of their next parent's night.
- High levels of engagement with home learning as well as good behaviours for learning with pupils in school during careers lessons.
- High levels of engagement in follow up TEAMs meetings, with children actively participating in discussions of careers they had learned more about.
- Whilst still being collated across the whole school, careers conversations show children with raised aspirations (particularly in upper KS2) and some of the children were identifying careers talked about during Careers Week.
Over the coming years, the school plans to further embed this approach by:
- Ensuring National Careers Week becomes an annual event on the school calendar
- As well as using virtual careers information, in the future visitors will be brought into school for face to face discussions about particular careers (in addition to those happening throughout the year linked to the curriculum)
- Whilst remote learning was due to the unique situation with coronavirus, in the future they will look into how they can involve parents with home learning and give parents insight into how they share labour market information (for example, home learning activities)