Careers in the curriculum – it’s all about perspective

With ever mounting pressures on classroom teachers especially over the last 2 years, adding yet another strand into your curriculum can be seen as just another box ticking exercise. So how does the Careers Leader encourage staff to embrace careers and incorporate it into their lessons. This can be even more challenging in a SEND setting where many of the “mainstream” resources being offered for careers simply do not work.

I decided that the answer was to get creative and think outside the box. I had an offer of a careers talk from the local Police School Liaison Officer and a very experienced Art and Photography Teacher who is always keen to embrace a challenge. We brainstormed ways to put the two together and came up with CSI Adelaide. We set up a fake crime scene in the courtyard outside the classroom with a volunteer member of staff as the dead body on the floor (NB: warmer weather would have made this easier on that staff member). In the classroom the pupils listened to a short introduction from the Police Officer about his career path and they then discussed the range of roles within the force. Pupils were then disrupted with shouts of “there’s been a murder” and were told that their photography skills would be needed to help us to gather evidence.  Pupils were reminded about the camera settings and skills that might be the most useful building on the work they had done in previous lessons. Pupils worked in small teams within the crime scene photographing evidence, measuring prints, discussing possible scenarios, asking questions and trying to solve the crime.

Back in the classroom pupils discussed creative roles within the Police force. Crime Scene Photographer and Forensic Sketch Artists are just a couple of examples of roles they identified. The Pupils and Police Officer then worked together to draw brainstorm diagrams to show the skills needed for these types of roles.

It was fantastic to see that pupils were engaged throughout the session and clearly described it to others after the event as were approached by others pupils asking when they would be doing this activity. The photographs they took could also be used as part of their portfolio of work.

From this session the Art Teacher created a wall display and a piece for the school newsletter.

As Careers Lead, aside from the fact that this was a really fun experience I now have a teacher who is coming to me in the corridor with ideas for her next careers activity. Her enthusiasm is starting to rub off on others and like the pandemic that has made the careers leaders life challenging, it is spreading. My hope is that staff will see that connecting the learning within a curriculum subject is not only fun but also not an onerous task for the teacher.

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