Hundreds of primary school children from across Cheshire and Shropshire were inspired by visions of exciting potential futures at Rudheath Senior Academy’s careers fair.  

Year 6 pupils arrived in minibuses from North West Academies Trust (NWAT) schools Delamere CE Academy, St Martin’s Academy, Oak View Academy, Ellesmere Primary School, Weaverham Primary Academy, Grosvenor Park CE Academy, Acresfield Academy, Calveley Primary Academy and Acton CE Primary Academy.  

They were treated to a delicious lunch and enjoyed playtime in the school grounds before looking around the interactive stalls which included representatives from some of the country’s biggest employers in the fields of medicine, technology, law and education. Children got hands on with 3D glasses, life size model skeletons, a remote-control car, aeronautical parts and goody bags.  

Lee Barber, Headteacher at Rudheath Senior Academy which runs an extensive careers programme to prepare students well for life after they leave the school, said: “Children can be inspired to start along a career path at a very early age, especially if you work hard to show them the options that are out there and catch their imagination. 

“We’ve invested more than £8m in the school since it joined NWAT in 2018 and we’ve really focused on giving pupils the skills and knowledge to choose the right educational and career path.”  

Kay Cook, Director at Oliver & Co Solicitors, spent time talking to youngsters at the fair. She said: “They were really engaged and I was surprised how much they knew about solicitors, although we did have some confusions between a barrister and barista! They were particularly interested in what my wig was made from – suggestions included woolly mammoth and penguin!”  

Vicky Jackson, an NHS orthoptist, said: “The children were great and had lots of questions which is good. They all have their eyes tested but they know very little about what we do, as there are only three places with specialist orthoptists in the country. To be able to see their enthusiasm and tell them all about this profession was a pleasure.”  

Rudheath, like the other NWAT schools, place a high value on providing all children with a wide variety of opportunities and opening their eyes to a world of possibilities.  

The Headteachers at the schools who visited felt it was a very worthwhile experience for their pupils. 

Mike Dixon, Headteacher at Chester-based Acresfield, said: “This was a great opportunity for the children to begin to consider life beyond school and potential career options. It was also great to see so many Acresfield parents who were willing to take part and share their professions. Many thanks to those who took part!”  

Jo Price, Headteacher at Weaverham, said: “The children enjoyed finding out about different careers and their behaviour was exemplary. It is great to see how Rudheath Senior Academy has transformed too, and we really appreciated the work that went into the fair.”  

Fiona Whittaker Executive Headteacher at Oak View added: “The careers fair opened some of the children’s eyes to the importance of doing well in Maths and English for careers that they are interested in.  It helped them to understand the relevance of such subjects in practical jobs.”

Head of School at Calveley Primary Academy Rachael McKinlay added: “The children found the event to be extremely beneficial. It very much opened their eyes to their world of work and how skills taught in primary school can be used for different careers. A huge thank you to the team at Rudheath and the professionals that gave up their time for the event.”  

Children at Acton CE Primary Academy are learning to look after their mental health as part of the One Goal Wellbeing Community Champions initiative. 

Representatives from each class at the Chester Road school have worked alongside One Goal to become accredited Wellbeing Warriors. 

Now the youngsters will use what they have learned to educate fellow pupils. 

Teacher Emma Bloore, wellbeing lead, explained that the mental health of staff and pupils is taken extremely seriously at Acton.  

“By working with the wonderful team at One Goal we have been able to ensure that the children have a deeper understanding of how we can look after our mental health,” she said.  

“Our Wellbeing Warriors will now have the correct skills to roll out their knowledge to the rest of the school. I am very proud of the achievements of the children! They are now look forward to relaying the message back to their classmates and taking an active role in promoting a healthy mental state across the school.” 

As part of their training, pupils learned about the different stages of mental health and how to recognise and regulate the different feelings they may experience.  

They were taught different ways to achieve a healthy mental state such as meditation, calming strategies and wellbeing games. They learned methods to identify when their mental health is being impacted and how to improve it.  

Most importantly the children learned that communication and self-regulation play a vital role. 

April Bourke, who delivered the training to Acton pupils, said: “The children were fantastic to work with and a credit to the school. 

They welcomed the training with an open mind and left feeling confident and excited about putting their new knowledge into practice. I am so grateful to have played a part in their training and look forward to hearing how they promote mental health throughout the school.” 

Adam Eccleston, founder of One Goal, added: “The pandemic has had a real impact on children’s mental health so Acton CE Primary are playing a crucial role. It’s been a pleasure supporting Acton with our Mental Health Champions Training which will empower pupils to take care of their own mental health as well as support their peers.” 

PHOTO: Emma Bloore with the Wellbeing Warriors