Lessons in life for revolution in classroom

Air Vice Marshal Elaine West CBE
Air Vice Marshal Elaine West CBE
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Primary pupils got stuck into a giant game of Guess Who as a scheme aimed to teach primary age children about the world of work was launched in Blackpool.

Primary Futures is being rolled out across 28 schools in Blackpool and involves hundreds of volunteers from different walks of life sharing their experiences in the classroom.

High Sheriff of Lancashire John Barnett MBE talks to some of the pupils.

High Sheriff of Lancashire John Barnett MBE talks to some of the pupils.

The project, revealed in The Gazette yesterday, and pioneered in the resort, aims to raise aspirations and show pupils there are no limits to their ambitions.

Volunteers, ranging from railway staff and police officers to business leaders and doctors gathered a St Nicholas Primary School in Marton for a launch event.

They agreed to spend time with youngsters in the classroom and pass on their skills and experience.

But first a selected panel, including Lancashire’s High Sheriff John Barnett and Blackpool’s top cop, Chief Supt Stuart Noble, were subjected to a grilling for a hall full of pupils determined to find out what their job was.

Pupils Joel Sargeant and Lily Safar with chief superintendent Stuart Noble.

Pupils Joel Sargeant and Lily Safar with chief superintendent Stuart Noble.

And among the more imaginative suggestions – ranging from plumber to spy the St Nicholas youngsters were able to demonstrate their keen detective skills.

Lily Safar, 11, found it an eye-opening experience.

She said: “It was really interesting being able to ask all of the questions and to see what people really do.

“I’m not sure what I want to do when I grow up but I want to do something that helps other people. What we’ve heard today it makes me think anything is possible.”

Joel Sargeant, 11, was inspired by marine biologist Linda Martin. He said: “I want to do science and it was good to have a scientist come in. I really couldn’t guess what the people did.”

Among the other volunteers who gave up their time were three high-flying women.

Dame Julia Cleverdon from Teach First, Christine Hodgson, chairman of Capgemini and Air Vice Marshall Elaine West CBE all spoke to Children.

And the most senior female officer in the British Armed Forces was delighted to be involved.

She said: “I grew up on a council estate in the north of England.

“I went to a primary school and a comprehensive school in Windermere.

“I’m living proof that there really is no barrier to what you can do or achieve.

“It’s wonderful to be involved in this scheme and fantastic to be doing it in Blackpool.

“I think it really can make a difference for children, especially being able to start at such a young age.”