Pri­mary school pupils con­sider ca­reers early

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - LAREE TAULA

‘‘The goal for our stu­dents is to start think­ing about their fu­ture learn­ing path­ways and the lim­it­less pos­si­bil­i­ties out there for them.’’

Holy Fam­ily School has de­cided you are never too young to start giv­ing stu­dents ca­reers ad­vice.

The Porirua pri­mary school re­cently hosted its in­au­gu­ral ca­reers expo, which in­cluded 42 adults who shared their ca­reer path­way with 137 stu­dents and their par­ents.

It was an in­ter­ac­tive expo where each child, ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents and sib­lings, was en­cour­aged to ask ques­tions of the guests about their jobs. Pupils car­ried a pass­port with their pre­pared ques­tions and re­ceived a stamp af­ter visit­ing each sta­tion.

Prin­ci­pal Chris Theobald said the event fo­cussed on open­ing up kids’ hori­zons ‘‘rather than pres­sur­ing them to know what they want to do’’.

‘‘It re­ally hit me one day when we took the kids into the city to visit a law firm and some of the kids asked if they were real lawyers.’’

They thought that per­haps lawyers only ex­isted on tele­vi­sion pro­grammes, he said.

‘‘This con­firmed to me the im­por­tance of these types of evenings so that kids would know what real life op­tions they did have and to teach them more about the world around them.’’

The expo arose from the school’s Fam­ily So’otaga pro­gramme de­signed by Theobald and deputy prin­ci­pal Gina Le­faoseu. The pro­gramme recog­nises that the school’s high pro­por­tion of stu­dents are from Pasi­fika back­grounds, in­clud­ing Samoan, Toke­lauan, Ton­gan, Ni­uean, Kiri­bati, and Tu­val­uan, Cook Is­land Maori.

It recog­nised many par­ents did not have a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of the New Zealand ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, or if they did it of­ten wasn’t a con­sis­tently pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

So’otaga is Samoan for con­nec­tion.

Theobald and Le­faoseu hoped the pro­gramme would help fam­i­lies de­velop a deeper con­nec­tion to their chil­dren’s school, based on a re­la­tion­ship fo­cused on learn­ing.

‘‘Our pur­pose for hav­ing the So’otaga ca­reers expo was to de­velop the mind­set of fam­i­lies and stu­dents, you are never too young to think about your fu­ture,’’ Le­faoseu said. ‘‘The goal for our stu­dents is to start think­ing about their fu­ture learn­ing path­ways and the lim­it­less pos­si­bil­i­ties out there for them. Also hav­ing the con­fi­dence in ask­ing ques­tions is learn­ing in it­self. Hav­ing Pasi­fika and Maori role mod­els was cru­cial to the evening be­cause our chil­dren need to see our peo­ple suc­ceed­ing.’’

PHOTOS: LAREE TAULA/FAIR­FAX NZ

Dad Sio Joe Simo and Mum Con­dios Simo with Peina-Losi Simo. ‘‘It was an awe­some op­por­tu­nity for Peina-Losi to see the dif­fer­ent ca­reer op­tions of what she can be in the fu­ture and made her re­alise that ed­u­ca­tion was a key role in any good ca­reer,’’ Con­dios said.

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