Primary school pupils consider careers early
‘‘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.’’
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.