Who’s in Health? Medical Schools Council student competition winning entries

As part of the Who’s in Health? campaign led by the NAHT, Medical Schools Council, the Education and Employers charity and Primary Futures a competition was run among UK medical students to design a short teaching session for Key Stage 2 children. More information about the competition can be found here http://www.medschools.ac.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Who%27s-in-Health-med-students-flyer.pdf

The standard of submitted entries was extremely high with the panel of judges having great difficulty selecting the winners. The question the panel had to keep asking was will these presentations help to enthuse and inspire primary age children? The eight winning entries have been compiled into this booklet in order to act as a source of inspiration for volunteers who are planning their own sessions for when they visit a primary school. http://www.medschools.ac.uk/News/Pages/Who’s%20in%20Health%20%E2%80%93%20Example-teaching-sessions-published.aspx

The booklet is full of ideas, it’s clear from the entries how much enthusiasm went into preparing them. They are a credit to UK medical students. We are hoping that during Who’s in Health? month the students who produced the winning entries will be visiting a local school to test their hard work! Schools and volunteers are of course welcome to dip into these resources and use them as they see fit.

If you haven’t signed up for Who’s in Health? or Primary Futures maybe it’s about time you did? http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/primary-futures/

By Steve Iredale

Scarborough and the launch of our coastal schools campaign

Friday saw events at three schools in Scarborough as part of our new focus on coastal schools. What made the morning even more exciting was the combination of both primary and secondary schools, bringing Primary Futures and Inspiring the Future together. We were delighted to welcome Lord Ahmad, Under Secretary of State for Transport and the Home Office, along with volunteers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, from Whitby Fishing School, the Royal Navy led by Cdre Gary Doyle and Blue Swire Ocean. A morning with a very nautical theme!

We began with a ministerial visit to Overdale Primary School. Lord Ahmad toured the school and met the children who were all engaged in exciting learning activities relating to the maritime nature of the East Coast. There then followed an assembly where the children asked a series of questions and then listened to Lord Ahmad share some stories of his primary years. He even joined in the actions for some sea faring songs! 

Then he was whisked away to St  Augustines RC School to join in a careers speed dating activity with young people in Y9 and the volunteers listed above. There was considerable enthusiasm shown by the young people in what was a really well organised event. Lord Ahmad rounded off his visit by inspiring us all with words which both challenged and encouraged. Then the whistle stop tour continued to Newby & Scalby Primary School where the Y6 children were working in small groups with each of the volunteers who had also arrived from St Augustine’s. 

The children were extremely well briefed and had clearly been thinking long and hard about the questions they wanted answering by both Lord Ahmad and the other volunteers who contributed brilliantly. Once again Lord Ahmad spoke from the heart about his primary school days and how his career developed as a result. Then it was off to the station for the long journey south.

Reflecting on the events of the morning left a warm glow and a feeling of great satisfaction. As ever it’s so encouraging to see children of all ages fully engaged in such an exciting learning opportunity. It also goes to show what we all know ……………… it’s never too soon to get volunteers into primary schools to inspire and help to raise aspirations! A massive thanks to all concerned in delivering in Scarborough!  


By Steve Iredale

Who’s in Health? month is nearly here! Has your school registered?

Primary Futures logoAs you should be aware from recent publicity and information sent into schools the NAHT, Education and Employers charity and the Medical Schools Council have joined forces to launch ‘Who’s in Health? month in October this year. This major campaign which is a response to the ‘Selecting for Excellence’ report recommendations http://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2014/12/selecting-for-excellence-final-report-published will see thousands of volunteers from across the many and varied health professions going into primary schools across the country to talk about their jobs, highlighting the importance of literacy and numeracy, bringing real relevance to the children’s learning. Volunteers could be hospital doctors, GPs, nurses, ambulance drivers, high street pharmacists, health care assistants, dieticians, surgeons, midwives, students and researchers to name just a few. The list is endless! We are delighted that other major health bodies have also agreed to join us for what promises to be an exciting and inspirational month. http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/schools-and-colleges/primary-futures-primary-schools/primary-futures-medics-month/

The aims of Who’s in Health? are very much in tune with Primary Futures ………………….to support schools in helping their children to see the relevance of what they are learning, especially in science, maths and English, linking this to future opportunities helping to raise their aspirations. Inviting volunteers into school from the world of work is proving a highly successful way of achieving this in helping to inspire and enthuse thousands of children.

The month is part of the free Primary Futures programme which already has more than 2,200 primary schools signed up and some 23,000 volunteers from the world of work supporting us to inspire the next generation. You can find out more by following this link to our website http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/primary-futures/

Our partners the Medical Schools Council have been working hard behind the scenes planning and preparing their students for visits into schools. They have run a competition with cash prizes for medical students to develop a series of presentations which can be used in primary schools. Once the judging has been completed the winners, and some of the best runners up, will have their presentations published on both the MSC and our Primary Futures websites so they are available for others to use. Together we are hoping to run some high profile events with both university hospitals, local radio stations and groups of schools perhaps even broadcasting live Who’s in Health? activities. Watch out for more information on this and how you can get involved. The MSC website is well worth a look! http://www.medschools.ac.uk/Pages/default.aspx

How does my school register?
To register your school’s interest and to see the volunteers in your area please sign up via the Primary Futures website clicking on the appropriate button. Volunteers can also register on the website. Once registered, you will be given a username and password. You then just need to decide what your Who’s in Health? activities will look like and perhaps identify a member of your schools staff to play a lead role.

For some ideas take a look at our case studies http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/schools-and-colleges/primary-futures-primary-schools/primary-futures-case-studies/ or talk to us using the contact details below.

Once you’ve made your plans then log in, click on ‘Find Volunteers’ and on the ‘Themed Week / Campaign’ dropdown box select Medics Month. You will then be matched with the volunteers in your area who you can contact via the database to tell them about your plans and invite them along to your school during Who’s in Health? month. Remember the key to success is to plan carefully and provide full details of your events for your would be volunteers.

On our website we have produced the following step-by-step practical guidance for signing up which you might also find helpful. www.inspiringthefuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Primary-Futures-Medics-Month-school-sign-up-guide.pdf.

For schools already registered it’s simply a case of searching for volunteers as outlined above. Some schools have already indicated they will be involving health professionals as part of a bigger Primary Futures event involving volunteers from other walks of life. Will it be a health based event or series of activities or maybe a combination of health and other professions? As ever it’s up to you to decide the best approach for your children across the key stages.

Thousands more volunteers are signing up as October approaches, so if there aren’t many in your area yet don’t worry; the important thing is to start planning! If you are having difficulties or need advice the Primary Futures team can offer lots of support with for example finding suitable volunteers or offering ideas for activities. Please do get in touch if you have any questions by calling 020 7566 4880 or by emailing Charlotte.lightman@educationemployers.org.

To hear more and to spread the word, follow us on Twitter @primaryfutures

We look forward to you joining us for what promises to be an exciting month of activities across the country.

‘Our children, their futures’.