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  4. ASPIRES Case Study 3: Career Exploration (Year 7)

ASPIRES Case Study 3: Career Exploration (Year 7)


Career Exploration in Year 7

School: The London Nautical School, Lambeth (all boys school, state funded)

Teacher: Catherine Wilberforce (

Overview: These two lessons were intended to provide Year 7 students with an overview of careers in science and to encourage them to consider what skills might be required. Both lessons involved a combination of computer work and discussion. 

Type of lesson: Classroom science lessons

Why did you do this?

We wanted the pupils to have an overview of careers in science and to start thinking about the wide range of opportunities there are in science industries. Using these lessons as a launching pad for ALL year 7 groups we would keep up the emphasis on careers by then doing ‘bolt on’ activities for various topics across year groups throughout their time at The London Nautical School. For example, we have had visitors in to talk about jobs in science and we are doing a ‘workplace portfolio’ similar to the GCSE Additional Applied Science course project whereby Year 8s visit a place of work and interview someone and find out about their job, health and safety at work, qualifications, who they work with, skills they need to do the job successfully, etc.

Summary of Activities

After a term of ‘skills’ based learning (safety in the lab, drawing graphs, taking accurate measurements etc) the pupils completed a scheme of work talking about their motivations, likes and dislikes and existing knowledge about careers in science. 

Lesson 1: What types of careers can a scientist have? (Computer based with classroom discussion.) 

Pupils play ‘picture consequences’ by doing a body part of their ‘idea of a scientist’ and folding it over and passing it on (in groups). We unroll the paper and discuss any stereotypes this throws up and their motivations for drawing what they did. These can be put on the wall for the duration of the lessons. 

Pupils then go onto the Futuremorph website and complete the ‘what might you be?’ game. 

Extension: Pupils can take part in the Futuremorph ‘Values Game – Who are you?' to find out their motivations in life. These can be printed out and put on the wall for the duration of the lessons. 

Lesson 2: Jobs for the future? (Computer based with classroom discussion.)

Group work looking at futuristic jobs and thinking about jobs that haven’t even been invented yet! It puts the emphasis on ‘SKILLS’ you will need rather than training for a specific job or the direct learning of specific subject knowledge.

Science [So What? So Everything]

(Note: the videos don’t work as the website has been archived.)

Pupils design posters for the jobs that interest them and for an extension activity design a report that is specifically headhunting a type of person for a specific job.

Timing : 2 x 50 minute lessons


Materials: Computers, pens, paper – A3 sugar paper, pencils, scissors

Additional Resources: In addition to the websites mentioned above, you might find information about careers in science and where to find it, as well as a list of 20 possible science careers of the future, useful for Lesson 2.

Learning and Other Outcomes/Evaluation

We wanted to get pupils (and teachers) to start thinking about the wide range of careers out there and to make lessons more relevant to the real world. Career-centric learning can help pupils visualise uses for the science they learn in the classroom.