How we Support Early Career Aspiration at Eppleton 

We know that even at the young age of three or four, children are already starting to form their first aspirations. By six they are starting to have opinions on what they think they can or can’t do in the future. And by the time they’re 10, young people start to make decisions which could go on to limit their future options. 

We believe that the inclusion of a careers education is essential in ensuring that the children of Eppleton Academy grow up with ambition and are able to have full and successful lives.  Therefore a driver of our curriculum is essentially that we support our children in ‘learning for life’. 





We want every person, no matter what their background is and no matter where they are from, to be able to build a rewarding career. In a fast- changing economy, it is essential that we make school and work more closely connected than ever before so young people from all backgrounds have the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed.



A child cannot want to be an engineer if they do not know what an engineer is, therefore the children are taught about a variety of careers throughout their time in school and understand how their learning links to the world of work.  

 It is not about children choosing their future jobs at this very young age. It is about helping our children to have ambitions and aspirations for themselves, to help to open their eyes to the range of possibilities their futures hold.  Helping them to learn about the variety of jobs open to them and the fantastic range of opportunities we have in the region, and to gain a broad understanding of the routes to get into work, including the essential skills and attitudes required to be successful in the workplace.



Careers Education at Eppleton 

At Eppleton Academy, we have woven careers education throughout our school curriculum. Within each curriculum subject, we ensure to make links to careers within that sector for e.g. when learning about Space in Science we will talk about the jobs and roles involved in space exploration and discovery. 

We have also build careers education into our Personal Development- Breakout curriculum. Our aim when designing our curriculum was to raise pupils' aspirations and ambition by exposing pupils to a wide range of exciting careers and opportunities that life has to offer. Within our Breakout curriculum we feel it is important for pupils to learn about setting and achieving goals, finances and budgeting, inspirational people and life after school. To bring careers education to life, we like to give our pupils opportunities to meet professionals from different sectors. These could be in the form of visitors to school or educational visits to different locations. Our pupils love learning about different jobs and careers and have become very knowledgeable about exciting job opportunities that are available in the world of work. 

To help us develop our careers education at Eppleton, we accessed the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP). We embarked on a pilot North East Ambition Careers Benchmark: Primary Pilot. We share the North East Ambition that each and every young person in the North East is able to identify routes to a successful working life, has the opportunity from an early age to have experiences and exposure to the world of work and meet people along the way who can inspire and motivate them. We want our children to understand, alongside formal academic skills, the value of life and work experience. For further information click the link below:

North East Ambition

We will do this through addressing the Gatsby Benchmarks

These are the benchmarks which we are working towards and strive to deliver as part of our careers curriculum. The eight benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance developed nationally to support schools in providing pupils with the best possible career education, information, advice and guidance.

Gatsby Benchmark

Here are some of the amazing experiences our children have taken part in:

Lego League – after school club

First Lego League introduces science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through a fun, exciting hands-on learning project. Our team of pupils gained real-world problem solving experiences through a global robotics program where they learned to design, code and create solutions made with LEGO bricks. This culminated in the involvement in a friendly competition where they could show off their skills.

Working with local services

We take every opportunity to make connections with the emergency service teams within our local area. We have had visits from our local Police and Fire services. Our pupils enjoy finding out about their roles within our local community and how they support the people of Hetton day to day. Our pupils love the experience of sitting in the police car and operating the fire hose. This really brings learning to life.

Employer visits

We take every opportunity to educate our pupils about different careers therefore when we have visitors into school or we visit locations outside of school, we discuss the jobs and careers connected to these places or people. We create Career Profiles for any visitor coming into school or professional we work with on trips. Our pupils to ask our important Careers Questions to gain insight into their job roles.

Artists studio – Ray Lonsdale

Through their local history topic, year 6 pupils learn about the mining history of Eppleton. The local Hetton born artist and sculptor Ray Lonsdale has created the local mining sculpture close by to school and mining related artwork, including Ray's work, has been a focus for their art curriculum. They were lucky enough to visit his studio to learn more about how he creates his amazing sculptures and to learn more about his career path including what it means to be self employed.

STEM Space Workshop- Sunderland University

Students from Sunderland University came into school to teach our year 5 pupils about Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics careers related to space. The pupils loved working with huge space maps and coding equipment.

Groundworks Environment Workshop

It is important for us build into our curriculum opportunities for our pupils to work with outside agencies and companies, to allow them the experience job roles within different sectors. The Groundwork team came in to teach our pupils about their role in creating a sustainable world to live in.

Foodbank – paid and voluntary roles

Each year as part of our Harvest Festival, donations are collected and delivered to Sunderland food bank. We meet some of the staff and volunteers and learn more about their roles and the work involved in getting donations to families in need.

Career conversations

All of our children from nursery to year 6 are involved in regular careers conversations, where we discuss with children their future career ambitions. Through their career related experiences, which they experience during their time at primary school, their eyes are opened to the multitude of different options which are open to them. We have children in year 6 telling us that they are considering a much wider range of options from physiotherapists to marine biologists, interpreters to architects.

National Careers Week

As part of National Careers week we had lots of inspirational professionals visit us in school to talk to our pupils about their careers. Each year group from Nursery to Year 6 had visitors from outside agencies but also from members of our school staff to discuss their job role. It was very interesting learning about different careers from different sectors.

Careers in our Community

As part of National Careers week 2024, we had visits from some of our pupil's Parents and Carers who came into school to talk with our pupils about their job roles and career journeys. It was great to connect with people within our school community.

Careers in Science

To celebrate National Careers week and National Science week 2024, we learned about different job roles within the Science sector. Each class took part in fun and engaging Science experiments too.


Our assemblies, across the year, are planned to educate our pupils on a broad range of topics related to everyday life such as looking after our mental health, the environment, British Values, goals and aspirations and lots more. Assemblies are a great way to promote and careers education. We have invited people/ agencies into school speak to pupils during our assemblies such as Pyrex, Show Racism the Red Card, Sunderland Women's football team and lots more.

Follow the links below to find out more about different careers.

Click the link to learn about careers in the NHS.

NHS Careers

Click the link to virtually meet people talking about a whole host of careers.

BBC Bitesize Careers

Click the link to find out what a job involves and if it is right for you.

National Careers Service

Click the link to take a closer look at selected subjects and issues, with a selection of videos, guides and advice.