Real life, your life? Introduction to the activities Welcome to Real life, your life, a suite of activities for 14-16 year old learners. There are over 350 different careers in today’s NHS and we want to let young learners in school know that it is not all like they see on hospital dramas. The real world of the NHS is so varied and we’ve designed ten flexible activities which use real life situations to make young learners think about their future lives and careers. We’ve used familiar scenarios to bring making decisions to life. The activities are progressive and can be delivered as part of work in citizenship, PSHE, english, drama, careers guidance and the new society, health and development (SHD) diploma which begins in September 2008. However, the content of each activity is generic and so other subject areas will find the material useful. The activities are addressed to the young learner and to keep it interactive there are short video clips, quizzes and short tasks. In many of the activities there are opportunities for individual, pair and small group work. Students can do as many or as few activities as they choose. The activities vary in length but there is an indication of how much time each would require in the classroom as a guide for teachers. In addition, many of the activities could be undertaken independently as part of a personalised learning or extension programme for young learners. At the start of each activity is: • an information box which provides an indication of the amount of time required to complete the activity • a summary of the ways in which the activity meets the new QCA Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) Framework • appropriate subject links. For more information about the QCA PLTS please go to the QCA web site. The appropriate subject links include the new society, health and development diploma which will begin in September 2008. The SHD diploma follows four occupational areas. Young people will have gained a wide range of skills and knowledge directly relevant to further study and employment in the children and young people's workforce, health, community justice and adult social care sectors. Learners could, in time, progress on to a number of roles such as art therapist, counsellor, children's nurse, educational psychologist, youth offending worker, nurse, therapist, police community support officer or children's social worker. The current careers framework identifies the developments in learning and work which make it imperative that young people take a more active role in their career learning. The programme is built on three aims. These are that young people should be able to: • understand themselves and the influences on them • investigate opportunities in learning and work • make and adjust plans to manage change. Finally, these materials link closely to the five national outcomes at the heart of Every Child Matters – being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and securing economic well being. The activities Activity 01 Life is all about choice – what you wear, where you go and who you see. It’s also about who you are and what you want to be. Students take a fun quiz about themselves and then look at the sort of person they are before having a go at the Step into the NHS online career choice quiz. Activity 02 It’s not easy to imagine how someone else feels about what they do. Get into role with some NHS staff and see how they might react. Listening to some NHS staff talking about their work and careers begins to bring the world of work closer to students’ own experience. In the activity they are put into some health situations where they imagine how real people might react. Activity 03 Every day we have to make decisions about what we do. It’s hard when some of those decisions need difficult judgements. Students try out a version of the old Consequences game and decide how someone should behave in a situation before passing on a problem to a partner. Finally, they put all the new information into A day in the life piece of written work. Activity 04 How we talk about healthy living makes a difference to how we and those around us feel. Research shows that using positive language creates positivity. Activities 4 and 5 link together body language and how we use verbal language. Students find out about body language before using their new knowledge with a short video story and looking at how positive body language can help to create a positive environment. The activities Activity 05 How we talk about healthy living makes a difference to how we and those around us feel. The last activity looked at body language – now it’s the turn of what we say to each other. Research indicates that doctors and patients use different language when talking to each other. We use imagery to describe how we feel, but the imagery used by doctors is often very different from that used by patients. Students explore this research and then, using the same video story as for the previous activity, they decide on the most supportive language that could be used by each of the characters in the narrative. Activity 06 We all deal with different feelings and emotions every day. Sometimes these are easy to cope with but sometimes it’s much harder. Who can you turn to when you need help? This activity takes a sensitive approach to the stress young people often feel. It looks at what makes us happy and unhappy and how we can improve things. The activity refers to the wide variety of support available on line and then directs students to some appropriate career information. Activity 07 Teenagers are under pressure all the time: pressure to keep up with friends, pressure to do well at school, pressure to look good – and pressure to take readily available drugs. Using the resources of the drugs website Talk to Frank, (www.talktofrank.com) this activity explores how teenagers can develop better understanding about why drugs are taken. There are appropriate links to a range of careers in the NHS which can provide support and guidance for drug misuse. The activities Activity 08 The way we eat is also the way we think. Body image is a sensitive subject often in the news at the moment – but there’s lots of help out there. So how can you get the word out to people in your community? This activity gives you some ideas! Using some brief case studies in which young people talk openly and honestly about their body image problems, students explore the issues around body image before creating two products – an awareness-raising poster and their own press release. There are appropriate links to NHS career guidance which supports this activity. Activity 09 Remember that press release in activity 8? Let’s see whether it can do the trick in a different environment – a radio chat show. You’re going to be providing both questions and answers on It’s Your Shout, a local radio show that, this week, features teenage health. If students have completed activity 8 they can use the advice from the poster and press release they have created to plan the questions and answers which will be asked on the radio show. If not, there are new links to supportive sites, including some from the wide range available on the NHS. We have even provided a script start and finish for the show which creates a more authentic listening experience for students!. Activity 10 The final activity. Let’s go back to where we started: focusing on your future life, study and employment. To become the person you want to be you’ll need new skills. That must mean it’s time to play Employ me – It’s a jungle out there! Students complete a more sophisticated quiz that provides much more information about what sort of future career would best meet their abilities, attitudes and interests. Students match up their responses with the recently published QCA framework which outlines the personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) that will young people need as they enter the world of work and adult life.