Inspiring the Future in the school holidays

Recent school holiday programmes in Wellington helped young people get inspired about their future, with Inspiring the Future events held in the school holidays for the first time.

We worked with Wellington City Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries to bring Inspiring the Future to the Ākau Tangi Sports Centre Holiday Programme and the Nairnville Recreation Centre Holiday Programme on 4 and 5 October. Both days saw around 50 tamariki, aged from 5 to 12, taking part.

The events were food- and fibre-focused, so all role models were from those sectors. They included:

  • arborists, who brought along chainsaws and a protective helmet with earmuffs
  • fisheries officers, who brought their uniforms as well as equipment such as walkie talkies. They also brought their van around and put on the sirens
  • a biosecurity officer and a quarantine officer, also with uniforms, a taxidermied bobcat and a box of confiscated items, such as seeds hidden in hacky sacks, and shells. The kids loved digging into the box and patting the bobcat
  • a marine geologist with a backpack of rocks and gemstones, and a magnifying glass
  • a water engineer with a magazine featuring projects they worked on.

The tamariki had great questions, and went up to the role models afterwards to ask more questions.

Dylan Edwards, Programmes Recreation Coordinator at Ākau Tangi Sports Centre, said, “Being a holiday programme, this was a different experience for us, so it was really awesome to see how engaged the kids were. The items that the role models brought in were the main attraction for us! We definitely had some inspired kids becoming aware of jobs they never heard of before.”

Inspiring younger ones – what we learnt

Inspiring the Future is designed for 7- to 13-year-olds, so we learnt some things having younger kids take part. The first part of an event involves the kids trying to guess what the role models do by asking closed questions – questions that can be answered with a yes or no. We found that the younger kids weren’t sure what a “yes or no” question is, and the suggested questions on our worksheet were just beyond their reading ability. One solution is to have pictures on the worksheet.

We also added a food and fibre job list to guide the kids on their guesses of the role models’ jobs. This helped the kids with which questions to ask and gave them some direction. If you are running a themed event, this is something you can add in.

Nairnville Recreation Centre hosted one of the events and thought it was a great success. “The children (and staff) thoroughly enjoyed attending and were engaged in the thought processes and ‘thinking about their future’. The role models were fantastic and we appreciated the time they took out of their busy schedules to come and spend with us.

“What a fantastic programme that plants a few seeds which enable children to think about what career path they would like to take at such an early age. This early awareness is critical for future development of themselves and the country. It also encourages the tamariki to think outside the box of the mainstream careers. We will be hosting another event or two in 2023.”

Want to be involved in an inspiring event like this as a role model? Find out more and sign up.

Want to host an Inspiring the Future event at your school? Find out more.