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Planning for choices and changes

​About planning for choices and changes

These pages contain simple ideas to help children and young people learn about choices in life, to manage expectations and hopes when making decisions.

Your child or young person should experience opportunities which raise their awareness of future choices and their own expectations and aspirations

They will develop skills for personal planning and making decisions in the context of curriculum, learning and achievement. Your child or young person will develop the skills and attributes they will need to be able to achieve and sustain positive destinations beyond school.

As the demands and employment patterns are changing, it is particularly important for all young people to develop high levels of skill and understanding of the world of work, training and lifelong learning so that they can embrace opportunities.

Early level

Children in their early years and Primary 1, as well as some older children, will be working at the Early level of Curriculum for Excellence. Find out more about curriculum levels.

  • Help your child to be curious and explore their world through play.
  • When out and about with your child, or when watching television, talk about the jobs that different people do (family, friends, post person, doctors, dentist, sales assistants, hairdressers/barbers, police, fire officers, paramedics, farmers, drivers, sports men and women, actors). 

First level (approximately P2 to P4)

  • Encourage your child to try different activities and explore new interests, for example find out about different clubs in your area, help your child to find out about their local community and the wider world. Find out and learn about new things together.
  • When out and about with your child or watching television, talk about the jobs that different people do (family, friends, post person, doctors, dentist, sales assistants, hairdressers/barbers, police, fire officers, paramedics, farmers, drivers, sports men and women, actors). Talk about the similarities and differences between these jobs. How can these people help us?

Second level (approximately P5 to P7)

  • Encourage and support your child to attend clubs and groups which offer challenges on a regular basis. For example learning to build a shelter, attending training sessions for a sport or instrument lessons for music.
  • Talk to your child about your work and the training you have had. See if your child can work out what skills they think are needed to do this work well.
  • Compare what you do with other jobs/careers and help your child to find out what skills and training is needed for those.
  • Consider the lifestyle of elite sports people and discuss with your child the sort of choices they have to make to achieve sporting success. What sort of skills do they need to be good at what they do? 

Third/Fourth level (S1-S3)

  • Support your child to value learning. For example, provide a dedicated time and space for completing homework with you on hand for support if necessary.
  • Encourage your child to talk with you about their learning and what things they feel they need to work on to improve. Agree what your role as a parent is in supporting this.
  • Discuss the choices of courses your child is making at school and how this will enable them to achieve their goals in terms of learning and future choices.
  • Support your child in finding out more about different courses and skills required for certain professions. Find out where to find the latest information online or in person.
  • Provide support as appropriate to help your child achieve their goals. In discussions with your child, give them suitable praise for what they are achieving (eg studying, taking care of themselves, helping out at home, seeking help when needed) and make sure they know that you are there to help them if they need it.
  • Discuss with your child what their goals are and what both your roles are in achieving these. Discuss what alternative routes might have to be considered for whatever reason.

Senior phase/post-16

  • Provide support as appropriate to help your child achieve their goals. In discussions with your child, give them suitable praise for what they are achieving (eg studying, taking care of themselves, seeking help when needed) and make sure they know that you are there to help them if they need it.
  • Encourage your child to be open about their concerns/anxieties regarding choices they make and acknowledge that these can change at any point in the future. Make sure your child knows that you trust their judgement and will support their decision. Keep communicating with each other.

 

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