Importance of careers-related learning at KidZania London

KidZania London has been pioneering the ability for children to ‘learn by doing’ and to explore the range of career opportunities available for them to experience first-hand. Our concept was developed with the idea that a world would be created for children to help raise their aspirations and empower our next generation to be independent leaders of the future. It has been a continued vision for us that we prepare children for the world ahead and to nurture those future life skills that they need to tackle the ever-changing environment around them.

KidZania is an indoor city, located in Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush and aimed for children aged four to 14 years to explore a range of careers. As part of a school trip, students will have the opportunity to enact different activities designed as if they were real-life jobs in a unique and secure environment. These activities, which are created with KS1-3 national curriculum in mind within Science, Maths, English and PSHE, enable students to utilise and develop their future life skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork. They will interact with other students by having tasks to complete within the activities and use their verbal and written communication to overcome any obstacles. For example, we see students collaborating on reading a script about the latest news for the Radio Station and performing surgery on an ill patient. Furthermore, our city has its own currency, kidZos, so that children can understand the value of money by using their financial literacy skills. They can earn and spend their kidZos, as well as save them by opening their own account in our Bank. This hands-on approach is what we take pride in, so much so that on a global level we have collaborated with OECD on their Education 2030 project to provide insight and guidance on the skills required to best equip children for a changed world in 10 years.

We believe that the recent announcement from the Department of Education to fund careers-related education for primary school children is a step in the right direction. We value the research commissioned by Teach First and Education and Employers that proves careers-related learning should start as early as primary years as this supports our mission and finally brings it to the forefront. KidZania creates a space for children to challenge some of the career stereotypes they form at an early stage. It is important that all children, irrespective of background, are given the same opportunities and advice for their personal development. We ensure at KidZania that there is inclusivity by tracking activities children partake in so that we can find ways to encourage more girls to consider STEM careers and aiding where we can to enable every child to have their independency.

Our support doesn’t just stop at primary level, we also provide secondary school teachers with the ability to meet the Gatsby Benchmark as enforced by the Careers Strategy 2017. KidZania covers three benchmarks: 4) Linking curriculum learning to careers through our scripted activities; 5) Encounters with employers and employees with our educational events; 6) Experiences of workplaces as each activity is themed based on real-life work situations. We will continue to deliver more in-depth careers focussed workshops for secondary schools on our next Careers Fair in January 2020.

We hold various educational events across the year that assist in raising aspirations by demonstrating to students how their subject learning at school can be applied to real-life jobs. Careers Fair delivers a great platform for our partners to have one-on-one sessions through workshops and Q&As to provide secondary and primary school children interaction with potential employers and to ask them how they made it in their careers as well as trying out the jobs for themselves. Our Science Week 2019 celebrated how Science is apparent in our daily lives, helping to save lives and solve crimes. Students were given worksheets to direct them to the Science related jobs in the city in which they received stamps and a certificate in class for completing their Science Week trip with us. Plus, we highlight STEM related jobs in our next STEM Fair in June 2019, incorporating engineering, design and coding workshops so that students can see STEM coming to life and appreciating the range of opportunities available in this field. Our Parliament Week event in November will encourage students to have their say by voting and debating on current issues, our Theatre will be set up like the Houses of Commons with a speaker and two topical motions!

Prices start from £10 per pupil and includes a 4-hour experience in the city, plus free teacher tickets, resources and planning trips.

To book your next school trip with us or to find out more, visit our website or contact us.