On Thursday 1st February we took 10 enthusiastic Year 5 and 6 students from Norbury Primary School to Camden for their World of Work day at the FutureLearn offices.
The Yes Futures World of Work day is an opportunity for students to explore the multitude of jobs that people do and encourages them to have high aspirations and ambitions for their own successful futures, hopefully one day working in a job that they too are passionate about.
After travelling by train, tube and bus(!) we arrived at FutureLearn's building, where we were escorted in by one of our lovely coaches, Reka, who was kind enough to host us at her workplace for the day. After settling in, the students got to know a little about the history of the company and what they do.
FutureLearn is a digital education platform owned by The Open University. It is an open online learning platform which provides both free and paid online courses, ranging from a course on ‘British History’ to ‘Game design’ and ‘Robotics’ (as you can imagine, some of the students were very excited by that one!).
We had a grand tour of the building, which felt very bright and open with its large glass windows and open working areas. The students all demonstrated impeccably mature and respectful behaviour throughout the tour of the offices so as not to disturb the hard working employees.
During the tour, students learnt about the different kinds of working spaces that staff at FutureLearn use. We saw meeting rooms and idea spaces with walls covered in post-it notes. The students’ favourite room was the ‘Research Room’, an office room with a big TV and a sofa used for interviewing clients about their user experience of the website and their suggestions for improvements.
We also learnt that you could see into the MTV offices opposite FutureLearn! Unfortunately for us, no celebrities were visiting that day.
After the tour we learnt more about the work that goes on at FutureLearn. We were visited by five employees and the students played a game of ‘guess the job’. The employees described the work that they do and the children had to do their best to guess the job title of each employee. It was harder than expected! But eventually we discovered two Web Designers, two Software Engineers and a User Experience Researcher.
The students then had the opportunity to ask questions to each of the employees such as ‘what did you want to be when you were younger?’ and ‘what are your future ambitions?’. It was great to see the children really engage and realise that many employees had exactly the same ambitions as them when they were young!
To round off the day, the children then split into two groups, thinking about the positives and negatives of online learning, with one group leading the ‘for’ argument and the other group debating the ‘against’. It was brilliant to see the students use their communication and confidence skills that they’ve been working on throughout the Yes Futures programme to give a boardroom presentation to the rest of the group.
After a well deserved lunch, it was then time to head back to school. Many discussions were had on the way back over what jobs everyone wanted to do when they were older, some even fancying becoming software engineers themselves one day!
To find out more about the Yes Futures programmes and the workplace opportunities we offer our students, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.