The Instructions Not Included campaign will help promote a shift in attitudes so that seeking support is seen as a sign of strength. By unlocking the power of parents and families to help themselves and one another, we will reach out to more families, overcome more barriers to support, and help to prevent the escalation of parenting problems.
With a new school year ahead, thousands of secondary school children will be setting out on their career path by the choice of subjects they study. A survey by Future Morph and Family Lives discovered that after their children’s teachers, parents considered they would have the biggest influence on their children’s subject choices.
An overwhelming majority of parents also suggested they would encourage their children to study science and maths post 16 (81%). So how can parents help their children at the key stages of their school life where subject choices need to be made? Future Morph – an interactive careers website for children, parents and teachers has come up with 10 top tips for parents to help their children decide.
Top Ten Tips for Helping Your Children Choose their Secondary School Subjects
2. Visit www.futuremorph.org and see where your child’s subject choices could take them in the future. Get your child to have a go at the ‘What Might You Be?’ game and discuss the results.
3. Encourage your child to talk to you about your subject choices and career path. They could also talk with the rest of the family, friends and neighbours.
4. Encourage your child to talk to their teachers particularly those that teach the subjects they are interested in, they can then get a feel for what the course content will be for particular subjects. Their teachers can also advise on resources and other opportunities for finding out about careers.
5. Find and question people who work in the area which interests them – aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues, or neighbours - to draw on their experiences
6. Take your child to work one day or see if they could go with another family member or friend, so they can get an insight into working life and link this to their school studies. Make some enquiries about work experience in different environments, note down local businesses that may be of interest to see if they take work experience students.
7. Young people with a specific interest may enjoy going to talks and events held by local societies or museums and galleries. Don’t forget the big annual science festivals such as the British Science Festival and The Big Bang Fair plus events throughout the UK during National Science & Engineering week.
8. Ensure your child is making the most of the careers room at school, alongside other school resources, the web, and local library. (See top ten websites below)
9. Although you want your children to look to the future and choose subjects that will help them towards a career they are interested in, they should also consider what they really enjoy, what they are passionate about, they are far more likely to succeed in these subjects than in those they feel they ‘must’ study.
10. It is never too early to start thinking of Higher Education. Take the search from your child’s particular interest and investigate the courses available in those subjects. The UCAS website is a good place to start for the information about the process of applying to university and there is a helpful section for parents. Alternatively start to investigate apprenticeships and technician roles.
Top Ten Websites to Get You Started: Future Morph (www.futuremorph.org)
- Hidden Science Map (www.hiddensciencemap.org)
- i-could (www.icould.com)
- Prospects (http://www.prospects.ac.uk)
- Next Step (https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk)
- Tomorrows Engineers (www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk)
- WISE Women into Science, Engineering & Construction (www.wisecampaign.org.uk)
- Maths Careers (www.mathscareers.org.uk)
- Physics.org (http://www.physics.org/careers)
- Royal Society of Chemistry (www.rsc.org/studentzone)