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In practice

Spark Resources: Virtual, curriculum-integrated career talks

Summary

Spark is a collection of on demand videos and resources that demonstrates the connection between professional work and school learning. It is a searchable database designed to add authenticity into lessons across most curriculum subject objectives (English curriculum currently).

Published on the 20/02/2024

Launch year2022

How many schools are currently making use of it?51-250

Other tagsIs informed by research

Career developmentJob fairs & career talks, Accessing information/guidance, Work-related learning

Age groupPrimary (ages under 12), Lower-secondary (ages 12 to 15)

TechnologyVideo streaming

CountryUnited Kingdom

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Resource overview

Website: Spark Resources

A video demonstrating the resource is available here.

Spark was created so that teachers and schools can easily find and use videos featuring working people talking about their jobs in career-related lessons or whole school assemblies. The video resources give students a chance to understand different careers, the profile of people who work in those careers and how school subjects relate to the occupation. The videos are designed to provide authentic insights and allow students to see professionals in a wide range of occupations. Most of the resources are aimed at primary or lower-secondary school students. In addition to this, the videos can be accessed by a keyword or curriculum-linked search. This means that teachers can link them to lessons and students can look up and explore areas of interest.

Additional resources include interactive maps (example linked here), 'Guess Who?' style video games (example linked here), and lesson starters presented by professionals in relevant fields. For instance, when learning about plant growth, a farmer might present a challenge to children to successfully grow plants.

Description of technology

Spark Resources is a self-contained website that offers a curriculum and keyword search feature to access a wide range of video and classroom resources. The videos are embedded on the site.

How the resource makes career guidance more effective, efficient and/or equitable for students

The videos are designed to help to build cultural capital for students no matter where they are. They give an insight into the world of work in a context where students are learning a concept or new idea. The videos are designed to be provide authentic, realistic insights into working life, based on an informal interview format, offering students new insights of value. The videos are tagged to make it easy for school staff and guidance practitioners to find resources to enrich classroom activities.

Challenges or potential barriers to use

The videos are presented from the UK context and show the career trajectories from that context only.

The resource is not free of charge.

Annual institutional subscriptions cover all teachers in a school and include home access for students and their parents.

Support for users

The project website helps users to link video resources to curriculum topics. For schools that subscribe, Spark offers to work with them to create resources local to them at no extra cost, providing students with greater insight into local labour markets.

Additional details

The resource is growing every month with new content added, usually informed by 'gaps' in current curriculum coverage.

Has the resource been…

Yes or No?

Description

Link

…informed by research?

Yes

The design of the resource is informed by What works? Career-related learning in primary schools (Kashefpakdel, Rehill and and Hughes) published by the UK Careers and Enterprise Company.

https://resources.careersandenterprise.co.uk/sites/default/files/2021-09/1145_What%20works%20Primary_digital%20version_07_01_2019.pdf

…funded by government?

No

…recognized by peers?

No

…evaluated?

No

This resource has been endorsed by a school in the United Kingdom and details have been shared with the OECD.

Disclaimer: This content is provided by the submitting organisation.

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