Who’s in Health? is an ongoing campaign to encourage healthcare professionals and students to go into primary schools across the country and chat informally about their jobs. Its aim is to help children see how what they are learning at Key Stage 2 (ages 7–11) connects to the many roles in healthcare.
Volunteers connect with schools through the free online match-making service Primary Futures, which is run by Education and Employers. In order to do this, both volunteers and individual schools must sign up to the system.
The project has been jointly developed by the Medical Schools Council, Education and Employers and the National Association of Head Teachers. The Medical Schools Council became involved as a result of its work in the Selecting for Excellence project, which highlighted that, while medical schools undertake a great deal of outreach work aimed at secondary school students, there is a lack of outreach occurring at the level of primary school.
This is an important stage for outreach because many children have already developed a sense of their aspirations and capabilities by the time they are eleven years old. Exposing them to careers in healthcare, including medicine, is important in raising those aspirations.
A competition was run among UK medical students to design 15-minute sessions to be delivered in primary schools. The winning entries can be viewed here. They are designed to discuss being a doctor, but the methods they use will work equally well for talking about any health profession.
To register as a volunteer, sign up through the Primary Futures website. Both university students and professionals are welcome.