Express & Star

Pupils take charge for the day at Staffordshire school

Pupils took over the roles of staff at a school in Staffordshire to gain valuable careers experience.

From left, pupils in their roles as teacher Evie Bradbury, caretaker Raymond-Shaun Clee, headteacher Jack Farrow, chef Tillie Mrewa and office manager George Jones

The staff at Landywood Primary School in Great Wyrley, were replaced with year five and six children on Monday.

They stepped into roles including headteacher, teaching staff, lunchtime supervisors, librarian, caretaker, sports coach and office workers.

Dressed for the part, swapping their school uniform for smart business clothing, 11-year-old Jack Farrow took the reins as headteacher and had an early start to the day, welcoming parents and fellow students as they arrived, before leading a whole school assembly.

He said: “Leading the whole school assembly has been the best part of the day so far, I was nervous but I enjoyed it and hopefully everyone else did too."

Pupil teaching staff also started bright and early, planning lessons and getting classrooms ready before children arrived to learn.

Raymond-Shaun Clee, 10, as a caretaker for the day, arrived at school to start work on a list of maintenance jobs.

He said: "It’s been a really good day so far, my favourite part of being a caretaker has been using hammers and screwdrivers to build flat packs.

"It was cool to put everything together. I’ve had to work as a team and show resilience when things don’t go to plan.”

The brainchild of headteacher Andrew Clewer, the school takeover was organised to provide children with valuable careers experience.

Forming part of an ongoing careers programme, children were presented with a list of roles they could apply for, complete with job descriptions and person specifications outlining the day to day responsibilities of each job and the essential skills required.

Children were encouraged to consider their strengths and weaknesses as well as what they would enjoy, before choosing a job to apply for and completing a formal application form based on Staffordshire County Council’s official form – just as they would in real life.

To support their applications, children were invited to share any relevant experience they have which would help them in the role including hobbies, skills, knowledge and training.

Senior staff then shortlisted pupils to be interviewed for each of the jobs, before selecting the successful candidate.

Each child taking part in the special day was fully supervised and supported at all times by the member of staff they were ‘replacing’.

Mr Clewer said: “Preparing our children for everyday life as an adult is an important part of our role as a school.

"Over the past year, working alongside our careers specialist, Nicki Hamilton from Calm Careers, we have introduced the children to over 20 different careers, challenged gender stereotypes and helped our children to consider the types of jobs they might enjoy when they’re older.

"This year, we will continue to build on this with a focus on community careers, including the vast range of roles within a school."

Nicki Hamilton, from Calm Careers, said: “It’s been a joy to work with Landywood for the past few years on their careers education programme and seeing the children’s understanding, enthusiasm and engagement grow in every session.

"The school takeover day provides a fantastic opportunity for children to develop those crucial life skills to help them find fulfilling and rewarding employment in the future.”

Landywood is inviting families to book a tour of the school to see the facilities on offer.

For more information call 01922 270077 or visit

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