Career: Fact or fiction?

To provide a catalyst for challenging preconceived ideas about the world of work in order to remove barriers and raise aspiration

Getting started

Learning intention

  • I will explore and challenge my ideas and preconceptions about jobs and learning.

Success criteria

  • I can discuss my views about jobs and learning along with my peers and show respect for other people’s opinions

Before you start

Resources and downloads

  • Front screen computer required for presentation
  • Pupil IT access useful for next steps activity (we recommend you use the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox or, in the case of Internet Explorer, version 10 or later)
  • Printer
  • Poster paper / post it notes / jotters etc
  • Statements
  • Factsheet
  • PowerPoint presentation


These are suggested timescales only and will vary dependent on your group:

  • 15 mins: Introduction to preconceptions
  • 15 mins: Career statements
  • 20 mins: Feedback and analysis

Suitable for

This activity is suitable for BGE: S1 to S3, but earlier or later for some pupils.

Experiences and outcomes

This activity is designed to support:

Health and wellbeing across learning

Planning for Choices and Changes
HWB 3-19a
I am developing the skills and attributes which I will need for learning, life and work. I am gaining understanding of the relevance of my current learning to future opportunities. This is helping me to make informed choices about my life and learning.

HWB 4-19a
Based on my interests, skills, strengths and preferences, I am supported to make suitable, realistic and informed choices, set manageable goals and plan for my further transitions.

HWB 3-20a/ HWB 4-20a
I am investigating different careers/occupations, ways of working, and learning and training paths. I am gaining experience that helps me recognise the relevance of my learning, skills
and interests to my future life.

Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
HWB 3-11a/ HWB 4-11a
I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning and, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others.

Literacy across learning

Listening, talking and reading
LIT 3-06a/ LIT 4-06a
I can independently select ideas and relevant information for different purposes, organise essential information or ideas and any supporting detail in a logical order, and use suitable vocabulary to communicate effectively with my audience.

Career Management Skills


I make positive career decisions


I understand that there are a wide variety of learning and work opportunities that I can explore and are open to me

Career Education Standard ‘I can' statements

Broad General Education
  • I can demonstrate and apply the skills I have learnt across the curriculum in relation the world of work
  • I can understand and consistently demonstrate the behaviours an employer looks for in a good employee

Suggested activities

Introduction to preconceptions (15 mins)

  • Tell the class that today they are going to work in groups to think about preconceptions and how we are influenced in society
  • Use the example in the presentation to introduce the activity and ‘set the boundaries’ with the whole class, e.g. non offensive language, be sensitive to other people’s views, let people finish what they are saying before challenging their point
  • In pairs, or on their own, pupils should decide whether they agree or disagree with the statement ‘People our age can’t start a business’ and write down at least one reason to support their decision. Use the examples in the presentation to help them get started
  • Ask pupils to feedback their decision
  • Use the case study information in the presentation to highlight how it is possible for young people to start a business

Career statements (15 mins)

  • Now split the class into pairs or small groups and ask the groups to decide whether they agree or disagree with the statement(s) they are given and reasons why
  • They should capture their suggestions using a method which suits the group, e.g. posters, post-it notes, jotters

Feedback and analysis (15 mins)

  • Groups/pairs should then present back their argument to the whole group and use this as the basis for a class discussion
  • To generate more group discussion you might wish to ask individuals to choose one statement and come up with a counter idea
  • During or after the group presentations use the factsheet to challenge any preconceptions about the world of work

Next steps and related activities