Same but different

To help young people understand that some skills and values developed at school are linked to the world of work. To compare and contrast school and work.

Getting started

Learning intention

  • I will learn ways in which the world of work is similar to and different from being at school

Success criteria

  • I can list things I do in school and how they link to the world of work
  • I can identify my likes and dislikes

Before you start


  • A day in the life of Suzanne worksheet or watch the video of A day in the life of Ben
  • At school I like/dislike worksheet
  • PowerPoint presentation


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

  • 45 - 60 minutes

Suitable for

This lesson is suitable for Second level.

Experience and outcomes

Health and wellbeing across learning

Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing

HWB 2-10a

I recognise that each individual has a unique blend of abilities and needs. I contribute to making my school community one which values individuals equally and is a welcoming place for all. 

Planning for choices and changes

HWB 2-20a

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.

Career Management Skills

  • I am aware of my skills, strengths and achievements
  • I build on my strengths and achievements

Career Education Standard ‘I can’ statements

Second level
  • I can discuss the relevance of skills to the wider world and make connections between skills and the world of work
  • I can recognise the skills I have and need for work
  • I own and can manage my profile and can use use it to help me discuss my interests, strengths and skills with my parents/carers and others

Suggested activities

  • Read A day in the life of Suzanne or watch A day in the life of Ben and ask young people to take note of as many of the activities in her/his day as possible
  • Ask young people to add to the list by thinking of things they do at school
  • Individually, young people complete At school I like/dislike worksheet
  • In groups of four/five discuss and suggest for each group member a possible job linked to the individual likes and dislikes highlighted in worksheet activity e.g. likes monitoring infants – nursery nurse or teacher, likes PE – a sports instructor
  • In their groups young people should discuss and suggest four ways that work is different from being at school and four ways it is similar
  • Discuss findings with class and record on a chart showing similarities and differences in work and school

Next steps and related activities

  • Write a brief report on the positives and negatives of school and work
  • Pupils should ask their parents/carers what their day looks like and discuss differences
  • Further discussion could be had around how everyone can get the best from each other in the classroom
  • Pupils can go to and use their profile to record what skills they have used taking part in this lesson