Encouraging independence, creative thinking and more

Developing the young workforce

Visit from Highland Council Town Planners

P5 Pupil Voice

I enjoyed thinking of ideas for buildings and facilities to put in the area of land around the new bridge.

I found it interesting finding out what will happen in the future to the land.  It was cool to see what Inverness was like in the past and how it has grown over the last 100 years.

It was interesting helping the planning department decide what to do with the land, I liked designing the maps.

It was nice to have our own say on what parts of Inverness could look like in the future.

I liked designing how the land could be used.  I enjoyed moving the post-it notes to where we felt things could go.

I liked putting houses, shops and fun things to do in the free spaces on the map.

It was fun working with Scott and Douglas; I used my brain to help make our city a good place to live.

It was fun because we got to design what we want to have on our maps of the Ness-side and also of the canal and Torvean.

I liked drawing designs and working in a group to plan what the land could look like.

We got to plan out what the Ness-side and the area around Torvean golf course should look like in the future.

I didn’t know that a town planner was a job.  It was interesting that they decided what buildings and facilities should be in the Ness-side.

I enjoyed learning about what they were doing to the land around Tesco.  P5 were the first people to have the chance to come up with ideas and to design what the land around the bridge on the Torvean Side should look like.

P5 Developing The Young Work Force

Matt – Police Dog Handler

  • Matt planted some fake drugs on the field; he showed us how his dog ‘Whisky’ is trained to look for drugs.
  • Matt’s dog ‘Yogi’ is trained to bite but has never bitten anyone.
  • When ‘Whisky’ finds any drugs he is rewarded with a tennis ball, this is part of his training.
  • Matt has worked in the Police Dog section for his entire career; his dogs live with him at home.

Mrs MacPherson – Community Police Officer

  • I enjoyed listening to the talk from the Police; it has inspired me to work in the Police when I am older.
  • In order to break up a fight you are allowed to use your baton twice but cannot use it if someone is lying on the ground.
  • You need to do two years as a Police Constable before you can go into any other branches.
  • It is against the law to use the Pepper Spray unless on official Police duty.
  • Mrs MacPherson is a community Police Officer who visits schools, hospitals and attends community council meetings.

Cameron’s Barber

  • It was fun to watch Mr Henstridge get his hair cut. The hardest hair cut they have done is the flat top.
  • It doesn’t take long to shave off someone’s hair.
  • For charity Calum once cut his friends hair with a channel down the middle.
  • Their favourite hairstyle to do is the ‘faded’
  • They need to know different styles so that they can do what the customer wants.
  • They need to have steady hands; they also do lots of tricky hair styles.

James Architect

  • That you use some skills you learn in Minecraft for architect design.
  • He has designed a few mansions and his favourite project was the refurbishment of Dalcross Castle.
  • You don’t only do one sketch of a building, for some designs you might have to do up to 100 sketches.
  • You don’t just use a pencil and paper to design, you also design drawings on a computer.
  • James’s son designs big buildings and runs the business in London.

Dan Mason – Operations Manager Inverness Airport

  • I thought it was very interesting to learn about the skills needed to be a pilot. We learned that knowing about weather patterns is important.
  • Inverness Airport was an RAF base during the Second World War.
  • I learned you cannot take water on the plane in case it is a dangerous liquid.
  • There are about 600 people working at Inverness Airport.
  • Last year 31000 planes landed in Inverness Airport.
  • To be an airport operations manager you must be able to handle all weathers. Operation’s people tell pilots where to park, direct the planes, help passengers get on and off the plane and refuel the plane.
  • Toilets on the plane are removed by crew on the ground, collected in a special container which is sucked out by a tube then disposed of safely.
  • I did not know that there are people who give special assistance to those in need.




Developing The Young Work Force – P5

P5 learnt that…………

John Robertson Manager ICTFC and Scott Goalkeeping Coach

  • To be a manager you need to have good communication skills to give players advice and to speak to the press.
  • You need to be good at maths and know about percentages to calculate information about goals.
  • You need to have a variety of skills to be a manager including being helpful, giving advice and taking responsibility.
  • You need good footwork to be a good goalie.

Dave – Leslie’s Hair dresser

  • Dave from Leslie’s has been a hairdresser for over 40 years.
  • Dave wanted to be a hairdresser because his dad was a hairdresser; he owned the shop in partnership with his brother.
  • At the shop they can do lots of styles, cut and colour hair and dip dye hair.

Mr Nixon – Fire Officer

  • The best part of his jobs is when someone’s life has been saved. He wears fire proof clothes and steel toe capped boots when out at a shout.
  • Mr Nixon is in charge of 27 fire stations. You also need to be very fit to do the job.
  • Fire fighters need to be first aid trained in case someone is trapped or hurt.
  • When at a fire you have a limited air supply which can run out if you don’t watch the time.
  • It doesn’t matter whether you are a boy or a girl to be in the fire service.
  • When at a fire you need to be responsible, work as a team, focus and concentrate.

Mark – Monster Bikes

  • Mark brought a mountain bike into the class that cost over £7500, it was very light and made out of carbon fibre.
  • He gets to go around the world to bike shows so he can see all the new products and decide which ones to buy for his shop.
  • His first job was as a paper boy.
  • Mark had a friend who specially designed and made up the name and logo of Monsterbikes.
  • Not every day is a good day when running your own business, some days can be very quiet.

Mary – Broomhill Riding Centre

  • They have over a 100 horses at their stables, the oldest is more than 30 horse years old and that’s 90 years in human life.
  • You need to have a variety of skills to take care of animals including being helpful and being reliable.
  • People with disabilities can ride horses with the help of special equipment for example they sit on wool saddles instead of leather saddles.

Cameron’s Barber

  • It was fun to watch Mr Henstridge get his hair cut. The hardest hair cut they have done is the flat top.
  • It doesn’t take long to shave of someones hair.
  • For charity he once cut his friends hair with a channel down the middle.
  • Their favourite hairstyle to do is the ‘faded’
  • They need to know different styles so that they can do what the customer wants.
  • They need to have steady hands, they also do lots of tricky hair styles.

James – Architect

  • That you use some skills you learn in Minecraft for architect design.
  • He has designed a few mansions and his favourite project was the refurbishment of Dalcross Castle.
  • You don’t only do one sketch of a building some designs you might have to do up to 100 sketches.
  • You don’t just use a pencil and paper to design you all design on a computer.
  • His son design’s big buildings and runs the business in London.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Today Lorna from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)  Centre at Spey Bay, came in to speak to us about her job. Lorna talked about the different species of whales and dolphins, the dangers to these animals and ways in which we can help with whale and dolphin conservation.

We learned:

  • Dolphins off the coast of Scotland are bigger as they have a layer of blubber to keep them warm.
  • Bottlenose dolphins stay in Scotland all year round.
  • We saw the difference in size between dolphins, whales and porpoises.
  • We looked at pictures of dolphins and sharks and discussed the differences.
  • Using a model, we named the different parts of a dolphin.
  • We learned about a dolphins food chain and how we must protect all the animals in the chain.
  • We learned about the threats to dolphins and whales and ways in which we can protect them.

Afterwards we were able to ask Lorna lots about her job. It was great to hear all about the work done by WDC and we very much thank Lorna for coming.

P5 Developing the Young Workforce

P5 have been learning about the skills needed for different jobs. On Tuesday 21st November we were visited by a mechanic from Ross’ Garage, a vet from Crown Vets, a member of the dolphin and whale conservation society and a worker from the Bank of Scotland. On Thursday 23rd November we were visited by members of Rewarding Dogs – Dog behaviour Specialists and members of Inshes Vets.


  • I found it interesting that all of them have different skills that are the same, they all enjoy their jobs and they wanted to do that job when they were younger.
  • That a dog could swallow a ruler and had to have it removed by the vet.
  • It was great finding out how big the minke whale was when we held a cloth the real life size of the minke whale, it was the size of half the class room.
  • That a dog could eat two bowls of small stones
  • That Ross’ garage fixed one of the Top Gear’s cars.
  • That David from Ross’ garage drove a Ferrari.
  • That every job had maths in it and also lots of jobs need skills we already have.
  • When you work in a bank you need to be good at reading and writing.
  • Most of the jobs needed to use computer skills to find things out.
  • How a dolphin’s body works and the names of the dolphins different fins.
  • Most places of work need a first aid worker.
  • I liked seeing and hearing about the different animals vets have to deal with.
  • I liked learning about what skills are needed to do a dogs check up.
  • I didn’t realise dogs could have so many different bad behaviours.
  • I enjoyed touching the snake.

Developing The Young Workforce

P5 had employees of Wills Brothers who are the main contractors for building the new Ness-side Bridge in to talk about their jobs.  Before they came P5 got together to make a list of the questions that we could ask them.

  • It was interesting because we got to hear from 5 different people and their experiences in their job.
  • I learnt that it doesn’t matter if you are male or female to become a builder or office manger or digger driver.
  • A digger can move at 4/5 miles an hour.
  • You need maths for all the jobs we listened to today.
  • If the digger get stuck when its raining it is hard to pull it out.
  • In every job there are dangers but that’s what the health and safety manager looks after.
  • One of the workers went to more than 30 countries with his job.
  • You need to be good at maths, reading and writing in all the jobs for example for doing reports.
  • Office managers need good organisational skills.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

Today we enjoyed a visit from a variety of people who have been working on the Inverness Westlink Bridge. We enjoyed a talk from each of them and then got to ask lots of questions. Questions included:

  • What inspired you?
  • What is your favourite part of your job?
  • Can you tell us all the skills you need for your job?
  • What has been your favourite project you have worked on?
  • How long have you been in your job?
  • Do you use equipment or special clothing?


“I found out that there are computers in tractors including GPS, which helps to drive the tractor.”

“If I got to pick one of the jobs I would pick to be a health and safety officer because I would like to make changes to keep people safe.”

“Today was useful because I learnt all about the different skills you need for different jobs.”

“I liked the engineer because he had some interesting stories about things he has built.”

“Today was really good because it gave us an idea about what jobs in construction are like.”

“I found it surprising that some diggers have computers in them!”

“The new bridge is called Holm Bridge.”

“Their jobs are very important.”

“They are all happy with their jobs.”

“In most jobs you need maths, reading, writing and spelling.”

“Everyone is nervous when they start on their first day.”

“I found out that you had to do paperwork when building the bridge, which surprised me.”

“I enjoyed finding out what people do for a living. It helped me to think about what kind of job I want when I’m older.”

“For all the jobs you can be male or female.”

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and thank everyone who came in to speak to us.

Nursery – developing the young workforce

We are continuing to develop and implemeent ways in which we can allow our nursery children to become more aware of the jobs within their world.  One way of achieving this has been to create some roles for the children to carry out on a daily basis.


Our ‘lunch counters’ have a very important role to play as they have to go and see Mrs MacDonald (our dinner lady) with the numbers of children having school lunches. This task involves counting and writing, and more importantly for the children they get to wear the ‘lunch counter’ lanyard.  The lanyard signifies that they have a role and is already a familiar object as all staff within the nursery wear them. Therefore, this small (yet fun) activity really reinforces so much learning as well as allowing the children the opportunity to develop their awareness of jobs people do within their own school.

It has become a popular job with children regularly asking if they can be the ‘lunch counter’ today!

“I like being a lunch counter!” “I am counting the blue ones”

“I’m counting the orange”

Practising writing a number 7.

“Look I did it!”

“We’re going to see Mrs MacDonald”


Developing the Young Workforce – Visit to Ness-Side Bridge

Things we learnt

  • There were more than 100 different types of jobs involved in building the bridge.
  • That they can’t knock down the old factory for another 6 months as the dust from the material would travel 80 miles in the wind and it could get stuck in your lungs.
  • They started building the actual bridge in September and it opens on December 11th although other ground works started before.
  • That the bridge was over 120m long.
  • The amount of metal that they had to use was the same amount as the distance from here to Aberdeen.
  • That they had to catch the salmon in the river with a net and then put them safely back in the water.
  • They had to cross the bridge over a golf course which they now have to rebuild and it will reopen in March 2019.
  • The budget was over £260 million.
  • That if you run really fast you could get over the bridge in 18 seconds.

Things we enjoyed

  • It was really cool that we were the first people to cross over the bridge apart from the workers.
  • Listening to how they dealt with the fish so it didn’t harm them.
  • The walk, I was surprised how quick it was getting from the school to the Aquadome.
  • I enjoyed the whole trip.
  • Learning about the bridge and the jobs involved in building it.
  • I was interested that Ronnie didn’t start off doing the job he is now.
  • I enjoyed looking at the new rugby pitches which had to be moved to build the bridge.

Gender Experiment and Toys

Primary 6 and 7 were all given one of the characters:  Oliver or Sophie.  After this, each child had to list favourite toys and outfits along with a favourite  subject at school then a career they may go into when they are older.   There was no help or guidance from adults but discussions and comments were noted down betwee children:  

Only one child questioned which child was Sophie and which was Oliver when given the photo.  

A child announced in class:

“Sophie is the one with the pink cardigan and Oliver is the person in blue.”

A suggestion to a child who was drawing for Sophie from another child:

“Just draw princess things like Snow White.”  

In discussions:

“What else is a boy’s toy?”

“What other jobs could a girl do?’  

Afterwards, Primary 6/7 looked closely at the toys selected for  Oliver and Sophie.  Did gender stereotypes enter into their minds when making a list?    

This is the results of the experiment:   

Oliver Sophie
Action Figure







Flying Saucer


Nerf Gun






Toy Animals – crocodile and fox





Building Blocks


Colouring book


Doll house




Go Kart

Jack in the Box


Milk Bottle

Nail Polish

Polly Pocket


Rocking horse


Toy animal-cow and dog.






Similarities and Differences with Oliver and Sophie: Toys

  1. There were several similar toys for both chldren.  The first to be spotted was train then seven others including car, robot, lego, football, teddy and animals.  
  2. Even with these similarities we noticed differences.  Look closely at the animal suggestions.  The animals for Sophie were domesticated but the ones for Oliver were wild.     
  3. Kirsty commented that a Nail Polish set for Sophie and Nerf gun for Oliver are very different toys,  When talking about this, the children described the nail polish to be more ‘girly’.  When I asked why this was the children said ‘nail polish was more appealing for girls.’ Continuing to probe them they began to realise this is because adverts for this product were aimed at females.  This then began a trend that females were the majority group to use this product.  Thus producing a cycle of behaviour.  Furthermore, I asked the children what was the purpose of nail polish which they replied “to make you look better”.  The discussion continued with the children continuing to realise that beauty products were often aimed at females.  Females were shown to care about their appearance and to make themselves look better even when playing with toys.  
  4. The children were aware that boys often do and choose to wear polish too.  Some displayed positive attitudes towards this as they knew famous people who did this.  
  5. Then we looked at the Nerf Gun.  When I asked:  “What do you think the message or function of these are?”  The children said “violence” and “death”.  We explored further this idea and the children described how we were teaching our boys to be “strong”, “brave” and “tough”.  So the children started to realise we are trying to teach our children – depending on their gender – very different “normal behaviours/attributes”.  
  6. We did discuss how you can get a “nerf gun for girls.’  When I asked what made it for girls one child said “they are pink”  After debating this the children realised this was another gender stereotype.  We talked about how girls are often encouraged and taught to be calm and not rough.  They remembered from the video that the commentator had seen volunteers be more physically hands on with the boys and encouraged this when they played.  
  7. Crombie continued to relate this to how “all superheroes are male.”  and Shannon commented on role play for children.  “Girls were encouraged to play house while boys were encouraged to dress up as real life heroes.” However, the children commented how our school were not encouraging this gender stereotyped attitude.  Shannon stated that we have “neutral coloured kitchens” and Ollie mentioned observing how “a child had been playing with a scooter and had a pink helmet on.  This was no big deal. The only thing was that he had a helmet on to protect his head.”     
  8. All children instantly noticed that Sophie has more choice and variety  Many knew that our society is saying it is alright for girls to be more like boys but it is questionable whether we encouraging the same for boys!  

What do you think about toys?  

Do we gender stereotype our children?  

What does this mean for the lives we shapes for boys and girls?