I was invited to speak at my old primary school, St Anne’s, as part of British Science Week. I loved my time at primary school when I was younger so I was excited to return and share my passion for learning with the children currently there. I thought it would be good to give something back and hopefully light a few fires in the children about what’s possible in their future.
I spent the afternoon talking with each of the classes from Year 3 to Year 6 about my journey since leaving school and how I use science on a day to day basis in my role within Performance Psychology. We discussed all the different types of science that exist from life style sciences to exercise, not just the ones that might be learnt in school. I told them about how I didn’t even know what psychology really was until I was 16! I wanted to show them that there’s a lot more to science then they originally thought, open their eyes to it a little bit. If anything, I hope I showed them that not all scientists work in a lab wearing a white coat and goggles with mad hair! I hope it changed their perceptions and made jobs in the future seem more approachable.
What I enjoyed most was just being able to talk to the children on a personal level, letting them ask questions they might think are silly otherwise and to be open and honest about their ideas for the future. It was a relaxed environment and great to be able to give them a little bit of guidance, encouragement and motivation about school and life afterwards but without it feeling pressurised. It’s nice to go back into primary school and catch them before they have to make any decisions, give them a positive message and show them the value of school work. I really encouraged them to be ambitious and interested and to make the most of it. Hopefully I was a positive role model.
The children were really interested in hearing about the personal qualities I needed to be good at my job and about what school had been like when I was there. They found it really interesting that my favourite subject had been History and I talked to them about the importance of always keeping your ideas open as you may change what you enjoy and are good at as you get older. Of course they also all wanted to know what football team I supported, it can only be one of two in our area!
I really wanted the children to see that if you enjoy something and are passionate, whether you’re good at it or not at the moment, you should keep going and stick at it. If you put 100% in, things will always get sorted and you will find your path. Don’t give up on anything prematurely because you don’t know what might happen in the future. No talent trumps another talent, for example if you want to be a baker be a baker and if you want to be a scientist go for it! I’ve been lucky to merge my passion for science with football.
It was lovely leaving school at the end of the day, I live close by and lots of children shouted thank you through car windows or across the road on their way home. It was nice to know they appreciated me going back to speak to them and I hope they gained a lot from it.
Year 5 Teacher, Laura Hodgkiss, said: “It was lovely to have Callum in school. He is a brilliant role model for the children. They found him easy to talk to and he handled all their questions well.”
Callum has now been invited back into school again by Year 5 children to help out with football.