Children get a taste of grown-up world

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Primary school pupils from across Portsmouth were given a taste of the next stage in their education when they took part in a construction and tourism day.

The hands-on event, hosted by the City of Portsmouth Boys' School with a specialism in engineering, maths and computing, involved more than 40 boys aged nine and 10.

It provided a specially-designed programme that not only introduced the concepts of enterprise, teamwork and creative thinking, but also illustrated how those skills would be useful in secondary education, college, training or work.

Jacquie Jones from the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership, who co-ordinated the day, said: 'We call it the WoW Factor, because it introduces children to the world of work.'

Junior schools that sent teams of year five children included Isambard Brunel, Lyndhurst, Newbridge, Northern Parade, Stamshaw and Flying Bull Primary.

After listening to presentations and digesting information about Portsmouth's iconic landmark, the Spinnaker Tower, the teams were tasked with creating their own construction companies and designing and building of a model of their own tower.

They were also asked to give consideration to marketing their tower as a tourist destination.

The EBP provided three local business ambassadors who helped with key aspects of the activities – Jane Chivers, new business co-ordinator of the Spinnaker Tower, Sarah Davis, area tourism partnership manager for Tourism South East, and Steve Quarmby, managing quantity surveyor for Kier Southern.

At the end of the day, the business ambassadors formed a Dragons' Den-style panel to judge the work of the teams.

Mr Quarmby said: 'I was impressed by the enthusiasm, understanding that shone through the teams' work.'

John Francis, director of specialism at City Boys, said: 'This day was absolutely fantastic for us.

'It is our job to work with the local community to promote careers in these sectors.'