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Carousel Day Nursery in Hilsea ended Portsmouth Aspirations Week in style with children dressing up as their future selves, following a week of activities designed to help children to achieve well in the future and aspire to meet any later career goals later in life.

Mary, Carousel Nursery School manager, said: "At Carousel Nursery School we have been celebrating aspirations week. The children have enjoyed a fun packed week and taken part in a treasure hunt, junk modelling, singing songs, sharing books and box play! We have been drawing on the resources of the 'Hungry Little Minds ' campaign and helping parents to understand how important all these activities are for their children's learning and development. Children develop their love of books and early reading skills through sharing stories and develop their language and social skills through singing songs. The children have taken books home from the Nursery to help build the home learning environment. We ended the week with children dressing up as their future self or what they aspire to be. Aspirations week refreshed every day activities, adding additional focus for the team and the children."

More than 90 nurseries, pre-schools and childminders ran events in the city during the week, to support parents in developing strong language and communication skills in children from an early age. Activities included Show and Tell, dress up day and bring a favourite book to share during the week, as part of Portsmouth's official launch of the government's 'Hungry Little Minds' campaign.

During Portsmouth Aspirations Week, which ran from 20 - 24 January, Portsmouth City Council worked with other organisations to put on a series of events and activities across the city. It was a chance for children to start thinking about what they might want to be in future, for young people to learn about pathways into a variety of careers and for adults to learn new skills, achieve qualifications, progress in their career or get back into work after a period of absence.

Schools across the city had dress up days and heard from business speakers about their careers while over 1,400 pupils, from Y6 and secondary schools, attended EBP South's Get Inspired event at the Guildhall to take part in interactive activities, giving them a real insight into different job roles that might be available in future. More than 50 parents and carers joined Family Learning sessions in maths, English and storytelling at infant schools, to help them to understand how their children learn, support them in their homework and encourage regular school attendance in order to achieve their goals. Adults attended career drop in sessions for advice on CVs and career change and workshops on how to promote themselves online to help to secure a new job. 

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: "It was great to spend time during Aspirations Week with people of all ages - at nurseries, schools and with adults - all thinking about their skills and future goals. Life-long learning is so important, and we are lucky to have so many ways to keep learning in Portsmouth. It’s never too late to learn, get qualifications and open new doors. If you work hard at nursery, school and beyond and you can aspire to be whatever you want to be. I'm already looking forward to Portsmouth Aspirations Week 2021!"

If Portsmouth Aspirations Week has inspired you, you can find helpful links to skills, apprenticeships and careers advice at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/aspirationsweek