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Organisations across the city are getting ready for Portsmouth Aspirations Week which is being held from 20 - 24 January. In keeping with the time of year for New Year resolutions, Portsmouth City Council has invited schools, businesses and community organisations to join them in holding a series of activities and events aimed at helping residents of all ages to voice and take steps towards realising their aspirations.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Education at Portsmouth City Council said: "We are delighted that so many businesses, schools and community organisations will be taking part in Portsmouth Aspirations Week. The aim of the week is to inspire children, young people and adults to think about their futures, help them to understand the steps they can take to ensure their own success and the help available - at school and beyond - to aid them in reaching their goals."

After the successful pilot of Aspirations Week at Wimborne Primary School in January 2019, held as part of the council's 'Miss School Miss Out' school attendance campaign, many other primary schools in the city now plan to hold assemblies, classroom activities, workshops and 'Dress up as your future self' days as part of the expanded Portsmouth Aspirations Week. 

Carina Jacobs, Executive Headteacher of Wimborne Infant and Junior Schools, said: "Aspirations Week was a great success for us last year - we had such a good response from the children who were really inspired to think about their future selves and what they might like to do for a job. They really took on board how school could help them to plan for the future, the need for resilience in order to overcome any obstacles and how regular attendance at school would help them to achieve their ambitions, and we're really looking forward to participating in this year's activities too."

Representatives from local fitness and martial arts centre, Gym01, will be at Wimborne Junior school to kick the week off with an assembly. Emmeline Jones, manager at Gym01, said, "We are delighted to be supporting Portsmouth Aspirations Week and are equally thrilled to be developing a programme for schools linking the importance of physical activity and positive life choices to the importance of regular school attendance and education."

Nurseries and pre-schools will also be running events during the week, to support parents in developing strong language and communication skills in children from an early age. The aim is to help children to achieve well in the future and aspire to meet any later career goals they have - in support of the government's 'Hungry Little Minds' campaign. Activities will include Show and Tell, dress up day and bring a book into nursery or school day to share, as well as celebrations recognising practitioners in the city who work hard and aspire to provide good or outstanding quality Early Years Childcare.

Employees from the council and local businesses will be speaking to secondary school students in school assemblies and at the council offices, to give them an insight into the variety of careers open to them. These activities will highlight the importance of setting goals, building resilience and learning well by attending school regularly in order to help young people to reach their goals.

As part of Portsmouth Aspirations Week, and with support from over 50 local businesses, EBP South will be holding their 'Get Inspired' event for school pupils at The Guildhall on 22 January 2020. Over 1,400 young people are expected to attend the event and the aim is to broaden their views about the kinds of jobs available through interactive activities with the local businesses exhibiting at the event. EBP South are also running 'Guess My Job' sessions in primary schools where pupils will be able to find out about a range of jobs by asking 'yes/no' questions of experts in a bid to guess their job title.

A team from the council-owned Portsmouth International Port will be at the 'Get Inspired' event and will host a visit for students from The Harbour School during Portsmouth Aspirations Week.

Working with the council's Community Learning Service and The Good Things Foundation, Google is running 'I Am Remarkable' workshops for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), to help them to recognise and promote their achievements in life and at work and provide them with the tools to hone this skill.

For parents and carers, there will be opportunities to attend Family Learning sessions in primary schools to help them to learn how their children are taught, to enable adults to answer their children’s questions in a way that matches lessons, avoids confusion and increases their own skills.

During Portsmouth Aspirations Week, young people and adults will be able to attend sessions at The Learning Place in Derby Road and at the Google Digital Garage in Commercial Road to increase skills in a range of topics including digital marketing, language and maths, as well as cookery, IT and life skills. There will also be careers drop in sessions with advisors from the National Careers Service with help with CV building, finding apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities and guidance on getting back into work, as well as opportunities to find out about careers in caring.

To find out more about Portsmouth Aspirations Week, please visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/aspirationsweek