What is the most effective way of helping boys understand the importance of school and in particular raising their interest in maths?

Interestingly the answer to both these questions, and indeed the answer to a large number of other interesting challenges schools face, can be found in the same teaching resource.

This finding became apparent when we worked with children using “Career Detectives” (a resource centred around a board game) who reported that understanding more about the world of work made them want to try harder in school. In fact, we found that children are gaining benefits far in excess of anything we first imagined.

Career Detectives provides a range of stimulating information about careers across all sectors within the context of a set of activities that can be completed either in small groups or with the whole class.

Career Detectives has within it enough material for an entire term’s work across every subject of the curriculum. Using the resource enhances and raises awareness of key skills including teamwork, communication, leadership, creativity and confidence and embeds other key learning outcomes including healthy eating and citizenship.

At the same time the resource helps pupils to discover all about the world of work and which career sectors may interest them. Research led by Simon Hughes MP, who has endorsed Career Detectives, has shown that greater understanding of the world of work not only raises aspirations but also improves attainment.

What’s more, using Career Detectives can also enhance your outcomes when Ofsted inspect as it enables you to demonstrate spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in your school. It also helps in a number of other areas, such as achievement or quality of teaching, details of which can be found on our website.

So if you’re looking to re-engage boys with education, or broaden girls horizons regarding non-stereotypical career options, then we’re confident Career Detectives will be of immense value to your school.

You can read more of the comments that pupils have made after a Career Detectives session here.

And there is more information available on Career Detectives itself here.


“I am happy to recommend Career Detectives, which was demonstrated to me in a year 6 class at a school where I am a chair of governors. The game met with enthusiasm from the children, who responded well to the tasks set and enjoyed the vocal and timed aspects of the game. Very importantly, the children were genuinely interested in discussing potential careers after using the game – which is a great way of opening up elements of careers advice as advocated in my Access to Education Report.”

Simon Hughes MP, Minister for Access to Education