The 5 July 1948 was an historic moment in our country’s history. It was the day our pioneering National Health Service (NHS) was born, bringing free healthcare to everyone. It was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship rather than the payment of fees and insurance. It brought hospitals, doctors, nurses and dentists together under one service.

We have treasured it ever since, but never more so since March 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the UK and utterly changed all our lives. NHS workers have worked throughout the pandemic in some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever known.  Many of us have family and friends who work for the NHS and will know first-hand how their jobs have changed or been more difficult during the last 18 months.

In recognition of this, we held an NHS Awareness week here at the Friary School. During the week, students learned about how the NHS originated and how it differs to other health services in other countries. They also heard a real life account of what it has been like to be a nurse on the front line and how that has changed how that person sees their job and what they have learned from the experience of working through a pandemic.  Students then reflected on their experiences and the personal skills they have learned as well as discussing the ways they have learnt to be resilient and stayed positive throughout such a challenging year.

As part of our Raising Aspirations programme we welcomed guest speakers from The Workforce Transformation Operational Lead at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. They came in to deliver to careers workshops to selected Year 9 and Year 10 students who have previously indicated they are keen to pursue a career in the NHS. All of the students who attended the session had a real opportunity to discuss career paths in the NHS whilst at the same time making a very positive impression on our guest speakers who were very complimentary about our pupils and their attitude towards their future.

During tutor time, all students learned about the wide variety of careers available in the NHS and how careers extend much further than being a doctor, nurse, midwife or physiotherapist. There are over 350 different careers in the NHS and information can be found on these at

Elsewhere, students in food lessons made NHS themed rainbow cupcakes with blue icing and pupils were encouraged to wear rainbow colours as a thank you for our non-uniform day.

Lottie Hearn, Assistant Headteacher, said: “As we reach the end of COVID restrictions and the anniversary of the founding of the NHS, it seems a fitting time to celebrate the hard work of all those who work in the NHS as well as inspire the next generation to consider taking up a career within the service.”