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Flagship School Insights: Central & Bothal Primary Schools

Schools and colleges working with The Skills Builder Partnership embed the eight essential skills into their provision. Research shows that these highly transferable skills improve students’ outcomes in education, the wider world and future careers. We celebrate best practice in essential skill provision through Bronze, Silver and Gold Skills Builder Awards.

A handful of schools and colleges go beyond best practice outlined in the Award Guide, to have an impact beyond their gates and into their community. This blog series celebrates our five Flagship schools’ fantastic work.

Central & Bothal Primary Schools

Central & Bothal Primary Schools began their Skills Builder journey in 2020, quickly incorporating the essential skills into their curriculum intent and curricular provision through learning passports which reference and complement the Universal Framework

Skills and Local Careers

Located in Northumberland, both primary schools are part of The Ashington Learning Partnership. They are leading examples in the North East of high quality careers education too. The essential skills make up a core part of this learning with the schools’ aim to ensure their pupils are fully equipped for their futures.

"Employability and Ambition is a key pillar of what we do - unlocking essential skills to prepare children for life, employability, and career development. Access to and development of essential skills and meaningful employer engagement opportunities, halves the likelihood of being out of work as an adult and promotes financial security." - Adam Judson, Assistant Head of School

Communication skills are a strength at Central and Bothal Primary Schools. Recognising that this goes beyond the classroom, parents and carers are involved at all stages of the pupils’ skills development. Homework is a prime opportunity to reinforce skill learning at home. The essential skills are also discussed in parent and carer meetings. During these sessions, each parent and carer receives a skills progress report to identify their child’s strengths and areas for development. 

The Skills Builder Framework has also been incorporated into Central and Bothal primaries’ wider career education. Each year, pupils reflect on their career goals in the Spring term, completing career pathway postcards which are then shared with parents. They also have multiple opportunities to engage with employers through real-world experiences and projects including with local businesses such as BMW, Wild About Adventure and Challenger Space centre where skills are applied and reflected upon.

In order to raise awareness of the essential skills and their role in employment, pupils ran a stand at the Chamber of Commerce. Using this platform, they spoke to employers about the essential skills needed to complete a variety of job roles and why they were important.

Reflections on the Year

When asked about the schools’ flagship journey their Education Associate - Evelyn - commented:

“It's been a pleasure to work with Adam and the staff at Central and Bothal primary schools… The school has earned Flagship status because they proactively engage other organisations and sector bodies with their approach to building essential skills. This includes other local schools, the local enterprise partnership, school governors and the wider Skills Leader Network.”

These are just some examples of how Central and Bothal are leading the way. You can read more about what they are up to on their case study here.