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Flagship School Insights: Cleeve Meadow

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.

Cleeve Meadow School

Cleeve Meadow is an 11-19 school for students with moderate learning difficulties based in South East England. They began working with Skills Builder in 2018 and have been using the 8 essential skills to support their students in building up their employment skills, using practical, real life tools and activities.

Involving Stakeholders

Students at Cleeve Meadow take ownership of their skill development through a range of activities and initiatives at school and home. They have had the opportunity to take part in student-led projects, where the students plan, bid for funding, execute projects and present outcomes. These student-led projects support the students to focus on specific skills and think about what they already know and what they still need to work on.

“Getting students to track their own progress has been empowering for them and they have kept their record in their life skills folders.” - Senior Leader

Students have been fortunate to have outside visitors support them with their essential skill development. They took part in a Meaningful Mastery Project Day, an Empathy Lab reading session, and have had visits from a florist and mechanic to teach practical employment skills, alongside the essential skills. 

Skills are also a focus in careers weeks. Last year, with a focus on the creative industries, students discussed which of the skills were important in each part of the industry and why. There were also several employer talks, employer visits and a Virtual Careers Week - where students could relate the essential skills to technical skills and other areas of learning.

Parents and carers are also encouraged to get involved, supporting students to set Super Goals focusing on Aiming High and linking these to areas of learning such as bike mechanics, shopping and visits. As part of the Taskmaster Day parents got to learn more about the essential skills, and students got to complete a ‘Skills Checklist’ of the skills they felt they had used.

Reflections on the Year

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

“The eight essential skills run through everything that staff and students at Cleeve Meadow do and are embedded not just into the curriculum but into every aspect of learning and development... This is developed further across the wider school community through support for parents and carers, and providing external providers with resources and materials to use the language consistently.”

You can read more about Cleeve Meadow on their case study here.