Sophie Gavalda, Skills Leader & Assistant Head at William Tyndale, has been working with us since 2013 to pioneer a deeply integrated, long-term approach to essential skills education.
It’s crucial to start young, so Sophie has structured a whole-school programme so that all students - from Nursery to Year 6 - develop the eight skills explicitly and measure progress year on year. This means that all students can articulate their strengths and focus tightly on what they need to learn. The programme includes a range of experiences to bring skills to life, including Challenge Days, Trips to Employers and Projects.
Sophie has also forged links with other aspects of school life, making sure students see the relevance of essential skills across the curriculum. For example, the skills are incorporated into debating and oracy, and are referenced regularly in assemblies. The school has even created its own classroom projects and developed connections with local employers as a way to further build and contextualise essential skills.
“The high-quality resources, tools for assessment and innovative Projects have brought us on our journey to today, six years later… it’s now the platform for all parts of our curriculum.”
Sophie Gavalda / Skills Leader & Assistant Head
“We’re supported by a strong team of education professionals who understand how schools work… The programme is easy to follow, easy to implement, and, most importantly, easy to make sustainable. Sophie has championed the school’s aspiration relentlessly, with the result that Skills Builder has become an inextricable part of our school’s identity.”
Tanya Watson / Headteacher