ACE Schools is an Alternative Provision in the South West, providing education for students with a wide range of additional needs across a number of sites throughout Devon and Cornwall. As a school, we are proud to support all of our students' personal development and believe that Skills Builder is fundamental in securing a greater understanding of the key skills required to be successful at Post-16 and in a wider life context. We are developing a culture which builds students' self-esteem, self-value and confidence in the skill sets they already possess, whilst encouraging them to further develop their skills by signposting the 8 Essential Skills in every base, with explicit references embedded throughout the whole of the curriculum.
Students are beginning to understand that they possess skills that are relevant and significant to them when it comes to future employment opportunities. Confidence in their abilities is growing and they are starting to value and appreciate both the skills they have, as well as those they can gain. Success can look and feel very different for many of our students and we are now seeing many of them experiencing success in a number of ways throughout their school day. As a staff we are gaining momentum and regular CPD across all sites has been successful in encouraging mentors and teachers to explore how the Accelerator Programme fits into school life on their respective sites. Rewarding staff and students is becoming a fundamental part of the delivery of Skills Builder, which in turn supports consolidation and commitment. We are continuing to develop a bespoke programme, supported by all staff, which is fundamental to the success of our students, no matter what their background or social circumstances.
At ACE we encourage all students to engage with visiting speakers and employers, whether on site or out in the community (now that we are able - post COVID), so that their skills can be put into practice. All students have the opportunity to Learn Outside the Classroom, which allows them to both develop and embed Essential Skills in the wider community when: den building; map reading and orienteering; learning to build a fire; beachcombing; accessing local amenities and local transport for example. These are daily/weekly opportunities, where we encourage students to engage in activities that are key to being successful, ensuring that they understand how the acquisition of skills are an integral part of personal development for life and not merely academic achievement.
As a school we are continually striving to consolidate and build on our successes, as we equally encourage our students to. We now need to become more consistent when recording data, and in the next academic year we have created designated time to complete progress data at the end of each Half Term. I will continue to train and deliver CPD to all new staff and support heads of curriculum in updating units of work to include references to the Essential Skills. All teaching staff will have resources to take with them when on LOTC (Learning Outside the Classroom) on PE lessons and when out together in the wider community. Skills Builder will continue to be a key part of the School Improvement Plan and rewarding staff and students must be a regular part of building and embedding this as a culture across all sites in our school.