At All Saints Academy, there is a significant commitment to the personal development of our students. Whilst qualifications are important, we also believe it is important that students develop morally, and in relation to the broader skills which will prepare them for the next phase of their lives. Our personal development provision is recognised as good by Ofsted and reflects our dedication to our students broader development. Work in relation to skill development began a few years ago with the 8 skills from Skills Builder forming the framework for this. We recently took the opportunity during lockdown to completely re-write our curriculum in a creative, thematic approach where individual topics are all centered around a skill and a virtue. There are 11 topics for each year group and every topic has a specific skill allocated to it. The skill then permeates the lesson content to ensure that skill development is integrated rather than a bolt on addition. I made the decision to make a bid to be a part of the Skills Builder Accelerator programme in order to continue to develop our provision with strategic support from Skills Builder.
The Skills Builder Accelerator programme has ensured that there has been a continued focus on developing and strengthening our provision for the development of skills. Students have benefitted from seeing a much more coherent and focused approach to skill development with integral activities for each of the skills which have been consistent across topics. Teachers have benefitted from a much greater insight into the process of supporting skill development and have made excellent use of the comprehensive resources available on the Skills Builder Hub. The Accelerator programme has ensured that sufficient attention has been directed at each of the six principles and the regular strategy meetings with a dedicated Education Associated helped to continually, review and refine our provision to maximise the impact of our skills provision. The biggest highlight for us was to hear that of the many schools that work with Skills Builder, we became one of the schools to achieve the Gold Award, having embedded the skills provision to the level that we have which gives us faith that this commitment to skill development would be recognised by any external stakholder.
Going forward there is still a lot of work to do to continue to refine our provision and ensure that each and every student sees the development of skills as a core part of their education. The weekly Skills Builder tutor times have been very effective and moving forwards we will be looking at where else we can allocate some curriculum time for direct instruction in relation to the essential skills. In relation to Principle 3 (Measure It), there is work to be undertaken to quality assure the measurement process whilst focusing on supporting students with close monitoring and tracking of their own development through each of the skill steps. In relation to Principle 5 (Keep Practising), we also want to do some work on making skill practise much more explicit in our elective programme. Finally, it will be good to do some work with employers to bridge the gap between school and future careers so students can practise the skills in a specific work context.