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Amgad Language School

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Amgad Language School
Amgad Language School is a private school in Cairo, Egypt for students aged between 4 and 18.
Overall impact
In the past our kids have been treated as machines for retaining information and memorising it for exams only. Skills Builder has given us the chance to develop in students the essential skills they will need in their future; the chance to turn these skills into reality for students. It has been something new to the kids as it was very different to the traditional atmosphere of the classroom. They felt positive about themselves because they could make changes. The children's confidence has really improved and they are more aware of the skills, particularly what it means to actively listen. We are very proud of the kids' performance in our English Day as the visitors noticed the change in the childrens’ attitudes. The students helped to organise the day, using their Creativity skills to develop their ideas for the day and their Speaking skills to express themselves.
Keep it simple
Posters of the skills were printed and displayed in corridors. I led gatherings with staff to discuss progress through the programme. All staff were made aware that Listening and Speaking were the focus skills. We ran a summer course for grade 1 students. Four skills were applied: Listening, Speaking, Creativity and Teamwork. Students learnt and applied the skills intensely. The students were very responsive to the programme; they were eager to use the skills in their real life. The Listening and Speaking skills were applied even during free time such as breaks, and during trips. The main way we introduced, taught and reinforced the skills was in subject lessons, it wasn’t separate.
Start early, keep going
During this last year, we introduced essential skills to 12 -15 year old students and included them within the lessons. Students were very responsive. The Summer course involved 10-12 year olds.
Measure it
There were meetings with teachers to discuss the progress of the process throughout the year, with the Universal Framework used as a reference point. During the summer course, teachers used the offline assessment tool. The students were motivated all the time by giving them grades about their participation. There was a chart in the classrooms to register and encourage the participants.
Focus tightly
The students were taught skill steps, and then were observed and feedback would be given in a targeted way.
Keep practising
The skills have been referred to regularly in subject lessons (e.g. in Drama lessons, during the English Day,...) using the language of the Framework, and supported by activities. The way this is done depends on each teacher and each subject. We’ve covered: Listening, Speaking, Leadership, as well as Problem Solving. Some activities from the Hub resources were used.
Bring it to life
Though there is a desire to apply essential skills to the wider world, this principle wasn’t a focus for us this year given the difficulties COVID-19 restrictions created. We did however run projects for the students to express themselves and work together, as well as Fun Days and Bazaars. The participation of the students was good as they felt what has been learnt inside the school can be applied in their life. This has motivated them a lot.
What's next
There are four next steps we would like to focus on going forward. This includes introducing the skills to Early Year Foundation Stage, incorporating the skills into after school clubs and wider community engagements, rewarding essential skills in award assemblies and writing essential skills into the curriculum policy.