Beacon Primary Academy opened in 2014 and is a one-form entry school, with 30 pupils in each class. We are in a seaside town which is a tourist hotspot during the summer months and we have a high proportion of children that are disadvantaged. We wanted to get involved with Skills Builder as the main aim we have as a whole academy is to provide our children with the skills and knowledge that they need to enable them to achieve their goals in life. Our curriculum is heavily designed to provide pupils with the skills and knowledge to be independent as well as resilient and capable learners, enterprising and creative contributions, respectful and informed citizens and, finally, healthy and confident individuals. We knew that Skills Builder Accelerator would sit hand in hand with our curriculum intent and provide staff with the ability to really embed these skills into all aspects of school life so that they are ingrained into staff and pupils thinking. Enabling us to equip our pupils with all the skills they need to lead successful lives and have belief in themselves.
The impact of the Accelerator programme has been fantastic, the programme is easy to follow, easy to implement and has been easy to make sustainable. Staff love the fact that it is all there at your fingertips, such as the Short Lessons and the Projects. Any member of staff is able to deliver the sessions and they are quick and engaging. Our pupils have enjoyed really learning about what each skills means and how they can make progress in the skills, they are also excited to see how the skills are transferable into other lessons and areas of life. The 'Dream Space' project was a personal favourite: it is fabulous to see the children enjoying, learning and being engrossed in an area that they designed and created. It is a great feeling knowing that the children we care for on a day-to-day basis are being equipped with essential skills that will assist them for the rest of their lives.
The plan going forward is to continue to use the essential skills as part of our Building Futures programme, embedding it deeper into everyday school life and beyond. We will continue to build on our rewards system so that the essential skills are more focused and celebrated. One thing we would like to build is Principle 5 (Keep practising) and incorporate the skills into extra-curricular activities as well as life outside of school. We will address the challenges that measuring the impact has highlighted although there are already ideas for how we can improve on this. It will be good to continue on the Skills Builder journey and teach our children the essential skills needed for their lives.