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Bolder Academy

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Bolder Academy
Bolder Academy is 4 years old, located in the Borough of Hounslow. The Academy currently goes up to Year 10 and next year will be welcoming Year 11. The school strongly believes all pupils should have access to equal opportunities. The essential skills demonstrated in Skills Builder are key to students' success in the future, as they equip students to leave the school feeling more confident in their own ability and the skills they already acquired.
Overall impact
The accelerator programme has provided collaborative opportunities for staff members within the school. To ensure it is enriching and effective it requires staff to work together to cover all aspects of school life. It is a very useful tool.
Keep it simple
The language of essential skills is used in a variety of aspects within the school, such as lessons, extra curricular 'skills' lessons in the morning and the school's Being Bold days. The school has encouraged the essential skills language to be used by teachers, students and senior staff. Some assemblies have also started to reference the essential skills. Bolder has also created a reward driven 'passport' for our drop down extra curricular days which incorporate the skills to ensure pupils are actively engaging with the sessions and realise the benefit of them.
Start early, keep going
To ensure all students have a chance to engage with the essential skills the school runs weekly sessions with form groups for 30 minutes. This term students have been focusing on listening and leadership.
Measure it
As the school does not currently have form groups, instead teachers who know each year group well have decided which step each year group should start on for each skill, based on their knowledge of the students. Students' achievement in each of the skills in tracked through a spreadsheet for careers - this is based from the skill passport so there is a record of which skill and step each of the students has demonstrated. This is used to inform planning.
Focus tightly
All students get a 30 minute session, once per week, focusing on a skill chosen for that half term. This is in the morning during their personal development/form time. Skills are explicitly written into Personal Development/Skills timetabled session to ensure this is done consistently across the school. Explicit teaching is done from utilising the workbooks and creating PPT slides out of them. All work is recorded in exercise books to demonstrate the importance of the sessions and to keep track. Students are taught the information for each step, and have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the skill step.
Keep practising
Students get the chance to practise their essential skills during career days and personal development. Skill icons have been incorporated into some worksheets/PPTs slide in Geography and have also been used in assemblies and extra curricular days. The skills are becoming part of the Bolder language with the schools aim of incorporating it into all curriculum maps next year.
Bring it to life
Skills have been mapped into 'Being Bold days - these are off timetable days linked to the school values. Each session of the being bold days is mapped into a skill and step. Students are rewarded with a stamp when they demonstrate the skill and step in their passport. Year 10 students have used the skills in practice interview sessions and were referenced to through their 3 day work experience programme. Skills Builder language has also been shared with visiting employer speakers to encourage its use both in and outside of the school.
What's next
Add essential skills to all subject curriculums and ensure all staff are onboard with the programme.
Greater London
United Kingdom