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Central Primary School

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Central Primary School
The Ashington Learning Partnership (ALP) consists of two large Primary Schools (Bothal Primary School and Central Primary School) in Northumberland. Across four sites, the ALP collectively caters for 1,500 pupils from age 2-11 - serving an area of significant deprivation. The ALP is a Flagship organisation for Skills Builder, holds the Careers Mark and has met all of the Primary Gatsby benchmarks. The ALP has been proud to represent Skills Builder at their National Partnership Day in London, represent Skills Builder at the WISE awards, deliver the first network training event, write blogs and content for Skills Builder?s website and support schools to develop their practice for Essential Skills and Careers. Across 15 years, and in conjunction with both local and major employers, the ALP Trust developed, embedded and refined ?Skills for Life? as an intrinsic part of our organisation. As these Essential Skills resonated with the Skills Builder Essential Skills - we embraced the Skills Builder approach in 2020.
Overall impact
The Skills Builder Accelerator Programme and Evelyn Haywood - Head of Education, Skills Builder are outstanding - this is evidenced by the comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data we collect from our pupils, teachers, staff and wider community
Keep it simple
The Essential Skills are intrinsic to everything we do. Skills development has been embedded and refined across our organisation - for example, through school development plans, curriculum intent, planning, pupil/staff books, planners - and is celebrated by our community. Weekly assemblies focus and reward skill development ? recognising effort and achievement in building skills. All classes have two Skills Spotters ? Skills Spotters identify development/achievement in Essential Skills and reward their peers. A thriving student Skills Council, across all of our sites - directly influences decisions relating to Essential Skills in our schools. Bespoke visual displays of the Essential Skills are embedded across our organisation - in books, planners, displays, pupil badges and rewards etc.
Start early, keep going
As important as any subject area - from the age of 2 - the ALP has set ambitious age-related expectations for Essential Skills, setting a trajectory for our pupils for success in Secondary Education, Further Education/Training, Higher Education, the workplace and life. As part of our routine practice, Essential Skills are explicitly taught and practiced across subject areas and the wider curriculum. Parents actively engage in praising their children?s skills development and share their efforts - for example, through Skills and Careers Challenges.
Measure it
Using the Skills Builder Hub and other tools - outcomes are systematically and robustly assessed, data forensically/quantitatively analysed and used to inform practice, target skills/children/gaps identified and targeted and case studies developed for our most vulnerable groups of children (inc. SEND and PP). Career Aspirations are assessed termly for all pupils ? tracking and monitoring pupil aspirations across their journey through our schools. Robust assessment data is used to inform practice - ensuring that Essential Skills lesson are pitched precisely at the correct level. Interventions are systematically enacted. The Expanded Skills Builder Framework is intrinsic to case studies.
Focus tightly
Through dedicated, timetabled lessons Essential Skills are explicitly taught and practiced across subject areas and the wider curriculum - pupils build their Essential Skills through direct instruction and practice. Essential Skills lessons are taught as bespoke lessons based on the Skills Builder framework. For example, one teacher taught Problem Solving (Following Instructions), using a lesson that required students to follow instructions to create origami animals. Essential Skill, case study and career aspiration data directly inform practice, class and individual targets.
Keep practising
Essential Skills are taught through timetabled Essential Skills lessons - the taught skills are then practiced across the curriculum. Essential Skills are intrinsic to all aspects of school life - for example, OPAL play, extra-curricular opportunities, pupil job roles in school/applications to pupil job roles. Parents actively engage in praising their children?s skills development and share their efforts through Skills and Careers home-learning activities.
Bring it to life
The ALP Trust holds the Career Mark for our work with careers and has satisfied all of the Primary Gatsby Benchmarks. Progressive opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to apply the Essential Skills they are developing. With Skills Builder, opportunities have included - Challenge Day events, employer Q and A sessions and Virtual Visits. These opportunities have proven outstanding in drawing explicit links between Essential Skills and Careers. Our Trust has worked with a wide range of employers, including - Arup, BMW, AkzoNobel, Wild About Adventure, Primary Engineer and the Challenger Space centre. Our outdoor provision has been developed to compliment this offer - including the development of an enchanted garden, polytunnel and STEM shed.
What's next
With Evelyn Haywood - the ALP Trust looks forward to further developing our role as a Flagship organisation - in sharing, promoting and developing practice for Essential Skills and working with cutting-edge research.
North East England
United Kingdom