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Co-op Academy Beckfield

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Co-op Academy Beckfield
Co-op Academy Beckfield is a small, one form entry, primary school tucked away in a close knit community in Bradford, West Yorkshire. We have 218 children on roll that range from 3-11 years old, many of which come from a disadvantaged background which is why we are passionate about supporting them to aim high, aspire to the greatest heights and believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. This is what led us to enrolling onto the Skills Builder Program. Our journey began in 2021 when Skills Builder was first introduced here and since then we have worked hard to embed this program deep into the Academy's daily life and prepare our children with the essential skills and knowledge they need for their future, as well as stretching it out far into the community. We knew straight away that this would be a great fit for our Academy whilst working alongside our careers curriculum and the Co-op 'ways of being'.
Overall impact
We have had so many opportunities across the year to invite the community into school as well as children going out into the community and seeing the essential skills brought to life. One highlight, has been the big breakfast mornings we have held, termly, where all parents/carers/family members are invited to have breakfast together, with the staff and children. We have seen a real growth in relationships within our Academy and this is something we are extremely proud of.
Keep it simple
The 8 essential skills are displayed proudly across our Academy, from the moment you enter the gates. They are displayed at the front entrance and in each classroom as well as the main hall, corridors, offices and even the staff room! Each 2 weeks a new skill is introduced, in assembly, by the Head of Academy, this skill will link to events we have coming up over those two weeks and each class will use the assessment tool to understand the next step they will be working on. The lessons within the Skills Builder Framework are followed by each year group and children who have shown amazing contributions towards that skill will be awarded a certificate in Friday's celebration assembly. Teachers now comment on the achievements their pupils have made towards the essential skills, in their school reports.
Start early, keep going
Skills Builder has been rolled out to all our classes, starting in Nursery and moving with the children throughout their time here, until they reach Year 6. We have seen the positive impact that teaching these essential skills has on our children and they are proud to talk about the work they do towards achieving their next steps. Each worksheet has the essential skills printed at the top of the page and children are able to discuss what skills they have developed during each lesson throughout the day. Parents are aware of the essential skills and have been given resources to access this learning at home. Children are excited to return to school on a Monday with their skills builder homework, which is set each week.
Measure it
Each teacher in the academy is assessing their classes skills as least twice every year. Staff have grown alongside this program and feel more confident in measuring the skills of those in their class. Each class teacher and teaching assistant have access to the Skills Builder Hub and are able to record the status of their entire class with ease. This process enables an accurate recording of the classes skills journey and enables them to look towards their next teaching steps.
Focus tightly
This is a regular topic at staff meetings/briefings where the skill is introduced to the staff and linked to the curriculum and activities that are coming up. An explicit skill is then introduced to children so they know the focus of the next two weeks however, during each lesson children are able to discuss which skills they may have used and is subsequently stuck in each child's workbook. Each classroom has a Skills Builder display where all skills can be seen, an emphasis is then put on the explicit skill children will be working towards over the two week period. The Skills Builder Framework has ensured teachers deliver effective lessons with fantastic resources and activities that are used to improve the essential skills.
Keep practising
Extra-curricular clubs are mapped out to ensure the skills are being reinforced outside the classrooms. Children have been able to access the challenge days and these have had an amazing success rate, with children in Nursery to Year 6 have been able to take part. The school held a coffee morning for parents and children across the year groups helped in different ways, from serving food and drinks to making art work. We have a number of sports teams who attend competitions away from the school and skills are discussed and used during the events. Children across the entire school frequently go on trips out of the Academy, where skills are discussed to link them to the wider world.
Bring it to life
Alongside teaching the 8 essential skills, we implement careers related learning and children across the Academy have taken part in our careers week where they have been able to see and speak to different companies and employers, in different industries and how skills are used and adapted in the wider world. Virtual sessions have been set up with companies where children have had Q&A sessions and seen the essential skills brought to life whilst gaining a deeper understanding of what careers there are. Children in Years 5 & 6 go on a yearly residential where they are able to draw on the skills they have been taught throughout the year. Different groups of children from multiple classes have been given the opportunity to visit Jamie's Farm, once a week for an 8 week period, where they spend a full day, hands on working and learning about the different careers available there.
What's next
Our plan is to continue to grow from strength to strength, to build on the essential skills and ensure all children leave the Academy with the knowledge they need to succeed. Embedding the program deeper into our everyday Academy life, and beyond, is at the forefront of what we intend to do.
Yorkshire and the Humber
United Kingdom