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Cranbrook Education Campus

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Cranbrook Education Campus
Cranbrook Education Campus is an all-through school in a new town on the outskirts of Exeter. We initially got involved with Skills Builder Accelerator as a means of supplementing our Craeers provision with essential skills so that pupils are able to recognise how their school life and skills that they are building in their day-to-day lives are transferable and relevant for their own personal development and life beyond school.
Overall impact
The Accelerator programme has really helped us embed Skills Builder into our Personal Development programme. It has strengthened not only our careers provision, but also our teaching and learning habits as it has helped us make explicit connections between skills and success/achievement. One of our key priorities for our School Improvement Plan is to help build pupils' self efficacy and I believe that the Accelerator programme has helped us begin this process.
Keep it simple
One of the most effective ways we have built awareness of essential skills is by embedding them into our curriculum. There is an expectation for all subjects to use the Skills Builder logos in all lessons and make the explicit links to how pupils are developing that skill, why it is important and how it will help them achieve success in the given task. We have a booklet-led curriculum, so as we are created each booklet we are able to decide how we can add opportunities to promote building essential skills. Having the icon in the booklets allows us to easily narrate what we want pupils to achieve and creates a common language that is used consistently across the school.
Start early, keep going
Our curriculum is delivered in cycles and at the end of each cycle all year groups have the opportunity to work on their skills through independent learning in the classroom. Subjects create independent lessons that allow pupils to evaluate and develop skills linked to the unit of work they have just studied. For example, a Year 7 Storytelling unit of work encouraged pupils to evaluate their creativity and then used the lessons to develop them further.
Measure it
At the end of each cycle, pupils and teachers complete an evaluation to assess where pupils are for each skill. This information is then shared with Curriculum Leads in each subject so that they can decide on which skills need to be further developed when they are creating resources and planning for the next cycle's lessons.
Focus tightly
Again our booklet-led curriculum really helps pupils to see the building of essential skills as something that is inherent in whatever they do. Pupils also have the opportunities to build skills in various ways outside of the curriculum, For example, those involved in Pupils Parliament build skills such as teamwork and leadership, likewise, all pupils are involved in pupil voice and we link this directly with the listening and speaking skills they need to use to communicate effectively throughout this process. In addition, all of our extra-curricular clubs use the Skills Builder icons to help pupils visually recongise the skills they will develop in each different club.
Keep practising
At the end of the year, we use the challenge days to give pupils a chance to put their skills into practice. We have a different challenge day for each year group and incorporate it into our enrichment week. This gives pupils the opportunity to draw on all the things they have been working on within the curriculum throughout the year. It helps us reinforce the value of those skills.
Bring it to life
When pupils from all year groups attend our Careers Fair they are given a worksheet on with the Skills Builder essential skills and asked to find out from each employer, educator and training provider what skills they would need. This allows them to see how universal these skills are and find out how they relate to the world of work and education beyond school. The feedback from those that attend the Careers Fair is unanimously positive in how beneficial this is for the pupils and how it opens up conversations about how having a good set of essential skills can help them progress in their careers and personal development.
What's next
We plan to use Skills Builder to start to help with pupil development. We would like to start making more use of Launchpad so that pupils can independently work on their skills. We are also considering how this could work as a reflective exercise in our Inclusion Hub so that pupils can consider whether there are particular skills that would support them in accessing, and therefore, staying in lessons.
South West England
United Kingdom