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Cranford Primary School

This content was written by
Cranford Primary School
Cranford Primary School is a mixed school, which caters for children from Nursery through to Year 6. The children at Cranford Primary School come from many different cultural backgrounds; speak different languages and have different religions. We became involved with Skills Builder Accelerator so that we could prepare the children in our care with the skills needed for their future: in their future education; their future careers and their future lives.
Overall impact
I believe that the Accelerator programme has enhanced the children's ability to talk about and put in to practice the essential skills and at such a young age, too. It is evident, from watching the children play in the playground and observing the children in their lessons that they are continuing to build upon these essential skills of life. At this time, in particular, the programme has been vital to children's, as well as teachers and the wider community's, ability to remain focused and resilient.
Keep it simple
In most lessons, the essential skills are referred to on the Learning Intention and flip. This has allowed the children in connect with each skill regularly, where the teacher and adults use the language for each essential skill consistently. In addition to this practice, each classroom, from Reception through to Year 6, has a visual display of the essential skills icons; thus allowing children to constantly refer to them. Through adopting the above practice, the children have gained a clear understanding of the value of each skill.
Start early, keep going
Right from Reception, the children are introduced to the 8 essential skills through their lessons, outdoor play and extra-curricular sessions. From this very early age, children's skills in teamwork, listening and speaking are developed - this may involve the use of role play, games or simply being able to listen and talk to their peers and adults. Heading into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the children take part in Challenge Days throughout the course of the year and this year, Years 4, 5 and 6 have also been involved with virtual trips. By introducing events such as Arts Day and Careers Week, the children throughout the entire school, were able to put many of the essential skills into practice. This was evident throughout discussions, final pieces and displays.
Measure it
Using the Skills Builder Hub assessment tool and the descriptions associated with each step for each skill has enabled teachers to grasp a clearer understanding of where each child is within the class. Within lessons, teachers are encouraged to recognise children who have really demonstrated a particular focus skill and this is celebrated by awarding the child with a House Token.
Focus tightly
The Skills Builder Challenge Days have ensured that essential skills are established and then embedded. We ensure the posters and signposting on flipcharts allow pupils to regularly make reference and develop their essential skills. During observations this year, we have seen how the teachers consistently make reference to this.
Keep practising
Once a term, the children are immersed into a Skills Builder Challenge Day. This really does allow the children to put into practice the skills that have been taught and practised throughout the half term. Our new scheme of work in PE has allowed for many of the essential skills to be implemented, even without the children being aware of it! In addition to these, and as mentioned above, we plan and organised days such as Arts Day and Careers Week where skills are built upon even further. As a school, we have now been able to again offer various clubs, such as Sports, Arts and Dance.
Bring it to life
This year, we have been able to work with several employers to allow the children participating in the virtual trips to gain a better understanding of some of the skills required in the workplace. These opportunities have really been insightful for the children and has allowed them to ask questions about the skills required to carry out a particular job role within the employment area. Enabling the children to also participate in Challenge Days throughout the year has again assisted children in understanding the importance of why we teach the essential skills at school and how these link to the working world.
What's next
We hope to continue to build on the skills being incorporated across the curriculum. We have found that pupils are extremely articulate with discussing their outcomes from projects and we would like this to continue.
Greater London
United Kingdom