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Dale Hall Community Primary School

This content was written by
Dale Hall Community Primary School
We have been a growth mindset school for many years, have used learning powers to encourage skills such as collaboration, leadership and communication, and more recently, used metacognitive strategies to boost independent learning. We strive to produce life-ready learners and felt that Skills Builder would compliment our school ethos and build on the steps we had already taken to support our pupils to be ready for their next ventures after their time at Dale Hall.
Overall impact
Skills Builder most certainly supported our school in delivering on our ethos of producing life ready learners. Teachers were given high quality CPD on the importance of such fundamental under-pinnings to learning, students were given the opportunity to learn and discuss skills explicitly before practising in other areas of the curriculum and parents were given the chance to be a part of their child's education through Skills Builder Homezone.
Keep it simple
The existing ethos of our school meant that the language used within Skills Builder was very much present within our classrooms already. Teachers and teaching assistants all use the language within the programme in their daily interactions with children, making reference to the skills in other areas of the curriculum as well as in our sessions. Parents were directed towards the Homezone so that the language the children hear at school could be echoed at home.
Start early, keep going
All classes within the school from Reception to Year 6 had Skills Builder sessions every week. For Reception children, this might have looked like sharing one of the Skills stories as a class and then discussing it. For Year 6, this would have been a more structured lesson using the plans, resources and activities on the Hub. Where appropriate, teachers would make reference to the skills in other areas of the curriculum so children could see the transferable quality of the skills. Parents were directed towards the Homezone so that the language the children hear at school could be echoed at home.
Measure it
All teachers completed a baseline assessment of their class and were asked to update the Hub with assessments when they felt their classes had made progress. Where possible, directed time was given. It was certainly useful to see the baseline assessments and to see where the gaps in skills were for individual classes but also for us as a school.
Focus tightly
Skills Builder was timetabled in for every class every week so we knew that all children were getting direct teaching of these skills at least once a week every week. The Skills Builder Hub was used regularly to resource the lessons either using the Short Lessons and interactive resources for KS2 or the Skills Stories for KS1.
Keep practising
The language of Skills Builder is present in classrooms every day and teachers are adept at referencing the skills in all areas of the curriculum so the children can see how often these skills feed in to their day to day interactions.
Bring it to life
Several classes in KS2 have been given the chance to undertake projects (DT projects and school productions) where they were required to use multiple skills in order to be successful. Each opportunity to work on these projects was accompanied by discussions about why these skills are important and the relevance of them to these projects.
What's next
We will absolutely continue to use the language of Skills Builder within Dale Hall and will continue to benefit from the education we have all had on the importance of these skills not only within primary education but also beyond.
East of England
United Kingdom