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Edenham CE Primary School

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Edenham CE Primary School
Edenham Primary School is a small village school with mixed age classes. We got involved with this programme to help provide teachers with a framework to help them deliver teaching of the eight essential skills to the children. In the past, we have been guilty of saying to children 'you are not listening' or 'you are not working well as a team' but never really knowing how to address this. This framework provided us with the tools to teach the children how to succeed with the eight essential skills. We had hoped they would begin to have an awareness of these skills which we could then incorporate into our curriculum. With regards to a bigger school priority, we are hoping by teaching the children these skills it will develop a sense of perseverance within the children which will enable them to cope better with the challenges they face in day to day life.
Overall impact
The Skills Builder approach has had a huge impact on the children's use of the eight skills both inside and outside the classroom. It has given them the ability to explain what the skills are and to allow them to have a better understanding of demonstrating them. When using these skills within the classroom, it has allowed the children to have an understanding of what these skills actually look like and to then put this into practice. If the children are not demonstrating these skills, it provides a framework to remind them what they are doing wrong and what they need to do to change what they were originally doing. Linked in with our outdoor learning, it has empowered those who are not usually confident enough to use these skills within this setting to become more confident when using them.
Keep it simple
We access resources from the Skills Builder Hub to directly teach the children a different focus skill from the set of eight essential skills every two weeks. Other skills are then mentioned and incorporated into our curriculum. I inform the teachers every two weeks what the focus skill will be over this period. This is also informed to parents on a newsletter that is sent out every two weeks. Parents are also informed via Twitter of the work that we get up to with regards to the focus skill. We have the skills icons displayed in our classrooms with the focus skill being made more predominate for the children.
Start early, keep going
We focus on a new skill every two weeks, building upon a previously taught step of that skill. We use the skills across school life and they are used by every member of staff, including the lunch time dinner staff which has helped ensure all children within the school are involved. It has also allowed them to apply these essential skills to opportunities outside the classroom.
Measure it
At the start of the year, we used the assessment tool on Skills Builder Hub. We have since used the same tool to re-assess the children's ability of using and apply the skills. Following on from Covid, we used the assessment tool following on from the return of children to school after the third lock down. It helped us to identify potential gaps and areas of development to focus on.
Focus tightly
There is an expectation that teachers teach a least one directed session within a two week period. We then apply this essential skill, and the others, where appropriate during our general day to day teaching.
Keep practising
We make links with the skills during our normal teaching to reinforce what has already been taught and to give children a regular opportunity to practice what they have learnt. Before the end of the academic year, each of the four classes will be completing a project to allow the children the opportunity to apply their understanding they have gained from across the year. We especially find these skills useful to create structure during out PE teaching and learning as the children struggle to contain their enthusiasm and excitement!
Bring it to life
When we access the resources, we use the application section of the Skills Builder Handbook to discuss and carry out an activity in the wider world. We also ask the children to discuss examples from their own experiences which allows them to empathise with others. Key Stage 1 children use the skills stories to deliver the sessions which gives those children the opportunity to see examples of where they could use the skills in real life. Before the end of the academic year, each of the four classes will be completing a project to allow the children the opportunity to apply their understanding they have gained from across the year. One of our classes (Year 5 & 6 children) had the opportunity to discuss how these skills are applied in the world of work through an Essential Skills Summit with Tideway.
What's next
Next year, we would like to continue to use Skills Builder as it has had such an impact on the children. We would like to see the impact over a full year within school. Now that the children have had an introduction to Skills Builder and the eight essential skills, we would like to build upon their existing knowledge and understanding in order to shown more progression using the assessment tool to do this.
East Midlands
United Kingdom