Falla Park Community Primary School is in a area of high deprivation. We have high pupil premium numbers and rising numbers of children with Special Educational Needs and English as an Additional Language too. The school is an average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium is well above the national average. Many of the families do not work and this is an ongoing thing throughout many generations. Due to the area of the school and the issues people in the area face, we were involved in the Primary Careers Pilot and as a part of this development we decided to develop children's essential skills to support this. Children lack in essential skills and any support in this area was going to support our work and the outcomes for the children in our care. As a member of staff that has been in the school a long time, I know that we have tried things like this before. I hoped for better results from an Skills Builder to support the staff and the pupils to develop these skills.
The Accelerator programme has been essential in developing the skills of the children as well as teachers and teaching assistants through CPD. The whole year of activities has supported every role in school to develop at the same time and at a pace that is sustainable. Making this a school priority has also supported this area and the Senior Leadership Team and governors have had a good developing understanding of the programme through the training, governor reports and the teaching of the skills in lessons. Overall the impact has been huge. The children are talking to me about their skills development, and children and staff know what skills they are strong in and where they need to work on. The whole school approach has been a success to embed the skills into the curriculum. All this work, and the supportive staff at Skills Builder, has made the whole process easy for me as a lead teacher within school. The training structure to this year's programme meant that staff implemented aspects at different stages of the year - making it easier to do in the smaller steps. Parents are getting to know the skills too and links to essential skills and job searches have involved the wider community in the work we are doing.
As we continue into the new academic year, our priorities are to continue to embed the skills into our every day teaching and curriculum areas, look at what worked well this year and what we need to change (through staff meeting discussions and feedback) and trying to involve the parents more in our work on essential skills. I intend to look at the report formats for the children at the end of the year and include Skills Builder in some way - making essential skills an important area to give feedback to parents about their children and ways to support them further. Challenge Days looking at particular areas and skills will also be used in the coming year to support classes and children where needed.