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Green Oaks Primary Academy

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Green Oaks Primary Academy
Green Oaks Primary is part of the Greenwood Academy Trust. The Academy provides full time education for children from Reception age. Children of Nursery age attend on a full-time or part time basis, we are a one form entry Academy. The majority of pupils are white British. The Academy has 14 out of the 17 possible ethnic groups. Therefore we have an above average number of pupils who come from minority ethnic groups and from varied backgrounds. Also those who speak English as an additional language is significantly above average. There is a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils who are eligible for support from the pupil premium. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above average. Deprivation in the community is above average. ?Teaching children the employability skills from a young age allows them to pursue their interests with opportunities to change their mind at any point. All jobs need the skills, and they can focus on the knowledge acquisition and enjoy learning knowing that these transferable skills are being dealt with intrinsically.? Wendy Gordon (Principal). Our own vision of "Together we aim to be the very best we can be... the very best versions of ourselves by igniting the "spark" in each individual and achieving together." and our core values and attributes of: To be creative and curious; To be reflective and a critical thinker; To be responsible; To be independent and collaborative; To be ambitious and aspirational; To be enthusiastic and engaged, clearly resonate with the Skills Builder programme, so it was easy for us to embrace this approach. Interlinked with the school core values they ensure that our children are fully equipped to "Be the very best versions of ourselves."
Overall impact
The impact of the Accelerator programme has been fantastic, the programme is easy to follow, easy to implement and has been easy to make sustainable. Staff love the fact that it is all there at your fingertips, such as the Short Lessons and the Projects. Any member of staff is able to deliver the sessions and they are quick and engaging. Our pupils have enjoyed really learning about what each skills means and how they can make progress in the skills, they are also excited to see how the skills are transferable into other lessons and areas of life. It is a great feeling knowing that the children we care for on a day-to-day basis are being equipped with essential skills that will assist them for the rest of their lives.
Keep it simple
We have included Skills Builder bingo mat booklets in our achievement assembly every Friday and pupils earn money for our school shop. We have found focusing on one skill per half term more manageable. Linking many skills to school values and attributes has also helped. We made links to our PSHE themes and assembly rotas. It is also referenced in our Careers and Employability plan, and Whole School Improvement Plan. Parents have been included in the half-termly newsletter, and our use of social media. Homezone is used to set essential skills task each half term. The skill focus and skill steps are threaded throughout the curriculum lessons that are already happening, and reference them in things that happen outside of the curriculum. We have a consistent approach to displays as these are up in all classrooms, they have the skills focus and steps for that class on wall and also in the hall.
Start early, keep going
All year groups from Nursery to Year 6 are involved. Teachers look at planning overview for the week, they then use the icons to plot into specific lessons that they are particularly relevant to. Parents are informed in half termly newsletter and on the website. Parents have reference to Skills Builder during consultation meetings. This is increasingly being referenced in our Academy documentation.
Measure it
We have increasingly taken notice of the Hub reports to address and measure the impact it is having on our pupils. We particularly focus skill per half term and we have created a routine to assess at start and end of half term in that focus skill, staff are reminded about this during staff training each half term. Work has been undertaken on embedding the measurement/assessment of the skills and using this to map the skill steps into the lessons for that class. We also gather informal pupil voice particularly when we have carried out an event linked to Skills Builder such as our careers fair.
Focus tightly
Pupils have many opportunities to build their essential skills through accessing Hub resources in PSHE lessons (I have written a PSHE plan in the grid mentioned in principle 1). Teachers determine when and which resources they use from the Hub, however, there is a minimum expectation outlined. Challenge days are used too and were particularly successful on transfer days and also during the first week of September. Icons are displayed in the lessons and teachers now dedicate time to the teaching of skills, pitching teaching at an appropriate level.
Keep practising
Our Skills Builder bingo mat booklet has been created bespoke to our academy. Pupils are very familiar with the booklet and will know which skill they need to achieve "BINGO!" We now reference the skills on lesson visit document, this is then shared with staff in feedback and can become a target for staff to work on, so for example if there has been a missed opportunity to develop a skill on this feedback form or if an appropriate reference has been made. Clubs have the Skills Builder reference and documents to explain skills builder to them. External facilitator has been given a hand out on the essential skills to refer to in their extra-curricular sessions.
Bring it to life
The challenge days planned throughout the year all classes have supported pupils to understand how the essential skills can support them in wider life. During our Careers week in November the pupils carried out role play for job interviews, wrote letters and application forms and practiced a job opportunity. Children worked in different classes, all adults took part and offered a career choice such as artist, nail technician, painter and decorator, movie maker etc. This was followed up by our own careers week in February. External visitors came to the job fair, some local careers such as shoe design, an armed response officer, police officer, sports coach, vets etc. Each job picked the top 3 Skills Builder skills needed for their job. Children asked questions which they had prepared in advance. This was extremely successful and pupils gained insight into careers that they had not considered before, broadening their experiences.
What's next
The plan going forward is to continue to use the essential skills as part of our careers programme, embedding it deeper into everyday school life and beyond. One thing we would like to build is Principle 5 (Keep practising) and incorporate the skills into extra-curricular activities as well as life outside of school. Greater use of Homezone too by pupils would be great. We will address the challenges that measuring the impact has highlighted such as teachers using the Hub analysis consistently, although there are already ideas for how we can improve on this. It will be good to continue on the Skills Builder journey and teach our children the essential skills needed for their lives.
East Midlands
United Kingdom