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Healing Primary Academy

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Healing Primary Academy
We began our journey into raising aspirations and developing a careers related curriculum for our children back in 2016. We strived to prepare our children for the wider world of work through organising a range of exciting opportunities for them, including a visit to a power station, a trip to BAE Systems and the chance to participate in engineering workshops at a local training centre. We fostered positive links with our local businesses, and through sponsorship, we bought an electric kit car, which the children built with support from engineering apprentices. The children then raced the car in the Greenpower Goblin Car Race in Hull in 2017, winning overall. It was from this point that we looked into how we could include all these important skills within our wider curriculum and find some way of teaching the children the basic skills in a meaningful context with measurable targets. After much research, we were lucky to find Skills Builder online and we found that it was the perfect solution. We have since gone from strength to strength, embedding the 8 skills within our curriculum. Our children use the skills language within their every day learning and they love completing the projects.
Overall impact
Being part of the Accelerator programme, we have been able to evidence and demonstrate the skills provision within our school. Skills Builder has provided the framework and support needed to achieve success in the teaching and the practising of the skills. It has given us the tools required to ensure that we are giving our children the skills needed to be successful and prepare them for their next steps and future working life. It has helped us to raise children's aspirations and academic performance by helping them understand the link between what they learn in school and the wider world. The projects have provided the exciting context to hook the children into their learning. The resources have been invaluable for staff and they have grown in confidence. They have started to adapt and use the resources in a more tailored way to suit the different needs of their children. The children have become more confident in talking about the skills and they have been able to transfer these skills in different contexts. Recently, during our careers fair, they showed excellent speaking and listening skills, when interacting with visitors from a range of ages and a variety of jobs. The children are excited and enthused whenever we completed our skills learning, which is a testament to the success of the programme.
Keep it simple
As Curriculum Lead, the 8 skills are now identified in all our LTPS, to reinforce and practise the skills throughout the curriculum. Skills are taught explicitly in class assemblies and then reinforced in subject lessons. Skills assemblies are delivered at the start of each set of skill lessons and then 2/3 lessons are used to teach each skill. Skill coverage for the year has been put into a LTP. The Skills posters are displayed in every classroom, on displays and we have large logo posters on the wall in our school hall. Staff use the langauge as part of everyday learning and the skills are referenced at all opportunities. The children are confident in talking about the skills and can say which skill they are working on and which skill they need to improve. The skills are written within our teaching and learning policies and our curriculum intent. The parents are informed of our skills projects and photographs are shared weekly on Class Dojo.
Start early, keep going
LTPS identify the skills to be covered and at what stage. MTPs are in the process of being written for the Autumn Term, which break down the skills focus further. Opportunities to build skills are given through whole school challenge days, transition projects and termly projects. Classes teach the skills lessons at the stage for the pupils. Skills Builder was also used during lockdown, using the sessions and resources via zoom and the parent hub was also promoted for parents.
Measure it
All teachers are assessing the skills at least twice yearly, depending on the skill taught or project completed. They are now more confident with their judgements. Staff use the Skills resources and the smaller steps within each stage to assess and plan for the next steps. We now use scrap books to evidence Skills teaching, which include photographs and pupil comments.
Focus tightly
The Skills Hub resources are used to deliver skills assemblies, lessons and projects. Planning shows time given to teaching the skills. Projects are planned for and completed during Skills Builder weeks. Displays are used on a daily basis to reinforce the skills in classrooms and other areas.
Keep practising
Extra-curricular clubs are used to reinforce the skills. Letters to promote clubs to parents include the appropriate skills logos, so parents and children know what skills will be the focus. All planning and policies now refer to the skills and are embedded into our curriculum. We hold a whole school enterprise project at Christmas, where the children from FS to Y6 design and make a product to sell at the Christmas project. The children are involved in the marketing and selling, including making a profit. This is the perfect way to use all of the skills in a real-life context.
Bring it to life
Our pupils have many exciting experiences which bring the skills into the context of real life. We recently held a careers fair, when 30 members of our wider community came into school to discuss their jobs and career paths with our children from Y2 to Y6. It gave them an insight into a range of jobs: engineering, the NHS, police force and many more. We also had four visitors who used to attend our school previously., which was good for our children to see. The children used lots of the skills during the day and our visitors all commented on how well the children had spoken and listened with confidence. We also completed Operation Moonbase and Crash Landing as whole school projects. We work with local businesses to support our electric car, though sponsorship. When we invite visitors into school, we make sure that we link the skills to their jobs.
What's next
Our next steps are to continue to embed the skills throughout the curriculum and ensure that the skills are used consistently within our rewards system - linked to dojo points. We are looking at using the skills resources with our Pupil Premium children, to support groups with aiming high and staying positive, as this has been identified as being a barrier to their learning. We hope to make more use of the parent hub for homework and reinforcing the skills at home. We will be completing MTPs with the skills identified to ensure that the skills are being reinforced within purposeful contexts.
Yorkshire and the Humber
United Kingdom