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Secondary

Hexham Middle School

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Hexham Middle School
Context
Hexham Middle School is a deemed secondary school and part of Hadrian Learning Trust. The school is co-located now on one site with Queen Elizabeth High School. The school draws primarily from a catchment in the rural town of Hexham as well as the broader Tyne Valley area. The trust has two other feeder middle schools. Hexham Middle School is a Wave 2 Careers Hub School. Skills Builder was promoted via the North East LEP. Following investigation alongside personal development reform, it was decided that the developing pillars of personal development, at the time, would benefit from the explicit teaching of essential skills. We were at the time reviewing the structure of form time and how this could be extended and used more effectively.
Overall impact
Both schools have typically been focused on developing a knowledge-rich curriculum. My role as a Careers Leader has been to raise the awareness of the essential skills to help make pupils ready for the world beyond school. Skills Builder is forming part of the wider careers strategy as well as strengthen elements of our school's wider personal development.
Keep it simple
Staff have received training from Skills Leader/Associate. Skills Builder is part of the schools' form time programme. Skills Builder positive points are part of reward system on Class Charts. Form time resources cross reference to Skills Builder. Pupils have explored the use of Passports.
Start early, keep going
Homezone resource link has been shared with parents/carers via school news updates. Reminders have also been placed in the news update about skills challenges. We have planned in the use of a Challenge Day involving Operation Moonbase - The whole school is involved in this and we are trialling the resource to help review for next year.
Measure it
During form time, tutors have used the PowerPoints/videos (20 minute lesson resources). This is able to fit inside our Personal Development time. Half Termly hub reports are reviewed and shared. Conversation with Skills Builder Associate has supported a greater insight into these reports. Pupil passports are being trialled this year to consider how to possibly implement next year.
Focus tightly
The assembly and form time rota has built in time for opportunities to look at different essential skills. This year we aimed to look at all skills but it soon become clear that we did not have enough capacity to do this. We are currently exploring how the 8 essential skills link to our 3 values of Respect, Engage, Aspire.
Keep practising
Skills Builder icons are used on our extracurricular club promotion slides (on the school website). Some subjects have adapted resources with Skills Builder icons. Skills Builder Challenge Day to be undertaken. Trips planned are now being asked to consider Skills Builder Essential Skills as learning outcomes.
Bring it to life
A combination of work with employers and challenges have been undertaken. We are currently using the Make £5 Grow resources with Year 6. Skills Builder was shared with 4 employers and we asked them to integrate these into the project. Skills Builder and the 8 skills are now referenced in our curriculum intention document. The skills are talked about and referenced by staff. We encourage pupils to develop these and build upon how the skills have been taught explicitly. Changes are planned for next year, especially with KS2 where they will undertake Skills Builder in form time every fortnight.
What's next
1. Establish consistencies across the school 2. Showcase exemplary demonstration of Skills Builder 3. Embed Skills Builder Challenge Day on the school calendar in advance 4. Continue to make Skills Builder visible 5. Provide reminders of Skills Builder in staff briefings 6. Set-up Skills Builder Stickers and make Skills Builder Badges with the school's badge-making machine. 7. Strengthen Expanded Framework with SEND team
North East England
United Kingdom