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Highworth Warneford School

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Highworth Warneford School
Highworth Warneford School begun working with Skills Builder in 2020. The school's curriculum has a strong academic focus and the Skills Builder Framework is a means of ensuring that students also develop the skills that employers, colleges and universities seek.
Overall impact
The Accelerator programme has been invaluable in supporting us to embed the language of essential skills across the school. Using a consistent language helps students to understand what is meant by essential skills and realise when they are practicing them.
Keep it simple
The language of essential skills is being embedded in all aspect of school life; they are referenced in curriculum plans across the school and referred to regularly in form time, lessons and other activities. The school's rewards policy has been adapted so that effort and achievement in the essential skills can be rewarded and posters are displayed in every classroom to act as a visual cue when skills are referenced.
Start early, keep going
Students in every year group have one form-time session each week dedicated to learning and practising essential skills, with lessons being delivered using the Skills Builder Hub.
Measure it
Training has taken place to support tutors in using the assessment tools on the Skills Builder Hub so that future teaching can be planned around the specific needs of individual groups. Students in Years 10 and 11 have used self-assessment tools to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in relation to essential skills in preparation for writing personal statements and attending interviews.
Focus tightly
All form tutors engage in focused and explicit teaching of essential skills, with one period of form-time each week dedicated to this. Each week has a specific skill focus across the school with each year group targeting an appropriate skill step.
Keep practising
Students are given opportunities to practice essential skills in many lessons in all subject areas. Written statements of curriculum intent are being refined to specifically reference the Skills Builder Framework. Students can also practice essential skills in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities in music, drama, arts STEM, sport and through completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Bring it to life
All students make use of essential skills when they take part in a STEM challenge day in Year 7 and an enterprise challenge day in Year 8. In Key Stage 4 all students take part in work experience and mock interviews. Many students volunteer for leadership roles in the school or volunteer in the local community when completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
What's next
Over the next year we plan to continue to develop our assessment of essential skills so that our teaching can be even better focused. We will also continue to look for opportunities to develop essential skills in subject teaching as subject curriculum plans are revisited and refined.
South West England
United Kingdom