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Kanjeru Primary School

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Kanjeru Primary School
Kanjeru Primary School is a two-stream public day school in Muguga Ward, Kabete Subcounty of Kiambu County, Kenya. It brings learners from a neighboring slum, with a population of 850. We have been developing skills at our school with British Council and Skills Builder. Our main focus has been improving the impact on learners’ essential skills which have had a great impact in their general learning.
Overall impact
The program has really been great for teachers and staff and we have made use of the Skills Builder approach across our entire school. Our staff have really embraced the approach and are ready to continue using it as they now have an idea of how it can be done effectively. The programme has also contributed to the overall performance of the school internally and in the national exams. Some of the skills learnt have been more evident amongst our learners, for example with problem solving where our learners are now able to solve problems on their own. Staying positive has also been seen amongst our learners boosting their self-efficacy, self esteem and ability to express themselves well.
Keep it simple
In our school, all teachers have made use of the Skills Builder Universal Framework to assess the skills. We have made the Skills Builder language part of our day to day activities, as it brings a positive impact on our school’s general performance. We have visual aids available in all classrooms so learners are reminded of the skills. To make the programme effective, we also award learners with stickers and verbal praise when they apply the competencies.
Start early, keep going
We involved all our classes, from Grade 1 to 8, in the teaching of essential skills this year. We also introduced our parents, local Church, student alumni, Rotary Club and linked environmental organizations to the Skills Builder approach; which provided reference opportunities in every lesson for our children. We have introduced children to the essential skills in the lower grades through reading, in order for them to understand what the skills are. Skills Builder lessons take place every week and I brief all teachers on their competency focus in Tuesday staff meetings.
Measure it
Our teachers have been creating assessment questions to check in with learners on their development. Teachers record students’ progress via logs and videos to track progress. Also, to ensure that we are progressing well, we have meetings each week for teachers and student leaders to get a chance to ask questions in regard to the program and discuss challenges and focus areas. From these frequent meetings, we have really improved on the way we are moving the approach forward and it has really been effective.
Focus tightly
Skills Builder lessons take place once a week in every class. Our teachers focus on one skill at a time. Teachers decide which skills to focus on, so they are relevant for their students - ensuring that they cover all 8 skills. We have used the Skills Handbooks to plan these sessions. We are working as a team to plan the best lessons and achieve the best results for our learners, which has really helped us develop these essential skills amongst learners in different classes.
Keep practising
The skills are referenced by all teachers throughout the school day. Teachers are also giving children the opportunity to practice these essential skills through a variety of school activities, such as sports and gardening clubs, which enable them to build skills like Teamwork, Staying Positive, Problem Solving and Creativity skills, as they interact with each other and teachers.
Bring it to life
Through technology we are able to bring to life how essentials skills are used in wider world. We are also trying to bring into life real-life outcomes into projects where possible. Our aim is to continue with the project to perfection. We are also doing our best as staff in order to make sure our learners are at the top with the Skill Builder essential skills. We have held some activities in our institution such as cultural day, prize giving day, zero hunger walk, tree planting project, farming, debates and benchmarking to best performing schools.
What's next
We are aiming to continue with the program and make it more successful. We also plan to involve our parents because they play such a crucial part in their children’s academic welfare.