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Liverpool College

This content was written by
Liverpool College
Our school is a 4-19 yr old school and I am based in the Upper School phase. Before I started at the school in Sept 2019 the careers education/support had been on a part time basis and was slightly neglected. I was intially employed as Assistant Careers Leader which involved being responsible for careers education but I am also the qualified careers adviser based in school. In Sept 2021 I was promoted to Careers Leader. I got involved with Skills Builder Accelerator after winning a bid to get the programme free. I had attended a webinar and found out the benefit of having the program in school. Through hard work we have an established careers and PSHE program for Year 7-13 but I saw Skills Builder as proof and recognition of the skills our students are building in school through all aspects of their curriculum.
Overall impact
I think the impact has been muted. This is definitely due to a late start, confusion on how to run the program and we have also had 3 members of staff involved go off on maternity leave so there has been alot of disruption. The teachers who have been consistent in their delivery have enjoyed the lessons and activities and I hope this will continue next year. We hope to introduce the essential skills lower down in the school too. The Challenge Day was a definite highlight.
Keep it simple
We have trailed Skills Builder with Year 9 only this year. This was partly due to us starting the program a bit late and also due to covid restrictions, their timetable had been greatly disrupted and we saw this as a good year group to work with. All Form teachers took part in the training and were given the essential skills posters to put up in their form rooms. The 8 skills have been embedded into the PSHE lesson at least once a half term when students watch the assembly and then complete the short lessons; work is done in the passport for the skill covered. Year 9 also completed a Challenge Day recently within which we recapped on the skills covered and the students could demonstrate their knowledge.
Start early, keep going
As we are a all through school, Careers/PSHE is covered in the younger years by different staff. From a secondary point of view the careers program I am building tries to cover the essential skills through the lessons I create, the guest speakers and workshops we deliver and the visits outside we make. All staff and subject areas are aware of the essential skills and try to build them into their lessons. At this stage parents have not been involved but this is something we will look at moving forward.
Measure it
We have used the assessment tool for each skill covered to help measure progress in the lessons. We have also been encouraging students to use the skills learned in their academic lessons and in events such as the challenge day, their Duke of Edinburgh Award and in workshops/class presentations.
Focus tightly
Opportunities are hopfully given in all lessons and activities across the curriculum. As a non teacher who only delivers PSHE, I ensure that all the skills are mentioned and encouraged in my PSHE lesson. I know the skills are used in activities such as PE, Dof E and our Combined Cadet Force and this is all done via direct instruction. I use the resources on the Hub for activities and build them into the PSHE/Careers curriculum where possible too.
Keep practising
Our students get every opportunity to practice their essential skills, although our focus this year has been mainly on Year 9. The essential skills are part of our personal development program which all Year 7-13 are part of. As mentioned previously, the Accelerator work is completed by Year 9 in PSHE lessons. However away from the classroom these essentail skills are evident in the work done for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Our school is proud of our sporting achievements where our teams in football, rugby, hockey, netball and rounders use many of the essential skills, but mainly leadership and teamwork. Our school also runs the Combined Cadet Force so from Year 9 upwards all students are part of the Army, Navy or RAF which is a brilliant chance to practice the skills. We also have after school day boarding where the students do arts, craft, forest school, cookery, sports and work on community projects.
Bring it to life
Wider life examples are mainly shown through our careers education. All year groups have at least 1 employer talk each term when they get to hear from people in a variety of industry's how important the essential skills are. Every year group completes a lesson on employability skills in PSHE and the essential skills are discussed during careers interviews.We have careers workshops for 6th Form and hopefully, now covid restrictions are subsiding, we will be able to make more work place visits in the future.
What's next
Next year Year 9 will be the focus again and they will continue to complete the lessons during PSHE. However all teaching staff will be introduced to Skills Builder and the skills to embed into their lessons. We plan to use some of the resources with other year groups too. I think starting earlier and ensuring all staff understand how to deliver the program will make it an easier process than this year.
North West England
United Kingdom