By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Return to Showcase
Visit website


Lutley Primary School

This content was written by
Lutley Primary School
Lutley Primary is part of Hales Valley Trust. Our Trust is an all-primary academy trust, based in Dudley, West Midlands. Our school values are: Learning, Caring, Aiming High - Together. In our school, we actively promote these values in everything that we do. Our school is a happy, safe and hard-working environment. We believe that the development of new and existing skills will develop resilience in our students and enable them to thrive at every stage of their lives, hence our relationship with Skills Builder. The Accelerator Programme has supported our children to embody our school values through the essential skills in preparation for their futures.
Overall impact
Following the Accelerator programme has allowed Lutley Primary School to embed a refined, consistent and universal approach to the essential skills. It has upskilled members of staff who are now more confident to teach the essential skills using the excellent Hub resources and Skills Builder platforms. Our students continue to develop new and existing skills, especially Staying Positive and Aiming High in light of the pandemic. Development of these skills ensures that they do not miss out on opportunities to thrive in other parts of their lives. It has been particularly wonderful to see how our EYFS have embraced the learning and application of the skills. They are immersed from the moment they start school, and anticipate their skills achievements to be celebrated with enormous pride.
Keep it simple
At Lutley, the essential skills are embedded in our school in a number of ways. Lutley has a consistent approach to ensuring all children have a shared understanding of what the skills are. This is achieved by threading the skills through the curriculum, in policies, in the school improvement plan, in newsletters and in assemblies. Children are rewarded in a variety of ways such as being included in the 'Worker of the Week' certificates, verbal praise from staff, as well as stickers and medals. Prominent use of working walls and hallway displays ensure children are immersed in the essential skills throughout our community, which complements our consistent use of the skills language that is woven into everyday learning. For example, students will receive recognition and praise for demonstrating a particular skill, in addition to referencing the skill step so that the students understand how they have achieved.
Start early, keep going
All students have the opportunity to immerse themselves within and build their essential skills. For example, within Year 1, Speaking and Listening skills are supported by using the 'Think, Pair, Share' model in lessons. Year 3 staff refer to skills in each lesson, in line with the current focus skill step. Lastly, Years 4, 5 and 6 showcase the skills in the use of their floor books across the curriculum. Essential skills form part of planned lesson activities and incidental opportunities. Every year group takes part in two Skills Builder Challenge Days. Our EYFS classes contain skills that are referenced on our continuous provision challenge boards. This encourages staff and children to discuss the skills needed to complete each activity. They are also included as part of pupils' 'Wow' moments. These moments are examples of the student demonstrating excellent learning and the skills they have used to accomplish this. 'Tapestry' is then used to document and share this with parents/carers, alongside Homezone links on the school newsletter.
Measure it
All teachers regularly use formative assessment to prioritise and inform the teaching of essential skills. This enables teachers to understand strengths and development points for their class and individual students should intervention be required. As the children engage with learning, the class Hub assessment is accessed and updated accordingly. This is done every half term, after any Challenge Days, or after explicit teaching of the skills has taken place. Each classroom has a door poster which indicates which skills the class are currently working on, and those skills in which they are developing. Teachers reflect on individual student skills in their end of year report thus sharing the child's successes with their parents/carers. Moving forwards, at the end of each academic year, the class teacher passes on the Skills Builder Hub assessment to the new class teacher. This is then used as a baseline to initiate progression of the class skills development.
Focus tightly
Students have regular and explicit opportunities to build their essential skills as it complements multiple areas throughout the curriculum. Teachers have knowledge of their children's prior skill attainment through the Hub assessment tool, which then informs their planning and which step to teach next with the provided resources. Skills are linked in particular subjects to lesson steps of success during teaching.
Keep practising
Students have regular opportunities to practise the essential skills in all curriculum areas and in extracurricular activities. Our written curriculum refers to Skills Builder in every subject and the skills are included in all curriculum progression documents. Our extra-curricular clubs have the skills mapped out to detail the skill focus. The clubs range from varied sports to story and craft club for EYFS. The children also have had the opportunity to take part in Bikeability, forest school, residentials, Timezone and mini markets, amongst other things, to implement and reflect upon their skills. As mentioned, Challenge Days also provide a purposeful experience for the students to practise and enjoy using their skills.
Bring it to life
By providing the children with opportunities to experience different activities, we have enabled them to see how skills can be used in life beyond education. From the pupil voice, results showed that students were aware of the importance of skills when they leave school or take part in outside school activities. Whenever visitors are in school, such as our EYFS 'People Who Help Us' visitors, they are encouraged to talk about their roles and what essential skills they use. Our 'mini markets' provide a wonderful opportunity for the children to apply a multitude of essential skills in a real-life setting. Experiences such as Bikeability, Timezone and a HSBC bank visit also helped reinforce the student's understanding of skill application in wider life.
What's next
Next year, we will continue to refine Skills Builder throughout the school. This might be, for example, through a whole school focus on a different skill each half term with assemblies, explicit lessons and home challenges linked to it. As there are new members of staff, CPD will be provided. To increase engagement with parents and carers, we would like to develop the use of Homezone and use social media in a more interactive way to further our community outreach with the essential skills.
West Midlands
United Kingdom