As a school, one of our key priorities is developing children's resilience and confidence, enabling them to be independent learners, able to aim high and achieve well. The introduction of the Skills Builder programme alongside career-related learning has provided them with the tools and context to broaden their horizons and raise aspirations. Pupils now have a language for learning which is consistent across the whole school and they have been provided with opportunities to discuss, share and practise the essential skills throughout the school day. Close links with careers-related teaching have allowed the children to see value in the skills they are learning, not just in the present, but throughout their lives. This has supported them in holding high aspirations for themselves, in particular, through the skills of 'Aiming High' and 'Leadership'. Empowering children to take ownership of their learning is a key value embedded within our school practices and the [Accelerator] programme has supported us in achieving this through the consistent language it uses and the supportive framework it provides. Pupils are able to feel proud of what they have achieved and celebrate the progress they are making within each of the skills.
When we first launched the programme and career-related learning it created a real buzz across the school with children talking about the skills, different jobs available to them and careers of the future. Many children went home and quizzed their parents/carers about their occupations and then came into school to share with the class and members of the teaching team were happy to share their own journeys in whole-school assemblies. The language of the eight essential skills is now being used and referred to consistently across the whole school and the children are able to articulate the importance of each skill, how they have improved and what has helped them. Pupils are very clear about how the skills are needed both now and in their future to support them in maximising their choices in life. Teachers feel that the online resources support them in providing opportunities for practising the skills without increasing workload and the children enjoy the online activities which were also made available during lockdown through the home learning hub.
Now the skills are embedded, we are hoping to increase our focus on careers-related learning next academic year and complete some specific work around gender stereotyping. The current School Council, with support from a prior student, now at secondary school, have begun some work around this which will be developed further next year. All year groups will have an opportunity to complete a home learning task around careers which links to a Learning Journey and they will be responsible for presenting this to the whole school in an assembly. The eight essential skills will form part of this presentation and help to consolidate learning around the skills. We hope to continue to capitalise on strong parental relationships by inviting parents in to see the assemblies whilst we continue to encourage parents to come in to share their experiences of work and careers. Our hope is that the children will go through the school with a real purpose, drive and enthusiasm for their future.