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Manor Primary School

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Manor Primary School
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.
Overall impact
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.
Keep it simple
Development of the essential skills has been strategically planned, regular training has been provided and opportunities to share ideas and best practice have been provided throughout the academic year. All resources including posters for each of the individual skills were provided to all year groups, laminated and ready to be used and referred to within the school day. Every classroom has a Skills Builder board and the skill/s being focused on are clearly displayed. A whole-school display board is used and referred to regularly in assemblies and individual certificates are displayed as well as being sent home. The programme has been introduced to Governors and impact has been monitored as the year has progressed. Regular assemblies have taken place with clear focus on a skill at a time. Regular teacher voice and pupil voice questionnaires are taking place across the school to monitor the effectiveness of the programme and ensure consistency across the key stages.
Start early, keep going
Each year group across the phases has introduced all the skills, with a focus on the key skills which is most needed for the particular cohort. As the children move through the school, the language will become more embedded and consistent, moving with them as they progress through the school. Parents have been introduced to the Skills Builder programme and career-related learning via 'parentmail' and we have had some parents into school and some presenting virtually details about their own careers and how the essential skills support them in their occupations.
Measure it
The Skills Builder Hub has enabled teachers to record the progress of their students throughout the year. As a school, we have asked that this is updated three times a year to show how much progress has been made throughout their time in the year group. This has also formed part of a discussion in pupil progress meetings and transition meetings. A teacher voice and pupil voice took place at the beginning of June to ascertain the impact the programme had had and to begin to show a correlation between progress of the skills and academic progress/attainment.
Focus tightly
The teachers have autonomy over how they teach the essential skills. Some classes have short daily activities using the online resources, whilst others provide regular teaching opportunities twice a week. The work we have been completing on developing our curriculum allows teachers to interleave extra activities and discussions about the skills which link directly to the learning they are engaged in. This provides more meaning, whilst reference to the skills throughout reading of whole-class texts is giving a context to the skills.
Keep practising
Pupils are given time to practise the skills throughout the school week taken from the online resources or planned around their curriculum. A whole-school extra-curricular 'Futures Week' enabled the children to consider jobs of the future with links in particular to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). This was supported by the eight essential skills as the children were able to share, discuss and consider which skills would be most important for each career path.
Bring it to life
'Futures Week' proved successful in enabling the children to see the wider context of the skills. Visitors to the school, either face-to-face or virtually were able to give specific examples of how the skills have supported them in achieving their best in life and improving their life choices. In Foundation Stage, the class have developed a link with a farmer who they are able to speak to regularly and share videos and information across the whole school. As we move forward into the new academic year, we are hopeful that there will be more opportunities to be involved in real-life projects as [Covid] restrictions ease.
What's next
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.
West Midlands
United Kingdom