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New Silksworth Infant Academy

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New Silksworth Infant Academy
Over the past two years, we have been building an aspirational culture at our school in which children are praised and rewarded for displaying 'learning behaviors.' All staff at the school contributed to the creation of this ethos and are therefore committed to embedding our pupils not only with the knowledge but also the skills needed to be successful learners and future citizens and employees. As Raising Aspirations Lead, the connection between the Skills Builder programme and our vision for our pupils is evident and participating in the programme undoubtedly helps us to achieve this. As participants on the Careers Primary Benchmarks Pilot, we are also very aware of the need to explicitly teach our pupils new skills but also provide them with new experiences such as those offered by Skills Builder. The offer of workplace visits, projects and challenge days are very appealing as without the links and resources available through we may be unable to provide such a broad curriculum.
Overall impact
Skills Builder enables us to develop and embed the explicit teaching of skills to our pupils. In addition to this one of our school priorities is the redesign of our whole school curriculum with a focus on related skills and learning behaviours. Whilst, we have started this process and identified some of the skills, the vast number of resources available through Skills Builder has supported. The Challenge Day was a particular highlight.
Keep it simple
At New Silksworth most classrooms have the skill icon posters which teachers refer to in planning. Communal areas have the skills icon posters up which helps to raise awareness amongst staff and students. The core learning behaviours have been linked to the Skills Builder skills. These are referenced in each lesson and students are rewarded in each lesson. Students get certificates for demonstrating the core learning behaviours.
Start early, keep going
All years groups completed a Skills Builder Challenge Day, Operation Moonbase. During periods of remote learning all students were sent the short lessons and the daily challenges to complete. All staff have had the Skills Builder training and most staff are now referring to the skills in their teaching.
Measure it
50% of staff have used the hub to record progress in Listening and Speaking. Using the Skills Builder Hub assessment tool as a diagnostic tool was a focus of the staff training. As a result staff are now using the assessment to support them to select the correct level of task and short lesson to do with their students. Staff assessed their students against the Universal Framework in order to select the correct level of Challenge Day to do.
Focus tightly
Data from the Skills Builder Hub and observations show that explicit teaching is strong in Years 1, 5, and 6. Links to the video resources which can support certain topics or areas of learning have been put into the Year 1 and 6 scheme of learning. Next year these will be in all schemes of learning across all year groups
Keep practising
Teachers refer to the essential skills when teaching different lessons. This has been observed as strong practise in Year 1, 5 and 6. Extra-curricular is delivered by classroom staff and in these sessions staff refer to the essential skills and the core learning principles. The Gallery Opening Project has been used in Key Stage 1 and Active Minds in Key Stage 2 to support with the teaching of essential skills. The Projects and Challenge Days have modelled how to teach essential skills and allow for effective practice.
Bring it to life
New Silksworth took part in one virtual trip this year, we also ran 2 Skills Builder Projects and one Challenge Day. The Challenge Day will become an annual event and there are plans to hold a Fayre in which students will run stalls as part of an enterprise challenge.
What's next
Next year New Silksworth will use the Skills Builder Digital Membership. The school will embed the programme into the curriculum using the short lessons to teach the skills and will also use the Challenge Day as a school wide challenge.
North East England
United Kingdom