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Old Park Primary School

This content was written by
Old Park Primary School
As a school, we wanted a way to develop and enhance essential skills with our pupils so that when they leave school they can effectively contribute to society.
Overall impact
Children within school definitely have a wider knowledge of the essential skills and why these are important within school and how they will help them to succeed outside of school and as they progress through life. The programme has given teachers the confidence to deliver lessons effectively by providing explicit material to utilise making it much easier for them deliver effective skills lessons.
Keep it simple
The development of essential skills is now within the school's strategic development plan and skills certificates are used each week in assemblies to celebrate children who demonstrate the skills throughout the week. All classrooms have the visual skills posters displayed and some classrooms have working skills walls that are updated on a weekly basis using post it notes. All teachers use a visual whiteboard display to discuss the essential skills that will be used in each lesson.
Start early, keep going
Skills Builder lessons are taught on a weekly basis in each classroom from Reception to Year 6. These lessons are scheduled on each year group's timetables. Many classrooms provide opportunities for children to reflect upon skills used throughout the week.
Measure it
Time is scheduled for teachers to update the assessment tool on the Skills Builder Hub once per term (three times per year). Some teachers update the Hub more regularly after skills sessions are taught, but this regularity is not consistent across the school yet. The Skills Leader checks the Hub for the school once every half term to see what has been going on, and the progress made.
Focus tightly
All teachers explicitly teach a Skills Builder lesson each week. These lessons are scheduled on each year group's timetable.
Keep practising
Children are reminded of the essential skills prior to each lesson being taught. A visual display board on the interactive board is displayed providing opportunities for the children to discuss which skills they think they will use in the lesson and why the skills are important. Some teachers link this discussion to essential skills outside of school and how and when they will need that skills in later life.
Bring it to life
We are currently taking part in the Black Country Careers events where each year group from Years 3 - 6 complete careers days. These days link to the essential skills required for the career discussed and provide opportunities for the children to reflect upon what skills they already have and which skills they need to develop further. Next year, we hope to run the careers events in all year groups. Each year group has also completed a Skills Builder Project.
What's next
Looking forward, we would like to incorporate more opportunities for project days and enterprise type days within and across the school to allow all children to have skills experiences.
West Midlands
United Kingdom