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Ripplevale School

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Ripplevale School
Ripplevale School is a special independent school for students with autism and associated conditions. The students range from 6-18 years of age. The school provides a nurturing approach towards the students and strives to remove each individuals barriers to learning to ensure we achieve outstanding outcomes for all. The school became involved with Skills Builder to promote the essential skills initially within a careers setting but quickly there was a realisation that the SEN framework could show important progress made by individuals of all abilities that academics could miss.
Overall impact
During the Accelerator programme, staff have gained an evidenced based knowledge of the essential skills and been able to implement the development of these into the school curriculum and ethos. Students with SEN spend a lot of time learning outside of the classroom or standard academics and the universal framework gives us an great tool to meaningfully track students progress.
Keep it simple
Skills Builder essential skill logos are displayed in each classroom across the school and embedded into teacher presentations where relevant. As part of the weekly assembly schedule, a termly assembly is given dedicated to one essential skill. This skills is then the termly focus across the school and students use the skills passports to track their own progress. Online behaviour and achievement tracking is used and parents have accounts to be able to monitor this also. At the end of each year students are nominated as champions of each essential skill and awarded certificates and prizes for their achievement.
Start early, keep going
The school begin using the Universal Framework in the primary setting and follow this through all key stages including sixth form. Teachers use a standardised template for long term and medium term plans which requires a Skills Builder essential skill to be selected when planning tasks, this is to promote thinking and intent within our planning stages as to when and how skills can be built.
Measure it
Teachers intent to use skills is measured through the standardised medium term plans which require essential skills use to be identified, proposal forms for school trips to enrich learning and the Hub reports. Gaps can be identified in provision and addressed at the planning stages using these methods and actual use of skills and progress made is tracked through reviews of student targets, evaluations of enrichment activities and online behaviour and achievement tracking.
Focus tightly
At least fortnightly, through careers-focused lessons, students receive direct instruction to build their essential skills. Skills Builder is built into our careers programme and promoted through our school website. We encourage students and parents to continue this at home also. Tutor times and some well being sessions also use the huge range of Skills Builder online resources to build essential skills. Students are encouraged to keep track of their own progress also through the use of skills passports and access to their online and behaviour log.
Keep practising
Students have opportunities to practice their essential skills throughout the year in scheduled careers days with visiting employers. Residential trips are planned throughout the year where students take part in many activities such as kayaking and aerial adventures. Here students are able to link tasks to the essential skills to such as problem solving, teamwork and leadership to challenges. Lunchtime cubs, outdoor learning curriculums and whole school curriculum embeds the essential skills and and requires these are put in place at the planning stage, informing teaching and learning across all subjects.
Bring it to life
Throughout the academic year the school has many trips to enrich the classroom curriculum and also residential trips during the summer term. Residential trips encompass so many opportunities to put the essential skills into real life challenges, from those related to life skills and independence to team work activities and problem solving. Employer encounters occur throughout the academic year, in person and online, across all year groups. Students get chances to ask employers specifically about skills required to be successful in their field and during key stage 4 and 5 put this into practice during work experience. The curriculum also includes outdoor learning opportunities and life skills lessons which are perfect areas to embed the practical use of the essential skills.
What's next
Built in tracking systems for the essential skills tie into the schools academic trackers. Further implementation of Skills Builder with school policy. Continuing to implement consistent language, refer to the essential skills and embed this across all subjects in the curriculum.
South East England
United Kingdom