We're bringing educators, employer and impact organisations together to support everyone to build the essential skills for success.
The Skills Builder Universal Framework provides the national standard for teaching essential skills. It breaks each skill into steps, supporting progress for students of all ages and abilities - including those with special educational needs.
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Grantham College started working with us in September 2020. They are using our support, tools and employer interaction opportunities to work on an embedded approach to building skills throughout all areas of the college, targeting all 6 principles consistently and thoroughly.
Students at Grantham use Skills Builder Benchmark to track progress in skills and target areas for development, in conversation with their tutor/teachers. These skill targets are logged on the college system so it’s part of college life. Teachers also track progress through the Hub assessment tool and use this to inform future planning.
The Skills Leader at Grantham has set up skills content on TVs around the college site. There are display boards that promote skills and support development in skills. There is also a section of the college website devoted to skills – they encourage parents and carers to access this to promote their understanding of Skills Builder and the benefits it offers to their children.
Grantham students attended a couple of virtual trips in 2020-21, to Accenture and Network Rail, to increase the impact of classroom learning. Students had the opportunity to ask volunteers from our employers about the business, their role, and how they use essential skills. Grantham also aims to incorporate essential skills in work experience logbooks and industry placement logbooks.
Newcastle College has been working to embed the Skills Builder approach across college life. As part of the students’ Personal and Social Development programme, the Skills Builder Framework underpins the skills all Level 1, 2 and 3 students work to develop.
Essential skills are embedded in teaching and learning policies, as a regular agenda item in staff and parent meetings, in displays across sites, and through a rewards system to recognise achievement. The curriculum and pastoral teams work together to ensure consistency in both language and approach.
Learners and tutors have regular opportunities to reflect on skills, considering areas of strength and development while linking them to work experience and employer engagement. Students log their progress over the year to build up a comprehensive record of examples, clearly demonstrating their skill development.
Through a wider employability working group in the North East, the college was able to share their work, encouraging other colleges to adopt the approach. Through this group, Sunderland, Hartlepool, and Northumberland Colleges have collaborated and developed a coordinated approach.