Skills for life
Learning for Life
The purpose of this is to give you some background information on how and why we as a school have been focussing on Life Skills , and how that is impacting in the classrooms and hopefully on your child’s education.
By life skills we mean the generic ones that children need both during their childhood and as adults in the workplace (as well as in their personal lives).
Our school’s mission statement begins with ‘Learning for Life…’ and we as a staff felt that we should focus on this in a structured way.
The Key Skills
We debated what these key skills should be and explored how committed we were to prioritising them in our curriculum. We came up with the following seven key skills that you need in life - in no particular order:
The first three are National Curriculum subjects so clear guidelines already exist for different ages and stages in terms of what the children need to learn. However, we needed to look at the other four in much more detail.
We spent some time breaking each one down, in other words asking ourselves what independence, etc looks like? Each one had several aspects to them (see slides 3-6 on the attached PowerPoint below).
Teaching & Learning
Next, we thought about how we can help children develop these key skills in our lessons, i.e. what tasks would provide opportunities for these skills to be focussed on. It is important to emphasise here that we are not teaching these skills instead of other subject focussed lessons, but at the same time. Ultimately, improved life skills will enhance performance in Maths, Literacy, Science, etc.
We spent some time sharing the good practice that was already going on in classrooms. Slides 7-10 show you some of the ways we are doing this.
We need to ensure that there is consistency in our expectations of what the children are able to do in each area at different ages (with Literacy, Maths, etc this exists in the National Curriculum).
Therefore, we have written learning objectives for each aspect of the four other life skills. These (slides 11-22) are a guide for us when assessing the children and useful for yourselves in interpreting the school report you receive in July.
Our first important action was to include these areas in our assessments of the children and subsequent reports to parents at the end of the previous academic year (example: slide 23). This was to raise their profile among staff, pupils and parents, as well as identify strengths and weaknesses in individual children. Hopefully, these were discussed with you at parents’ consultation meetings. The children should be aware of any appropriate targets in these areas. In Key Stage Two, there is a page for them in their homework diaries.
We incorporate these learning objectives/tasks into our existing curriculum to ensure the children are getting the opportunities to develop these crucial skills. Meanwhile, we continue to assess the children on an ongoing basis – many observations are made and recorded during the course of the year.