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Skills

The intent of the Skills Curriculum

The skills curriculum at Sir John Leman High School has been created to develop students’ lifelong skills for learning and life. Sir John Leman High School has 20+ feeder schools and this curriculum has been developed to ensure that all students are given the basic skills required for successful learning at SJLHS through focusing on developing the following skills:

A. Reflective Learner – How can I improve my work and learn from any mistakes that I have made?
B. Creative Learner – How can I solve a problem or find a solution using my skills?
C. Independent Learner – How can I find out answers for myself?
D. Team Learner – How can I use my talents and skills most effectively in a team?
E. Self-management of emotions – How can I ensure I do not become stressed, anxious or argumentative during a task?
F. Communication – What is the best method to communicate or present my idea?

The skills curriculum gives students the experience of exploring a broader and richer curriculum; how the curriculum links into the real world and promoting SMSC and CIAG/Gatsby bench marks. Whilst demonstrating that skills and knowledge go hand in hand for life long learning.

How is the Skills Curriculum implemented?

The 6 skills listed above are then taught through curriculum-based projects. This enables students’ to use their developing skills in context. Each project builds on the 6 skill areas (A-F) so that they can see how skills link into successful learning and recall/retention of knowledge

Year 7

All students beginning with the ‘Learning to Learn’ project and then rotate through the other 5 projects listed below:

A) Learning to learn – An introduction to skills where students are taught about teamwork, reflective learning, effective communication, managing emotions, independent learning, creativity and enterprise.
B) Mars Mission – A science maths based project about the possibility of setting up a human colony on Mars
C) F1 – A technology project where students’ design, make and test their own model carbon dioxide powered vehicles.
D) Culture Club – This project concentrates on widening students’ perceptions of the world, looking at both European and global issues.
E) WDYTYA – The Who do you think you are project is based on the TV show and students’ think about family history and the history of Beccles.
F) ALOTO – The A league of their own project is based on problem solving and looks into healthy eating, sport and fitness.

Year 8

Student rotate through the 9 projects listed below:

A) WWWWW – This project looks at the recent news stories with the aim to broaden students’ awareness of the world.
B) Book Club – How would you go about setting up your own club from scratch?
C) Brain Training – What are the limits of our memory?
D) Worn Out – Can you up cycle clothing for a new use?
E) Music Festival – Time to get creative for the Leman festival of arts.
F) Comic Strip – Can you teach some lessons for life?
G) Young apprentice – Will you be hired or fired?
H) CSI Leman – Using your maths knowledge to solve a crime.
I) Coaching challenge – Have you got the skills to train athletes?

The impact of the Skills Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

The key impact of the KS3 curriculum is to increase student confidence and knowledge of these skill areas. This develops their resilience and independence across the curriculum helping them to prepare for the increased demands of GCSEs at KS4 in all subject areas.

There are other significant impacts as it also provides a smooth transition from project based learning at primary level to more discrete subjects learning at secondary. Combined with the fact that year 7 tutors primarily teach the year 7 skills lessons, which allows a good pastoral bond to form and enhances the transition to high school.

How is it assessed?

Due to the nature of the skills sessions it is difficult to formally assess students’ progress.  However, throughout each project students continually assess themselves and set targets against specific skills criteria.  At the end of each project students give themselves a development target.  Throughout all the lessons and projects teachers are continually assessing the students against the skills criteria and this is tracked on GO4schools with a final target being set at the end of each project.

In Year 9, Students continue with skills through their tutor time sessions and curriculum lessons.

How can I help my child?

  • Encourage them to do their best with all aspects of learning and never to give up or say I cannot do this.
  • Encourage and help them to try new experiences outside their comfort zone.
  • Encourage them to think about why something may have gone wrong and how they will do it differently next time
  • Encourage them to work independently or find out the answer themselves.
  • Encourage them to always try and have a go even if they are worried, frightened or scared.
  • Ask them about what is in the in the news and let them tell you what they know.
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