Pelham Primary School has been working with the company ‘Skills Builder' (formerly Enabling Enterprise) for several years. The ‘skills builder idea' is to foster a core transferable skills set that sits alongside the National Curriculum, as a key enabler for young people. We have seen, as a school, how the projects and challenge days have enabled children to shine in areas such as leadership, positivity, team work, creativity, organisation and problem solving. From Reception to year 6, children take part in projects in each year group.
For example, children in Year 3 have been involved in a project to design, make and sell their own toys. This is a motivating unit of work which has seen children work in teams to achieve their end gold. In order to further develop their skills of presentation, they are given the opportunity to present to parents and talk about their finished designs and the journey they had taken to realise them.
The year 3 teacher talks about what Skills Builder has brought to her class.
‘The effect of focusing on skills such as positive thinking, using their imagination and aiming high, has been very powerful. Children who are normally quiet or anxious about how well they do in school, have thrived through being able to express themselves in different ways with the support of their peers and striving for a mutual goal, grounded in being enterprising, whilst having fun. More confident children have been able to learn how to refine their leadership skills and have enjoyed trying to lead their team to ‘victory’ by not only producing a successful product, but by learning how to work well in a group, bringing out each other’s talents and developing an ability to debate and discuss alternative opinions and ideas. My pupils have become much more persuasive, thinking carefully about the way they express themselves, and are more thoughtful about being supportive of their peers, even if it is sometimes just to win team points for using the 8 skills and also following instructions promptly!’
The children equally have great things to say:
Our group did teamwork, sharing a lot of ideas, - said Noam.
We had to be persuasive and by being persuasive, we got the adults to buy our models!, - Adam said.
I liked the 'from trash to treasure' project because it was something ugly made pretty, - commented Yeseo.
As well as the projects that children have do in school, an additional benefit to this work is the trips to large employers such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Cross Rail, Societe Generale, Royal Sun Alliance to name but a few. Pupils are able to experience, first hand, these fabulous workplaces and take part in projects culminating in a presentation to senior figures in the organisation.