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Skills Builder- Gold Award

At Nancealverne School, we recognise the importance of embedding skills that translate to all areas of our pupil’s lives and it has never been more important to build a set of essential skills to succeed for our young people.

The ability to creatively solve problems, self-manage, communicate effectively, and work well with others are imperative to the success we see in our classrooms starting at EYFS all the way through to post 16, ultimately preparing our pupils for life after Nancealverne.

The Skills Builder Framework defines the essential skills as: Listening, Speaking, Problem Solving, Creativity, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership and Teamwork.

Essential Skills

Skills Icon: ListeningSkills Icon: SpeakingSkills Icon: Problem SolvingSkills Icon: CreativitySkills Icon: Staying PositiveSkills Icon: Aiming HighSkills Icon: LeadershipSkills Icon: Teamwork

Essential skills unlock learning in the classroom, boosting academic outcomes, perseverance and self belief. They halve the likelihood of being out of work, and increase earnings across a lifetime. They even boost wellbeing and life satisfaction.

But access to these skills isn’t fair. And where they are missed, it undermines social mobility, productivity and wellbeing.

We think everyone, at every stage of their lives, should have the opportunities to build them.

Gold Award 

In the previous academic year, Nancealverne School achieved the Skills Builder Gold Award, The Gold award is given for those modelling best practice in high-quality essential skills education and where:

  • Schools have fully embedded the Skills Builder Principles
  • All teachers will be confident educators of essential skills
  • Essential skills education will be fully integrated into daily practice

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As a school we are immensely proud of the work the pupils have put into developing their skills and embracing Skills Builder as a framework to enhance their learning.


Objective: The primary objective of integrating the 'Skills Builder' program into our school curriculum is to systematically develop essential skills in our students, including communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and self-management. These skills are crucial for enhancing their personal development, academic success, and future employability.

Rationale: Our students often face unique challenges in developing the skills necessary for independent living and employment. The 'Skills Builder' program offers a structured, step-by-step approach to teaching these skills, tailored to accommodate diverse learning needs and abilities. By embedding this program into our curriculum, we aim to provide equitable opportunities for all students to achieve their full potential.


  • Enhance students' communication skills to improve their ability to express themselves effectively.
  • Develop problem-solving abilities to foster independent thinking and resilience.
  • Encourage teamwork to build cooperative behaviours and social integration.
  • Promote self-management to increase self-discipline and personal responsibility.
  • Prepare students for post-school life, including further education and employment.


Program Structure:

  • Curriculum Integration: The 'Skills Builder' program is integrated into existing subjects and activities, ensuring that skill development is a consistent part of the students' educational experience. It is attached to our marking grids and planning documentation to ensure that we are explicitly teaching the skills.
  • Tailored Approach: Lesson plans and resources are adapted to meet the specific needs of each student, using differentiated instruction techniques and assistive technologies as necessary.
  • Staff Training: Teachers and support staff have received comprehensive training on the 'Skills Builder' framework to effectively deliver the program and support students' progress.
  • Resource Allocation: Adequate resources, including teaching materials and technological tools, have been allocated to facilitate the Skills coverage, Skills Builder projects and drop-down days.
  • Parental Involvement: We keep our parents and carers updated with our monthly skills focus in our newsletters, so they can highlight these at home and out in the community. We use community days such as careers events, sports day and World Book Day as opportunities to focus on the skills and further out line the program.
  • Gold Award Status: we work hard to maintain our Gold Award Status which is awarded for best practise in high quality essential skills education. Recognising that we have fully embedded the skills builder principles, teachers are confident educators of essential skills, and the essential skills education are fully integrated into daily practice.


Student Outcomes:

  • Enhanced Communication: Students will demonstrate improved ability to articulate their thoughts and needs, participate in discussions, and understand verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Improved Problem-Solving: Students will exhibit greater independence in tackling challenges, utilising critical thinking skills and creative solutions.
  • Stronger Teamwork: Increased ability to work collaboratively with peers, showing respect, empathy, and effective interpersonal skills.
  • Better Self-Management: Students will show progress in self-regulation, time management, and goal setting, leading to higher levels of personal responsibility and academic achievement.
  • Post-School Preparedness: Graduates will possess a stronger foundation of essential skills, making them better prepared for further education, vocational training, and employment opportunities.

School-Wide Benefits:

  • Inclusive Learning Environment: The program will contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive learning environment, where all students are encouraged to develop essential life skills.
  • Positive School Culture: The focus on skill development will foster a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and mutual support among students and staff.
  • Enhanced Reputation: Successful implementation and visible student progress will enhance the school's reputation as a leader in special needs education, attracting more students and resources.

Evaluation and Sustainability:

  • Regular Monitoring: Continuous assessment of student progress and program effectiveness through qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Structured opportunities for feedback from students, parents, and staff to inform ongoing improvements.
  • Sustainability Plan: Strategic planning for the long-term sustainability of the program, including budget considerations, resource management, and staff training.


By implementing the 'Skills Builder' program, we aim to empower our students with the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond, fostering their growth into confident, capable, and independent individuals.