Skip to main content
General newsPost 16Student life

Undershaw – where soft skills have hard value

By February 10, 2022No Comments

Undershaw is awarded the Skills Builder Silver Award for coaching Skills for Life across the Curriculum.

We utilise the Skills Builder Programme throughout the school in order to identify, coach, and develop the life skills necessary for our students to thrive in their lives beyond the school gates.  The 8 Essential Skills are vital for ensuring students can inter-relate effectively at school, at home, in employment, and form impactful relationships beyond their school days.

Life Skills are vital for all of us, in every walk of life. Undershaw is putting them at the heart of our teaching and learning, and in doing so, we ensure that our students build a rich landscape from which to launch their careers.

Emma WestActing Headteacher

The programme covers 8 Essential Skills and are themed around concepts such as Communication, Creative Problem Solving, Self-Management, and Collaboration.

Attainment against each skill divides into 4 levels:

  • Getting Started (Bronze)
  • Intermediate (Silver)
  • Advanced (Gold)
  • Mastery (Platinum)

Each skill also divides into 15 sections – so the students are very busy!

We are so proud of the curriculum we have designed at Undershaw. It reflects our vision and values as a school and gives our students not only the skills they need to succeed, but also the appraisal, and reflection skills intrinsic to genuine self-awareness. These really are skills for life.

Clare WickensIndependence Coach

Students are using these skills continually in their work and social time, and the Skills Builder vocabulary is intrinsic in our every day school life.  Students are able to identify the individual skills they are developing by working on a specific task, and with the expert guidance of our Employability and Life Skills faculty staff, our learners can then proactively review their performance. Included in the review process is dialogue around examples of how to work on developing the skill further in the future.

I have helped my communication skills grow by ordering tickets and I have done some problem solving by working out the bus and train times. But I’ve also learned to stay positive because when coming back from Guildford, the train got delayed by 40 minutes! Overall, this is helping me become more of an independent traveller than I used to be.

RyanPost 16 student, Undershaw

We find opportunities to enrich our school day with the Skills Builder Programme at every turn:

  • Our enrichment curriculum via our unique Discovery Days.
  • Our taught curriculum – lessons are delivered with the skills in mind.
  • Extensive use in our Project Based Learning and Forest School activities.
  • Our strong pastoral system – House Points are awarded as recognition for improvement and attainment.

This multitude of opportunities for exploration and attainment in the Skills Builder Programme means that students recognise their individual achievement in real time and experience the significant sense of pride.

Learners throughout the school are equipped with Skills Builder Passports which accompany them through their Undershaw Diploma, our unique and fully accredited qualification.

The school provided N the support to develop his skills, feel safe to take risks that helped him to grow and mature into seeing himself as someone who could contribute to society, and feel the pride that comes with that.

CatherineUndershaw Alumnus Parent