Over the last three years, Wormholt Park Primary School, in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, have built a strong relationship with Enabling Enterprise.

Essential skills education is embedded into the school at all levels so that pupils from Year 1 through to Year 6 can develop the tools they need for success in education, enterprise and employment.

Over fifty percent of the pupils at Wormholt Park come from a disadvantaged background, so one of the school’s key strategic priorities is to ‘provide opportunities through an exciting and engaging curriculum to develop skills for life’.

Not only are Wormholt Park an Enabling Enterprise school, but they have also been certified a Level 2 UNICEF Rights Respecting school, further demonstrating their commitment to extending children’s learning past the standard curriculum towards skills and experiences transferable to the real world.

Before working with us, the school’s senior leadership had made attempts to introduce enterprise education into the school – but with limited success. Undeterred, and recognising the importance of forging these essential skills not addressed in the curriculum, Wormholt Park followed the recommendation of another school and began work with Enabling Enterprise.

The impact of that decision to adopt an embedded approach is clear to see, whether through assemblies, around the classroom or even in the playground. Children don’t need to be prompted to listen carefully or constantly reminded how best to share ideas – they already know.

Every year, students participate in a Challenge Day. Classes are mixed up and divided into groups to tackle a multi-part challenge: creating a political party, perhaps; developing a new civilization; or even discovering who stole all of the school’s chocolate! Additionally students in each year group also embark on an annual weeklong project designed to develop all eight essential skills in tandem; this year, Year 2 set up a community café, Year 1 opened their own art gallery and Year 6 got to grips with the law in mock trials.

It doesn’t just end there, though. These large-scale, one-off projects are supported by a curriculum which embeds the essential skills deeply into the curriculum. Each academic year, a skill is chosen as the underlying focus of all topics in the term. Whether the pupils are learning about rainforests or the Tudors, they are developing essential skills. The head of PE reports that the skills are being implemented into the school’s various sporting teams, while the head of Science describes the evident improvement in the students’ teamwork – particularly during practical lessons and projects, where students felt a greater sense of purpose within their groups.

Since their third year of working with Enabling Enterprise they have been able to examine the impact of teaching the essential skills in more detail through their use of the Skills Builder assessment tool. For Ms. Hargie, the Deputy Headteacher, the change is remarkable: teachers have a ‘better understanding of the skills through the assessment tool’, making it ‘much easier to conceptualise the progression of students.’

The Skills Builder framework allows teachers to teachers visualise the progression of their students across the eight essential skills. By comparing the ability of their students from the beginning to the end of the year against a leveled framework, teachers are better equipped to address the strengths and weaknesses of each child. One teacher summarised it as ‘a great way to see the [students'] improvements and reflect upon them for development.’

In order for enterprise education to be valued alongside literacy and numeracy in a school’s curriculum, it is crucial that there be a common understanding of its component parts. The Skills Builder framework and assessment tool makes essential skills measurable; it grants teachers the ability to plan for students’ progression and set constructive targets, as is done in other subject areas. Reflecting on the overall impact of Skills Builder, Deputy Headteacher Ms. Hargie says it has meant a ‘mindset change towards looking at [essential] skills.’

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