At Annfield Plain Junior School life skills is an essential part of our curriculum. It is taught to equip all pupils with the necessary skills to be active and responsible citizens in an ever-changing world.
During the four years with us pupils will be involved in work around current affairs, living in a sustainable world (conservation, pollution, recycling), financial competence and fairtrade. Our work around sustainability has been recognised with our Bronze Eco-Schools Award. All pupils take part in annual enterprise projects and then, as a class, decide how to wisely spend their money. Life skills weeks take place termly: staying safe in the autumn term, respect and diversity in the spring term, health and fitness in the summer term. This allows pupils to focus termly on issues which affect their local, national and global communities.
The world of work and aiming higher are essential parts of our life skills curriculum. Assemblies, projects, visit and visitors are used to engage pupils and inspire them to develop an understanding of the skills, qualities and qualifications they will need for their future world of work. In recent years this has included: a range of visitors to talk about their work; links with business such as Derwentside Homes, Marmax, Lanchester Energy, Tesco; visits to Newcastle University; the completion of the “When I Grow Up…” project and publication; as well as an educational trail leaflet around the village.
Partnership links with the local community are also vital for pupils to develop an understanding of community, enterprise, financial capability and anti-social behaviour. Businesses as above, links with local services e.g. police, fire-brigade, wardens, green team, local homes are all used to create and maintain partnership links. Partnership links further afield are also planned regularly for children to gain an understanding of national and global issues e.g. links with Royal Festival Hall in London, partner French school in Amiens and in Mexico. Year 6 attend the annual safety carousel run by community services and our annual Life Skills: Staying Safe Week involves working with community services such as the school nurse, community police officers, the fire brigade, Derwentside Homes e-safety van and anti-bullying services.
The school’s vision is shared through a community newsletter with parents, carers and the local community. The school’s vision is delivered in a pupil friendly version, “Bobby Brain’s Magic Habits for Learning”. This incorporates the necessary values for life that pupils will need to allow them to be successful citizens in the 21st century and successful life-long learners.
Ofsted in May 2012 stated, “A thread running through many lessons and activities is the importance paid to thinking skills and the development of positive attitudes to learning, to life and each other. Many lessons, including sessions about life skills or philosophy, provide time and opportunity for pupils to reflect and share ideas. This thoughtful approach, coupled with the many exciting and relevant learning experiences provided by the curriculum, helps them to develop an interest in others and the world around them.”