Queen's Park High School
Queen's Park High School
Queen’s Park High School is an innovative and aspirational school further widening the opportunities they offer their students by developing an Enterprise Curriculum from Year 7 right through to Year 13. The school also has a close relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, whom they visited in June 2017. By adopting a whole school approach towards the implementation of enterprise skills, Queen’s Park High School is embodying the six principles.
The core concept of actively teaching the essential skills has been adopted by Queen’s Park High School in their three Challenge Days and a trip to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The first Challenge Day saw Sixth Form students apply the essential skills they’d developed throughout the year to real-life scenarios in the Commit to Confidence challenge.
A second Challenge Day saw the groups across the whole school develop businesses, culminating in a final pitch to their peers who became prospective investors.
On the final Challenge Day of the year pupils joined in Operation Moonbase to work in teams in order to create a new lunar society.
Finally, the Year 7 trip to Bank of America Merrill Lynch further challenged the students to link the essential skills to the real world, through an investment game simulation in which they successfully raised money for their client.
One student who visited Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that it gave them 'an insight into business and what it looks like from the inside', whilst another found it a prime opportunity to 'work well as a team'.
The consistent development of essential skills in students at Queen’s Park High School has pushed them into their stretch zones; one pupil summed it up nicely: 'The best bit about going on the trip and doing the challenge day is that I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I like working on my own because I don’t have to compromise; but being made to work with different people has made me more confident in group work.'
Their teacher felt the same: 'It's great to see them [students] working with people they don't usually and being given a chance to present to build their confidence around how they get their point across. Seeing them have team discussions and listening to each other has been interesting.'
By using the Skills Builder framework - which breaks down the essential skills into detailed, age-appropriate levels - Queen’s Park High School has been able to use a range of activities to enable students to progress in the eight essential skills. At the start of the year, teachers throughout the school and across year groups assessed their class against the framework, so that the impact of developing the essential skills could be measured and tracked. Additonally, the school has recently introduced a Study Skills and Attitude objective into each lesson, which is currently being integrated into the Skills Builder framework.
As of this year, Queen’s Park High School will have Skills Builder data for all students from Year 8 to 13. Headteacher Lyndsay Watterson explained that this 'will really help us to be able to focus on target areas for the school, particular year groups and individual students.' Through the use of the online assessment tool, teachers are empowered to target students’ weaknesses, ensuring that no pupils fall behind in their skill development.
Teachers report that they have seen 'a new side to students through using the skills to observe them and through sharing the skills assessment framework with them so they know what is expected of them. Seeing how different students respond to that has really given me a new insight into them as individuals.'
Essential skills should be valued just as highly in a school’s curriculum as are literacy and numeracy. Queen’s Park High School have done so through embedding the education of these skills across the school. The Skills Builder framework enables essential skills to be quanitofoed, enabling the development of plans for progress and target-setting in the same way as is done in other subject areas. By making essential skills education a priority, Queen’s Park High School is equipping every single one of its students with the tools necessary for success in education, enterprise and employment.