Planning for Skills Development
Teachers should plan opportunities for pupils to acquire, develop and demonstrate skills in all areas of the curriculum.
Skills and Capabilities at Key Stage 3
The curriculum emphasises the development of Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities for lifelong learning and contributing effectively to society. These Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities are embedded in each key stage. Pupils should have opportunities to acquire, develop and demonstrate these skills in all areas of the curriculum.
Schools must also assess pupils in these skills and capabilities and report their progress to parents. See Assessment and Reporting at Key Stage 3 for more information.
The Importance of Planning in Key Stage 3
Key Stages 3 and 4 aim to develop the range of skills pupils have acquired at primary school in greater depth. Teachers should make explicit links between subject content and skills development. They should plan how pupils’ experiences at Key Stage 3 will relate back to Key Stage 2 and prepare them for Key Stage 4.
Pupils’ experiences of the Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities will be across several subjects with a variety of teachers. With this in mind, subject teachers need to:
- establish what pupils can already do to avoid repetition;
- identify, develop and assess the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities as they naturally occur in their subject;
- work collaboratively with other colleagues and skills co-ordinators to plan and embed progression throughout the curricular experience; and
- learn more about:
– the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities subject-specific progression maps; and
– the Levels of Progression grids.
Using the Levels of Progression for Planning
The Levels of Progression reflect the typical sequence a pupil will follow as they develop their skills. They can be useful to teachers when planning a scheme of work.
Overview of the Levels of Progression
Levels of Progression - Communication
Levels of Progression - Using Mathematics
Levels of Progression - Using ICT
Connecting the Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities with the Big Picture
The Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are at the core of the curriculum. These Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities are embedded in the Areas of Learning.
The Big Picture of the Curriculum at Key Stage 3
Pupils can make progress in developing their skills through a range of learning experiences that encourage positive attitudes and dispositions. They should have opportunities to acquire, develop and demonstrate these skills in all parts of the curriculum.
The Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are closely interrelated in pupils’ learning experiences.
The Teaching, Learning and Assessment Cycle
This short animation shows how any subject can feed into developing the Cross-Curricular Skills through its teaching, learning and assessment cycle.
Teachers can teach skills-specific knowledge and techniques discretely in subject specialist classes such as English or Mathematics. In other curriculum contexts, there is increased emphasis on transferring, applying and using skills effectively to enhance learning.
Links between Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities and the Cross-Curricular Skills
The Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities and the requirements of the Cross-Curricular Skills are often interdependent. Within a subject context, focusing on developing one skill can result in others also being developed.
Asking, Accessing, Selecting, Recording, Integrating, Communicating.
Aspects of Managing Information are expressed explicitly in the context of the three Cross-Curricular Skills.
Explore: Access, select, interpret and research information from safe and reliable sources.
Find, select and use information from a range of sources.
The skills of Self-Management include being able to organise, plan and persist with tasks.
Each Cross-Curricular Skill includes ways pupils can develop aspects of Self-Management while progressing in the Cross-Curricular Skill.
Explore: Investigate, make predictions and solve problems through interaction with digital tools.
Express: Create, develop, present and publish ideas and information responsibly using a range of digital media and manipulate a range of assets to produce multimedia products.
Teachers should infuse skills into their content instruction. This can help pupils to engage with the skills frameworks. It can also help teachers with planning, as they identify and build skills into their schemes of work.
Teachers should highlight how the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are developed and used as part of all subject areas. This can help pupils make real connections in their learning. It can also help them to transfer their learning from one subject context to another and to their life outside the classroom.
See Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities at Key Stage 3 for more information.
For more information on Planning for Skills Development, contact: