Developing young people’s skills is a priority in Castlemilk High School. The leadership team comprising of a senior staff member, a Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) lead, youth worker, careers advisor and MCR pathways coordinator have adopted a streamlined and transparent approach to developing young people’s skills for life, learning and work. To support this, a ‘Skills Framework’ – known as ‘the Two ships and the 3’C’s’ has been implemented across all aspects of the curriculum.
The Framework is embedded into learning to ensure that all young people are engaging with a holistic language which was carefully created to allow them to recognise and understand their skill sets and relate these to their career aspirations. The impact is that young people are better able to articulate their skills set preparing them for the world of work.
Collaboration with both the wider community and employers has been integral to successful realisation of this goal. Following guidance in key documents such as BTC4, a strategic meeting of the team identified assess skills gaps in the labour market. The staff and parents of young people were asked to identify skills that young people needed to develop further to make them ‘work ready’.
The view of our partnership employers events were also aligned with this. This ensured that the Framework reflected both our local community too. The development of visual design for the Framework was supported by a local graphics company.
The consultation with staff, parents and partners was highlighted as a key strength of the Framwork during a recent inspection by Education Scotland and was praised for its sector leading approach to skills development.
In a competitive world, Castlemilk High School feel it is important for our young people to be able to confidently articulate their skills to give them a better chance of securing positive destinations. The ‘Skills Framework’ was developed to address the skills requirement for the current and future labour markets. By creating a common language, they expect that these transferable skills will become more transparent and identifiable to the young people across their curricular learning.
Staff in the school are openly engaging with young people in conversations about their own skill sets and have displayed their own personal ‘skills journey’ from school to the work place in attractive poster displays created by the DYW team.
Staff use the ‘Two Ships and the Three Cs’ to compliment learning and teaching:
Pupil Log Books are adapted to encourage learners’ to identify skills they have developed during a unit of work allowing them to make meaningful connections as to how these skills can be applied across curricular areas.
Drama and Music
A skills focus is shared every lesson with one skill from the Framework at the fore, strengthening our young peoples’ ability to recognise transferability of skills between curricular areas.
Wider Achievement programme has further developed and helped to track skills using the Framework. Young people elect to take three Wider Achievement blocks, one per term. Using a tracking system, young people assess themselves against the skills framework, recording their skills journey through a variety of activities designed to enhance personal achievement. For example:
Young person may decide to focus on enhancing their leadership skills during a wider achievement block. By opting for an activity designed to enhance that skill, they can target skills that need improvement and take ownership over working towards them.
Many young people need support in articulating their skills and describing the qualities that they have developed. By providing a common framework and language, this enables our young people to confidently compete more effectively in the post-school market against their counterparts. The Skills Framework is key in allowing us to work with the young people against the cultural and economic barriers they face in our community.
In addition, we have embedded flexible and tailored work placement opportunities for young people by effectively tracking our young peoples’ skills and aspirations. This approach has been praised by external agencies involved in DYW.
The work placement format focuses on ensuring young people get the most out of their time in the work place, setting goals with regard to the Skills Framework prior to going and reflecting on these when returned.
In addition, work-related subject choices with a focus in the Skills Framework have been embedded into curriculum:
Community Youth Work Skills.
This ensures learning is focused on providing the skills that allow them to flourish. These courses not only gain qualifications but they build on skills that aren’t always available in a more traditional school curriculum.
The Skills Framework has allowed a greater focus on the aspects of work-related learning that can have most impact to our young people. Partnership has been at the very heart of our ‘Skills Framework’ from the outset. The team itself consist of a number of diverse stakeholders drawn from existing partnerships with the Castlemilk Youth Complex, MCR Pathways and Skills Development Scotland. This has allowed the ‘Two Ships and the Three Cs’ to filter readily into our community.
The DYW team are responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of young person’s work journey and the Skills Framework are increasingly moving towards the centre of this. For example, in conversations with Skills Development Scotland advisor, young people are encouraged to describe and apply their skills when writing personal statements and applying for college or part time work. The Framework is used as a toll in 1:1 conversations to explore and develop young people’s career management skills, allowing them to identify their own skills and how this fits into the world of work.
In addition, MCR pathways co-ordinator uses the Framework to support her work with care-experienced young people. Young people are encouraged to develop their skills from the Framework and five S3-S6 young people are MCR Pathways Young Ambassadors.
S1-S3 YP are given opportunities to visit universities, S3-S4 can participate in a wide range of Talent Tasters that range from Construction, Hair Beauty, Factory Working, Law, Architect, Police, Nurse, Primary Teaching & Engineering. They use the Framework to reflect on skills developed. These individualised university visits, Talent Tasters and our flexible work experience opportunities have ensured that our young people are making informed choices about developing their skills to suit their future careers.
The totality of this work means that young people are therefore more able to sustain a positive destinations.