The following essay will focus on the Skills Framework introduced by the Welsh Set up Government into the nationwide curriculum. The essay will discuss the move into expanding pupil's skills over the curriculum alternatively than subject matter specific skills. The article will also discuss how to build up pupil's skills in the main subjects through a series of practical based mostly activities through energetic learning.
The term 'skill' can be hard to establish. Resnick argues that the word can not be defined exactly, but the term is easily recognisable, although it is very diverse (Resnick, L. B. 1987). Resnick also argues that in the world of education, we must try to educate study and problem solving skills. However can these kind of skills be related to the different skills over the curriculum? The term 'skill' requires a working meaning as the various elements associated with skills are much too vast to be restricted to one single, ridged description.
The Skills Platform being brought in to the National Curriculum is from the Education Reform Work of 1988, which advised a curriculum should prepare pupils for problems that they could face in mature life. However, earlier teaching practices prior to the Skills Construction being released were quite definitely based around subject knowledge somewhat than skills. For instance, in Technology pupils could have learnt about the real human center. Now, under the new Skills Construction, pupils do still find out about the human heart, but the key concentration of the lessons is to boost pupils scientific exploration skills alternatively develop their subject knowledge alone. Focus on teaching has now transferred from less subject fine detail, to looking more at 'how' and 'why' and with a far more thematic/topic method of educating not only the center subjects, but topics across the curriculum (Wayne, B. et al). The necessity for a Skills Platform was layed out by the Future Skills Wales 2003 General Skills Study which discovered that employers could see gaps in employees skills, including communication and problem resolving skills and specifically, Information Communications Technology (ICT) skills (Skills Construction for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assemblage Government). Because of this review and a previous publication from Estyn in 2002 which also explained a need to improve learning skills within classes, Awdurdod Cymwysterau, Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru (ACCAC) advised the Welsh Assemblage Federal government to revise the National Curriculum to ensure it became more learner focused, skills founded, up-to-date with the 21st Century and a lot more skills based than just focusing on subject knowledge alone. It had been also advised that the new curriculum needed to be inclusive for those learners, something it could be argued that a subject knowledge based mostly curriculum is not. The main points advised by ACCAC were to put into action a curriculum that "focuses on and complies with learner's needs, is inclusive and provides equality of opportunity, equips learners with transferable skills, facilitates bilingualism, is relevant, challenging, interesting and exciting for any learners, transforms learning to produce resourceful, resilient and reflective lifelong learners, is attainable and properly resourced. " (Skills Platform for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assemblage Administration). With these skills founded activities implemented into the National Curriculum, it is believed a pupil's education will be more fulfilling, exciting and successful.
The skills framework is organised into four different areas; producing thinking, communication, ICT and amount. It really is argued these skills are had a need to not only help learners in institutions, but also when they reach adult life and require these skills. The Skills Framework has also been organised so that learners can acquire different skills and progress in these skills from the Foundation phase right through the various key levels and into post sixteen education. Although learners acquire and develop skills set out in the platform as they progress through different key stages, certain skills are not automatically associated with a particular stage in in education. This is because some skills that adults in top of the key phases have acquired can also be exhibited by learners in the building blocks Phase, all be it at a easier level. As learners improvement from the Foundation Phase and into the various key phases, their skills develop. This can be seen as learners commence to work more individually with less support. Learners also choose to work with others to raised their education, rather than just casually being attentive and work with those around them (Skills Framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assembly Administration).
Although the abilities Framework has a major effect on the National Curriculum, it is in no way likely to replace it, but simply act as a guide to help teachers with the planning.
One of the key stages of the Skills Framework is developing thinking. Educators assume that it's important to develop pondering to enable learners to have a greater understanding of what they are studying. Within the Skills Framework the procedure of thinking is organised into plan, develop and represent. With regards to the classroom, this process allows learners to plan out responsibilities effectively, develop their own ideas, and then reflect back upon their work (Swansea Grid for Learning). The Skills Framework has been devote destination to help teachers develop a learners thinking across the curriculum, although it is extremely hard to protect all topics within the curriculum (Skills Framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Set up Government). Expanding thinking is seen as a continuing process. This enables learners to keep enhancing, because they are constantly planning, producing and reflecting after their work (See Figure A).
(Swansea Grid for Learning)
One of the main top features of this ongoing process is metacognition, thinking about thinking. Metacognition is an activity whereby learners mirror after their own work, and then utilize this reflection time to improve their learning.
Metacognition is also vital in allowing learners to advance through the various skills stages.
In mathematics, considering can be developed through a number of different problem solving activities. Whilst on institution placement, I found that Abacus Maths Scheme had a range of useful activities that helped improve pupils considering skills. The Abacus Activity book 6, by Ruth Merrtens and David Kirkby features a range of different practical numerical activities whereby learners sort out the different activities and then answer questions at the end. One particular activity contains words from A to K. An example of the worksheet used in this activity are available in Appendix 1. Learners had to work in groupings to recognize what quantity each of the different letters represented. To find the accurate answer, learners was required to answer different questions such as "I+C=D". To find the answer, pupils were required to reflect after what answers they already knew, for example they may already know that I= 4 and that C= 8, so they could therefore identify what amount D must stand for. Once learners had identified what quantities all the letters represented they then was required to answer questions such as "What's the full total of B, C and F?" (Merrtens et al 2001).
The plenary for this activity also reveals a chance for learners to work with the procedure of metacognition. Questions such as, "what performed you study from this activity? How have you identify what quantities the different words were? How do you answer the different questions? What parts did you find easy? What parts did you find hard?" all allow learners to reveal upon their work and how they designed and developed their work throughout the activity to solve the several problems (Revill 2010).
Another solution to develop thinking is by using a KWHL grid (what learners already Know, what they would like to find out, How they'll find out and what they have Learnt). The grid allows learners to echo upon prior learning to fill out what they already know on the grid. Learners then consider what they might want to find out from the work and how they will find this away. Once learners have completed the task, they then reveal up on what they have learnt. The usage of KWHL grid very much contains the ideas of producing thinking and metacognition as learners must plan what they need to find out, develop this into how they are going to find out, and then echo upon the way they have discovered certain information (The Centre for Research in Key Science and Technology (CRIPSAT) 2007).
I have found among the finest uses of your KWHL grid is to assess what learners learn throughout a science analysis. On school positioning I used a KWHL grid throughout a science lesson considering different food categories and their results on the human body. Once the learners had determined what they understood and what they wanted to find out, they then set about recording how they would find out information. Without prompt, learners shown on past lessons when they has been asked to research information from materials provided from textbooks and had written this in their KWHL grids. KWHL grids aren't only proficient at expanding thinking skills, but also at as a means of allowing learners an element of control by permitting them to decide what they would like to find out, and exactly how they will find out. Inside the science lesson on food communities, using the KWHL grid also resulted in pupils working in groups to analyze different food organizations, and then showing them back again to the class. An example of a KWHL grid produced by a pupil from the course can be fond in Appendix 2. The study and display skills needed were skills that pupils experienced previously learned by performing a similar task. They had then reflected on this task to utilize the same skills to discover and share information about food groupings in the form of presentations, which also promotes practical, lively learning.
In vocabulary lessons, among the best examples that I found whilst on school placement for producing thinking skills and making the lesson more useful and active was through a method of storyline writing by Pie Corbett. 'The Canal' by Pie Corbett is learned not by simply reading text message, but by looking at pictures that illustrate events in the storyplot. 'The Canal and a sample of pictures used in order to the storyplot ca be within Appendix 3. This process runs on the multi-sensory procedure, combing activities with speech which enables learners to learn the storyline quickly and better (Cambridge Literacy Catalogue 2003). Once discovers know the history, they may then use the platform to create their own versions. This develops considering skills as learners have to mirror upon what terminology and structure they may have learned from the Pie Corbett tale, and utilize this in their own writing. Learners can also indicate upon the framework of the Pie Corbett wording to generate conversation within their own text. The next phase for learners was to sketch pictures illustrating the occurrences in their experiences and then acting them out. This again created a dynamic and practical means of learning, whilst producing learners thinking skills.
The main concept of the abilities Framework is to develop learner's skills which they may copy to different facets of life (Revill 2010). By learning these different thinking skills through a variety of useful activities, this portion of the framework will definitely help fill up the current gap in skills advised by employers.
Another level of the abilities Framework is developing communication. Communication is a very important aspect of learning as it allows learners to connect what they know or want to find out. To have the ability to communicate correctly, Valette (1973) shows that learners must engage in a number of activities such as hearing and reading comprehensions and also express themselves through speech and writing. Osborn et al (2003) argues that there is increasing research which proves that by enhancing communication skills, other aspects of learning generally speaking will also improve. The Skills Construction organises communication into oracy, reading, writing and wider communication skills such as through ideas and thoughts (Skills Framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assemblage Administration).
In terminology lessons, a good way to allow learners to connect is through led reading activities. The book 20:20 Vision, area of the Navigator series by Harcourt Education et al, offers a variety of activities whereby learners read, and then survey again answers and suggestions to all of those other group. However, many of the activities in the books do not contain any content material but pictures instead. One of these is assessing pictures of an town in 1900, with the same town today. Learners must 'read' the pictures, and then answer questions in what they may have 'read' in the picture. This can help develop not only a learners reading skills in a way other than reading text message, but also their wider communication skills, because they are having to speak ideas with regards to the picture. Learners also develop oracy skills by responding to questions and reporting them to the group. The publication also includes written questions to complete by the end of the experience, that will then improve learners writing skills. This example of a led reading activity features every one of the skills stated in the Skills Framework under expanding communication. It is also a dynamic and useful activity which induces learners to talk to each other.
There a wide range of opportunities for learners to develop their communication skills in research. When studying technology, learners must often write obviously and concisely and be confident with dental presentations (Osborn et al 2003). When writing a technology investigation learners are expected to communicate evidently using specific dialect and composition. Learners use the near future tense to communicate what they think may happen in an analysis, today's tense to explain how to do perform the research, and then the former tense to represent after it. Learners must also describe the results from the inspection in a way which will permit the reader to comprehend. Oral demonstration is also very important to expanding communication skills. Whilst on university placement, part of your science lessons required users of the category to get ready a display to the rest of the class which would inform them about the several organs in the torso. The children proved helpful in groups to research a particular body organ, produce a fact data file and then make questions ready to show the class. This activity developed the children's communication skills by allowing group participants to feedback information that they had researched to the rest of the group. The kids then communicated through writing by recording the information that were there discovered into fact documents. The template given to pupils to create the fact records are available in Appendix 4. The groupings then had to prepare a display about their chosen body organ to the rest of the category. This allowed for communication within the categories, as the children sorted out what would be said and who was declaring it. The groupings then shown their information to the category, again drawing on their oral communication skills. Following the presentations all of those other class were required to answer questions from the group. A good example of the questions asked by the pupils can be found in Appendix 5. This again increased communication skills as pupils could actually answer questions with confidence, in front of the whole class. This science based mostly activity therefore helped to improve and develop the children written and dental communication skills.
In mathematics, learners use numerical vocabulary whenever using others. Learners also use a variety of written options for interacting data such as diagrams, graphs, dining tables and icons (Mathematics in the National Curriculum for Wales. Welsh Assemblage Government). At Key Level 2 level, learners are given opportunities to their reading skills in mathematics by interpreting graphs and diagrams, and then make clear the data either orally or in written format. Another feature of growing communication skills in mathematics at Key Level 2 is to "visualise and describe shapes, actions and transformations" (Mathematics in the Country wide Curriculum for Wales. Welsh Assemblage Authorities). Whilst on institution placement, I completed a mathematics lessons based on 2d shapes. During the period of the lesson, the kids learnt the titles of different 2d designs, what they appeared as if and if they were a regular polygon, unusual polygon, or not really a polygon. As a plenary activity I arranged for the children to relax to back in pairs, one facing the whiteboard. The member of the pair not facing the whiteboard was presented with a person white board, on which they could write. Then i had written the name of a 2d shape on the key whiteboard. The child facing the mother board had to talk to their partner what the condition was by expressing if it was a normal polygon, irregular polygon, or not really a polygon and just how many sides the form had, but cannot say the name of the form. The other member of the couple then had to interpret these details and attract what form they thought it could be independently specific whiteboards. This activity helped to build up communications skills as one person in the pair needed to interpret what they were reading on the panel, reflect after what that they had learnt about polygons from the lessons, and then orally explain to their spouse the information, so that it could be easily interpreted by their spouse, who then be able to draw the right condition. This activity was done more than once so that both customers of the pair had an opportunity to describe the 2d shape.
The need for developing communication skills is critical for all those learners. Some research workers even suggest that there is a clear relationship between communication skills and developing a positive romance with other peers as well as achieving academically (Brigman et al 1999). Hence, it is essential that things over the curriculum incorporate the introduction of communication skills to permit leaners to develop both academically and socially.
Another area of the Skills Construction is developing quantity. Following research over the last twenty years it is clear that numeracy will involve more than computation work, it also encompasses a learner's ability to make use of number effectively including working with shape, measurement, creating graphs, and then with them to make clear data (Skills Construction for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assemblage Federal government). Although using quantity is mainly a numerical skill, number can even be used in a number of contexts over the curriculum.
In Science, amount is often used in scientific investigations. An excellent activity to entail number in science is to investigate how the heartrate changes with exercise. Whilst on university experiences, the kids recorded their relaxing heartrate over an interval of 30 secs, using a center monitor linked to a computer. They then interpreted the results from the graph to give their resting heartrate. The children then ran around for five minutes and then once again recorded they're center rates. Once they experienced interpreted the results of the graph following exercise, they could then compare both graphs to work out the difference between they're relaxing heart rate and heartrate after exercise. This activity helped to build up the children's number skills since it allowed them to assemble information from a graph, compare and interpret data and accurately measure their heart rates using suited equipment (Skills Construction for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Set up Authorities).
Normally, you would not associate producing quantity with work in language. However, there are a number of activities which include developing number into vocabulary lessons. When doing teaching writing, learners develop quantity along with their language skills. For instance, when writing a formula, learners must use quantity not only to sequence their writing, but also to quantify the substances. Whilst on school experience, the children were first of all given a recipe cut up into different items and jumbled up. Then they had to put the recipe back into the right order. This developed the children's number skills as they had to sequence the order of the menu from the first teaching to the last. Following the children had done this then they had to write their own quality recipes. An example of a pupil's menu are available in Appendix 6. Before they started out writing the instructions to the menu, the children needed to list the ingredients and what quantity of the substances should be used. This again helped develop quantity because the kids had to "choose and use every day units of measurement" (Skills Construction for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assembly Federal).
In mathematics it is apparent that the topic helps to develop quantity skills. However, it is still important to ensure that activities are practical and enjoyable to help learners develop their amount skills. One exciting, sensible activity to help learners develop their amount skills is to play multiplication bingo. A good example are available in Appendices 7 and 8. In the experience, each young one is given a bingo card with multiplications of six and seven on them. The tutor has cards with times desks on them, including the six times stand and seven times table, but with a bare answer. The teacher had to read out each computation, and the kids would have to mentally workout the answer, and then check if they had the quantity on their bingo mother board. Like in normal bingo, the success was the one to mix off all their numbers first. I found this activity to particularly enjoyable with the children while on work experience. The experience also helps develop amount as it allows learners to "identify ideal calculations to get the effect needed for the task" (Skills Construction for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Set up Government). The use of a calculator to permit the children to check their answers may be incorporated in to the activity to help develop amount skills.
Developing number is very important to a learner's development in all aspects of life. Having the ability to use quantities is a global activity which brings together folks from all cultures. It is therefore essential that learners develop their quantity skills not only by computations and formulas, but as a way of solving problems and studying the world (Sharma 2010). THE ABILITIES Framework will help to develop number in ways which helps learners to develop their number knowledge and skills over the curriculum, and not limit the development to mathematics.
The Skills Frame work also has a fourth level, Developing ICT. It is vital that learners today have good ICT skills, as it was one of the key skills gaps described by employers in the foreseeable future Skills Wales 2003 General Skills Survey. Expanding skills in ICT has two strands; "finding and producing information and ideas and creating and showing information and ideas" (Skills Framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales. Welsh Assemblage Government). It could be argued that subjects over the curriculum, not only the central subjects include these strands. For example in almost all subject matter, learners will have researcnhed information using software programs as well as the internet. Learners also use ICT to produce and present information such as word control their work, or creating graphs to show results from a study. Expanding ICT skills is more than simply educating learners about ICT. Rather, it can help learners develop their knowledge of different technology, add how these systems maybe used to boost and benefit their learning. Also expanding ICT skills will also greatly benefit learners from the very beginning of these voyage through education and on into adult life, as ICT skills have grown to be almost essential in modern means of living.
The Skills Construction introduced to into the countrywide curriculum by the Welsh Assemblage Federal government has been designed as a means of enhancing and growing skills that are needed not only in Wales, but the remaining UK. By introducing skills into the curriculum such as producing thinking, communication, amount and ICT will help learns to build up essential skills needed not only in education, but also later in adult life. It can also be argued these skills will also help a learner improve both academically and socially. While using introduction of the Skills Framework in to the countrywide curriculum, we are actually realizing a change from an extremely much subject structured way of educating the curriculum, into a far more skills established method. I solidly believe that in the foreseeable future the shift into more skills structured teaching will become even greater, with teachers concentrating far more on the abilities Platform, and then planning the curriculum around it.