Craigfelen Primary School has developed a culture of collaboration and exploration for its pupils through the success of enterprises, such as a café and a local credit union. This has created an environment of learning opportunities and integrated the school into the community. Working with partners such as the Welsh Government, Gower College and University Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), workshops for teachers have provided opportunities for more innovation.
Date of inspection: March 2018
Context and background to the effective or innovative practice
The school’s vision, particularly because of its context, is to create a school that truly sits at the heart of its community, where every child can shine, and where families feel welcome and have opportunities to improve their own life experiences. To achieve this, the school needed to develop a culture of collaboration, enquiry, exploration and innovation. Entrepreneurial skills would be infused through the curriculum and pedagogical approaches. Expectations would be raised and, as a result, standards would improve.
Following the publication of the Successful Futures document regarding the new curriculum for Wales, the school has continued its journey to ensure that the four purposes and 12 pedagogical principles are pivotal in their plans for curriculum development.
Description of nature of strategy or activity
The development of entrepreneurial skills has been part of the school ‘s curriculum development for the last six years, but due to the success of initiatives such as Graigos café (a pupil led community café http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2013-02-15/craigfelen-primary-school-pupils-open-cafe-in-swansea/ ) and Money Spiders Bank, and the publication of the Successful Futures document, this area has become a key aspect of their educational offer for the pupils.
A number of staff have brought ideas and suggestions to share, and the school’s long standing links with the Welsh Government, Gower College and University Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have provided opportunities for enquiry, innovation and exploration through projects with a variety of partners. More recently, the school has led a project ‘Moving Towards Successful Futures’, which has involved 32 primary schools across Swansea developing skills in building creativity into the curriculum. Workshops for teachers, led by Professor Penaluna of UWTSD, have provided excellent opportunities to experiment and be more innovative in their practice. Whole school staff development days have ensured that the skills are clearly understood and are embedded effectively into the curriculum. The school has developed an ‘Enterprise Portfolio’, which shows the range of opportunities that have been developed. This is shared with families and the community to develop these skills and to build confidence and entrepreneurial skills with all generations, led by the pupils.
The school has developed an approach to ensure that pupils have many opportunities to link digital, communication, mathematical and numerical skills to real life situations. The development of entrepreneurial and financial skills has resulted in often outstanding results at the end of key stage 2.
What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?
Evidence from both summative and formative assessment shows that most pupils make good or very good progress in many areas including literacy, ICT and in particular mathematics and numeracy, which directly links to this approach. Pupils of all ages have now had the opportunity to create, develop, deliver and evaluate an enterprise project, which has included setting up a ‘pop up’ shop in the local village that has had an extremely positive impact on the wider community.
Evidence from both assessing pupil progress meetings and national test results shows the positive impact that this approach has had all on pupils involved. Pupils in Year 6 have achieved level 6 in mathematics for the first time. The school’s extensive range of pupil voice groups, which includes ‘enterprise troopers’, has ensured that pupils have the opportunity to develop talents in a wide range of areas, developing self-confidence and self-esteem. This link, which has been created by the pupils, demonstrates how pupils’ voices are heard and acted upon at Craigfelen Primary School.
How have you shared your good practice?
The school is involved at local, regional, national and international levels with the work it has developed around entrepreneurial skills development. The headteacher and deputy headteacher have presented the work to audiences at all of these levels. The deputy headteacher is currently working with seven partners across Europe as a peer mentor to develop entrepreneurial education. Moving forward, this will impact on creativity through the continuum of creativity skills being developed by Professor Penalua and the OECD. The school’s ‘Moving Towards Successful Futures’ project has had a significant impact on the local schools involved, as demonstrated in evaluations. These schools also presented their work to numeracy co-ordinators across the region. This has resulted in schools making significant changes to pedagogical approaches. A report and video fully evaluating the project will be available Autumn 2018. As a school, they have also reflected on their own practice and, through this collaborative work, other schools’ practices have also influenced school improvement. The school has also been selected as a case study by the OECD and the Welsh Government as part of their work developing ‘Schools as Learning Organisations’, presented at the national conference and is featured in the report published in the autumn term 2018.