St Luke’s High School - Meta-skills journey
When St Luke’s High School began to look at their vision, values and aims, they realised that key to meeting those aims was helping young people develop the skills they need to thrive in an ever changing world.
After discussions with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), St Luke’s decided to put meta-skills at the heart of their teaching.
Head Teacher, Christine Downie, explains why it was important for St Luke’s High School to develop a skills framework based on the Skills 4.0 meta-skills model.
"We were determined that our new vision, values and aims would not just be visible in words and posters but in the daily lived experience in every classroom, and the wider life of the school.
We worked with Susan from SDS and decided that we would commit to using the meta-skills as set out in the Skills 4.0 paper. We wanted a process of embedding meta-skills across the curriculum, which would enable our young people to make connections across learning and better prepare them for life post-school.
By approaching the adoption of meta-skills in this way, we made sure that they are integral to our day-in, day-out approaches and that they become embedded in our pedagogy and design work."
Brendan Toal, music teacher and Principal Teacher of Pupil Support with a remit of DYW in the school, started the cross-curriculum work in the school and launched the 12 meta-skills to all staff. He emphasises the need for teachers to understand the skills agenda’s importance and have a deeper understanding about meta-skills. Staff took part in CPD delivered by SDS to give them this understanding and to help them think about meta-skills in the context of their lessons.
Two members from the St Luke’s working group on meta-skills told us why they think meta-skills are important in the classroom.
A key aspect is being able to support pupils to explicitly talk about their skills and create opportunities for them to practice skills development using practical examples. Rather than being an add-on we are actively embedding meta-skills development as part of the curriculum.
Principal Teacher of Pupil Attainment
It had become very clear that pupils were developing skills but were unable to articulate those skills within an application form or CV. Employers look for pupils to exemplify those skills and our young people were struggling to do that.
Principal Teacher of Science
Claire also talked about how the redesign of the S1 science content better helps pupils understand how the content links to careers and skills, and understand their own skills development.
Brendan on working with SDS said:
"Susan from SDS was very supportive of us as we were discovering and choosing the meta-skills framework. Jointly we ran many training sessions across the school in order to have the support and understanding of all staff.”
“One of the biggest successes was the availability of SDS’s meta-skills toolkit, a suite of resources for teachers to use in the classroom. These resources are widely used by teachers and support the embedding of meta-skills across the school. The resources help pupils to understand, recognise and articulate their skills development."
Susan from SDS said:
"I was delighted to work in partnership with St Luke’s High School as the school began to think about embedding skills across the curriculum.
"It was clear from the beginning that the school had a real commitment to making sustainable changes for the benefits of the pupils and by working directly with Brendan, we have managed to ensure that all teaching staff understand why it is important to embed meta-skills into lessons and help staff with the resources to do this."
And finally, a last word from the pupils...
Pupils discuss how meta-skills help them learn