Burton Embraces the Edge

As part of the Minerva Learning Trust, Burton Bradstock School have been working with the Sir John Colfox Academy to give their children the Edge. The Edge is a programme which focuses on developing and improving the skills and
attributes which will make children successful in the future – initiative, communication, resilience, organisation and leadership.

The Edge has been an important initiative at the Sir John Colfox Academy for the last two year and the school is a Centre of Excellence with teacher, Andy David, being the Edge Ambassador for all South West schools. He has been supporting Burton Bradstock along with students from the secondary school
and he emphasises the importance of this work.

“Too many schools simply focus on the taught curriculum,” he said, “and this can lead to too much emphasis on exams and testing. Luckily, the schools in the Minerva Learning Trust recognise that more than results are necessary to be successful in life and they are committed to developing the whole child. It has been a privilege to work with the children and staff at Burton Bradstock and to see them really engage in understanding the need for more general
skills”.

Holly Varndell, the Edge lead at Burton Bradstock says, “We were excited from the very beginning of this project. We already do much that supports children in developing skills and we have a very busy curriculum so one challenge was finding a way to fit this new work in. As a result we decided to focus
particularly on the skill of communication last term as this underpins all we do
and will really benefit the children’s learning”.

Staff developed teaching sessions using the high quality resources provided by Andy David and Pixl and the children responded well to these, developing a really good understanding of how to communicate successfully in a variety of situations and with different people. As a result the skills became embedded
in school life and staff have noticed children demonstrating them inside and outside the classroom.

Now all five attributes are regularly referred to and organisational skills are improving. More children are keen to show initiative and understand why this is important so they are less passive learners.  At the end of last half term the children celebrated the skills they have shown at a special assembly which recognising the progress they have made. The pupils have really embraced their Edge learning. Jake, a Year 6 pupil, commented, “It helps us to interact with each other and prepares us for life. It
has boosted our confidence.”

“I am so pleased with how this project has taken off”, said Headteacher Claire Staple. “It is clear that the children have really responded to this and have a much better understanding of the skills which will make them better learners and help them in their future life and careers. It has raised the children’s
aspirations and that is always a good thing”.