Essential Skills/Skills Builder

About Us

Essential Skills Education & Skills Builder

What are the skills that make us stand out? Great teamwork, clear communication and problem-solving abilities are a few.  Ashley School is now working with the Skills Builder Partnership to teach all of our students these ‘essential skills’, the ones every employer seeks when recruiting. Academic staff are measuring and developing students’ skills using Skills Builder’s comprehensive assessment tools and effective teaching resources.

The Essential Skills Universal Framework is at the centre and is made up of 8 essential skills: Speaking, Listening, Teamwork, Leadership, Creativity, Problem Solving, Aiming High and Staying Positive.  In the Framework, each of the 8 skills is broken down into 16 teachable, sequential skill steps, with each new step building on the previous one to promote progress.

Our students are given the opportunity to:

  • understand what the essential skills mean - what it takes to be a good team player for example
  • reflect on and measure their own skills to determine the ones they want to work on
  • learn the individual steps of each core skill e.g. ‘I speak effectively using facts and examples to support my points’
  • practise the skills they are learning to embed them
  • talk about their abilities, using the language of essential skills
  • evidence their skills, by keeping track of when and how they’ve demonstrated them, and
  • ultimately, advance their employability.


You can explore the Universal Framework here:

Parents and carers can find out more about the skills and why young people should learn them here:

Finally, there is a Home Learning Hub, which is suitable for younger children too and can be accessed here:

Please note: all of the above Skills Builder resources operate best when using Google Chrome.

If you have any questions about essential skills or how to support your child to develop them, please contact Nikki Lightfoot on  


Generic Ofsted Outstanding
Healthy Schools 2020
Rights Respecting Schools - Unicef - Level 1
Speaker's School Council Award 2017
Green Tree School Gold Award
ICT Mark Accredited Naace
Rebound Therapy
Innovation Enterprise Alliance
QM History 2019
Widgit Centre
Skills Builder
Discovering Democracy
Autism Award Winner 2018