School life: The Calder Edge – one in a million

Mr Guise tasked staff to discover more on PIXLs The Edge
Mr Guise tasked staff to discover more on PIXLs The Edge
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At the start of this academic year Mr Guise actioned us to find out more about PiXL’s The Edge.

PiXL is a not for profit education organisation set up to share resources, expertise and advice throughout secondary schools in the UK and The Edge is not the lead guitarist of U2, nor a climbing problem at Bridestones, but a programme designed for young people to enable them to demonstrate the skills so needed in the fast changing world they live in.

Having accompanied both teaching and non-teaching staff and taken students from Year 7 to listen to presentations delivered at Leeds United Football stadium we were hooked. It all seemed to be just what we wanted for our young people. There were different levels – Apprenticeship, Graduate and Masters – which we could introduce to students which clearly supported the developmental programme we were introducing at KS4 with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Quick on the uptake we visited Boston Spa High School in North Yorkshire, listened to their Assistant Head Teacher who was one of the first to introduce The Edge, questioned her and engaged with young people already completing the scheme along with Year 9 students who had successfully completed their Apprentice award.

Mr Washington and I have worked as a well-oiled machine developing the programme at Calder, cleverly, in our opinion, naming it The CalderEdge and introducing EdgeReg to Years 7 and 8.

Mr Guise persuaded us to introduce The Edge to both Years 7 and 8 together and we deliberately introduced it straight after the Christmas holidays. Having found their feet in Term 1 we wanted to engage Year 7 students in activities which would instil in them confidence and a thirst for learning. The CalderEdge is made up of key attributes called LORIC (Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative, Communication) Each attribute is introduced to the students in the first assembly of the half term and then students work on completing two Personal Challenges throughout the Half term. Each week students have EdgeReg when either watch the powerpoint developing the key attribute for the half term or they work on their Personal Challenges for the attribute in question. We choose the first PC for each attribute and then students are given a database made up of a huge number of potential challenges which they can choose from.

After only half a term we are starting to see the success of The Calder Edge with students discussing how they can volunteer to deliver a presentation in a subject and how it will contribute to their award. We have talked to Year 8 students at Year 9 Options Evening and been delighted when they have said they asked if they could help because it would enable them to achieve their second personal challenge for Communication. Students are thinking about what they can do in school and outside in order to achieve their PCs. They are starting to engage in evaluation a key tool they will need throughout school and beyond. It has enabled tutors to work more closely with their tutees and given even more meaning to Tutor time as students think through their PCs, plan them and then evaluate them.

All in all we are delighted with the initial success of The CalderEdge and are proud that Calder students in Years 7 and 8 will be one in a million young people who have those very important attributes to help them succeed.