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Introducing the principles

Learn about the principles of teaching core skills.
Teacher at table helping students with their work
© British Council

So far, the focus has been on the what of building core skills, breaking them down into a set of outcomes that indicate progress over time. The question now is how to go about building those steps, and the approaches which are most effective.

Consider the following principles that can help you implement effective teaching of the skills.

Principle 1: Keep it simple

A consistent focus on the skills helps ensure everyone’s shared understanding. It makes building these skills as tangible as possible.

Principle 2: Start early, keep going

Starting as young as possible allows more time for students to master the skills. These skills are not just about employability and supporting success beyond school, but about thriving in all aspects of life.

Principle 3: Measure it

Taking time to reflect on the skills of students – by observing or self-assessment – helps to give a balanced understanding of strengths and weaknesses, highlights progress and shows next steps.

Principle 4: Focus tightly

Developing core skills should build upon a student’s previous learning and skill attainment. It should allow dedicated time to directly build the skills.

Principle 5: Keep practising

To support progress in the skills, they should be used and reinforced as often as possible – whenever the opportunity arises.

Principle 6: Bring it to life

Ensure that students see the relevance of these skills by linking them with the real world and by having real-life problems and challenges to work on.

Over to you

What challenges do you think you might face applying these principles?

© British Council
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Teaching and Assessing Core Skills

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