Primary Highlights

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader? The secret skills for success in schools and life!

COVID-19 and our Genesis@Home period certainly presented us with many challenges as parents, staff and students. However, it also presented us with opportunities to look at learning in a different way. In some ways, dramatically different!

Throughout Term 2, I have had the pleasure of creating our Weekly E-Assembly. We adopted a theme for the term of unpacking the Six Secret Skills for Success in School. Each week we presented a different skill and gave practical examples of how our students could develop these.

The Secret Skills aren’t something I just made up during COVID. It is actually a system that was developed a number of years ago by an English headmaster called Dan Buckley. Dan went on to use these skills in his school, directly with the children in practical ways to assist them to be successful at school and life. The school he worked at was particularly hard, with students who struggled greatly. Through the system he developed, it turned the success of these students around incredibly.

The Six Secret Skills are an acronym for the word Secret. Notably, the skills are as follows:

  • Self-manager
  • Effective Participator
  • Creative Thinker
  • Reflective Learner
  • Enquirer
  • Team Worker

The Secret Skills are all doing words, and just like any skill, one needs to regularly and consistently practice them to improve. Targets for improvement need to be set, and need to be achievable, so we can continue to grow.

Another term used regularly in the Education professional world is “Future Skills” – essentially the Secret Skills are one set of Future Skills, which all humans need in order to be successful in the future. You should notice that the skills are not related to products – like “making a sandwich” or “kicking a footy”. Rather they are all related to how we work within ourselves, think, and also how we work with other people.

In a future world in which we don’t know exactly what it will look like, or what jobs will exist, it is the Future Skills which will see our current students succeed in life. Research over the past number of years has identified the Future Skills as being what we really need to be teaching in schools, and I am confident that at Genesis, our children are engaged daily in learning activities which are designed not just around content, but also the skills of the Future.

So, are you smarter than a 5th-Grader? The truth is it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that our 5th Graders, and all grades in Primary school are being well-equipped for a future which we can vaguely see, but not truly predict, but which the onus is on us as parents and teachers to adequately equip them for.

Kind regards,

Jeremy Williamson

Head of School (Primary)