I have always been a firm believer in the promotion of so-called ‘soft skills’, in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and in improving the ability of pupils to interact effectively with others in different contexts. Many pupils suffer when they find themselves in a different social context (e.g. a discussion with an adult, a classroom presentation etc.) and find it hard to adapt. So, a few years ago, as part of the School Development Plan, we promoted this across the school through normal lessons and Form Periods to help pupils recognise its importance, and encouraged pupil progress in eight key areas, using where possible pupil role-models as teachers.
These days, we regularly revisit EQ, albeit informally, encouraging pupils to be ‘EQ-competent’ and ‘interview ready’. And more recently, we have also embarked on a related project with an external company keen to promote Oracy Skills. Initially, we focussed on the whole of Year 8; latterly, we have adapted the programme to target around 100 pupils (from Year 7 to Year 12) who we believe might benefit more than others from this kind of intervention.