Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2021

DYW Interesting Practice: Skills development at the core of the curriculum - Busby Primary School

What is this?

​Busby Primary School in East Renfrewshire has developed a dynamic initiative that focuses on enhancing skills for learning, life and work from early years to P7. Pupils are involved every week, working within/across Early, First and Second Levels.

Who is this for?

​This exemplar will be useful for practitioners involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda.

It supports professional reflections around the Career Education and Work Placements Standards as well as School / Employer Partnerships.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

This exemplar aims to inspire reflective thinking by practitioners engaged in curriculum development.

You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • In what ways does the curriculum provision and timetabling in your establishment incorporate career education for all learners?
  • To what extend are partners involved in delivering meaningful, work related experiences for learners, the delivery of skills and qualifications as well as prospective career opportunities?


Word file: Busby Primary (52 KB)

​Supporting documents: Planning tools for implementation, benchmarking and progression

PDF file: Skills Academy 2017-18 - Early Level

PDF file: Skills Academy 2017-18 - Level 1

Word file: Progression Pathway - Fractions

Word file: Progression Pathway - Measurement

PDF file: Level 2 Benchmarks - Food and Health

Explore this exemplar

What was done?

Based on a masterclass concept, headteacher Sharon Hunter set up the Skills Academy, a programme that brought together staff, employers, parents and community organisations to provide inspirational, progressive learning experiences for all children and young people. The timetabled programme was built around five cross-cutting themes which learners accessed on a rotational basis:

  • Food Technology
  • Community,
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Creativity
  • Life skills

Its successful implementation was based on the strategic planning and support provided by the school’s leadership team, enabling all staff to engage according to their interests through relevant CLPL opportunities.


Skills Academy has grown into a core element in preparing pupils for the future and in helping to reduce the attainment gap.

What was the impact?

Skills Academy now forms the nucleus of the curriculum at Busby, with pupils’ motivation being enhanced through real life experiences. This transfers to the rest of the provided curriculum. Pupils are able to relate their learning to the world of work and are able to identify and describe the links and benefits. As a result learners are progressively developing a wide range of employability and career management skills throughout their primary education.

Additional materials

Watch a series of YouTube videos that provide a range of perspectives around the Skills Academy programme: