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Students engaged with personal development and life skills initiative

All Year 8 students at The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College are currently involved in an innovative scheme called ‘The Edge’ which aims to develop and embed valuable life skills. This is a project that students can engage with even when self-isolating.

‘The Edge’ offered by PiXL, the largest network which supports schools in England and Wales, accredits important life skills and attributes such as – leadership, organisation, initiative, resilience and communication.  The initiative gives students a qualification, which runs alongside their academic lessons and recognises what they can do, not just what they know.

In order to gain the recognised qualification at “Apprentice”, “Graduate” or “Masters” level, students need to complete a range of activities from an approved list.  The activities are varied and can be undertaken in normal lessons, in extra-curricular clubs or outside of school. Activities range from mentoring a peer and being an ambassador for the school to captaining a sports team or learning a new instrument or language.

During the summer lockdown, and whilst in self-isolation, year 8 students at The Avon Valley School have been encouraged to practice and their develop skills. For example, the school’s PE department challenged students to plan, practice and lead a warm up with members of their family. In addition, the year 8 students were also asked to create a poster or fact sheet describing a chosen career option, and they were encouraged to design, prepare and cook a family meal.

Progress through the scheme is managed by students themselves using a specially designed website, with school staff and the school’s ‘Edge Coordinator’ providing an oversight and awarding credits towards achieving the qualifications.

Apollo House student, William Smith has made excellent progress with the award and has signed off a number of challenges including writing a film review, cooking his family a meal, leading an exercise style warm up and designing a wonderful careers poster. Another student, who’s making excellent progress with the award is, Logan Cooper who belongs to Fortune House. Logan filmed a Joe Wicks style warm up video, during which he lead his dad and sister through the cardio and muscular exercises.

Leigh Hallam, PE Teacher and Edge Coordinator, said: “Lockdown and self-isolation has not hampered the progress made by some students on the PiXL Edge programme. Many of the students have been innovative and have found creative ways to engage with, and demonstrate the skills needed for the award. I am really pleased with the progress made, and hope that many of the students will successfully complete the award.”

Alison Davies, Headteacher commented “The personal skills developed by our students through ‘The Edge’ very important, and help our students to develop resilience – a skills that has become very important during 2020.”

For further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Fiona Perks, Headteacher’s PA on 01788 542355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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