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Within the National Curriculum for Wales it states "A non-statutory framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales has been developed in order to provide guidance about continuity and progression in developing thinking, communication, ICT and number from 3-19." Within Key Stage Two children should be given the opportunities to develop, obtain and apply the four Key Skills in each subject across the curriculum. These Key Skills should have been identified within the Foundation Phase where they are built upon and developed in more depth throughout Key Stage Two. Children in Key Stage Two should have already had previous experience of the four main Key Skills across the core subjects (English, Maths and Science).
Developing thinking is a way in which we are able to develop different ideas enabling us to explore and make sense of the world we live in. The process has been defined as "Plan, Develop and Reflect." which enables us to think "creatively and critically" to achieve the results we need to carry out the tasks to the best of our ability. From doing this we are then able to make links within and outside of our learning environment. Everyone is born with the ability to think however, there has been suggested evidence that we all have the ability to stretch and enhance our learning by thinking more effectively. Skills framework 2007 suggests "it could be said that, in the past, the process of learning has been taken for granted and has at times seemed mysterious." Although evidence suggests that barriers which once prevented learning, have now been overcome with the most noticeable changes being, developing thinking and assessment for learning.
Thinking about thinking - metcognition is of great importance in developing the thinking skills we all require. Children need to be able to reflect upon their own learning and apply the necessary results into future learning. If the children are then to complete the same tasks again they are then able remember how they done it before and put in place any new learning techniques. The key skills framework (2007) explains how metcognition is involved throughout several areas, such as:
"knowledge and understanding of thinking processes
Making sense of the task
Knowledge of strategies and methods, how and when to use them
Monitoring and evaluating learning from the success of chosen strategies or methods
Making connections across contexts."
This shows that metcognition is therefore at "the heart of the framework" for developing the thinking skills. Schools using language to help the children describe and understand their own learning as well as thinking each day can help to "scaffold" their understanding of the learning process.
The second Key Skill is identified as developing communication. Developing communication as a Key Skill should be taking part across the whole curriculum, the framework is split up into four main areas these being -
Wider communication skill
Communication is "all forms of communication" not just speaking. Within the wider communication area it explains non-verbal communication as being, "communication of all kinds -including gesture, mime, and signing - and the expression of ideas and emotions through other mediums such as music and art." Showing that communication is used in all subjects not just English, as some children may express themselves through Music, Art, P.E as well as a number of other subjects. With the Key Skills framework (2007) it describes the strands of each area as:
"Oracy: Developing information and ideas
Presenting information and ideas
Reading: Locating, selecting and using information using reading strategies
Responding to what has been read
Writing: Organising ideas and information
Wider communication skills: Communicating ideas and emotions
The importance to communicate with others is extremely high and the more ways children are able to communicate the better their work will become.
The Key Skills framework (2007) states that number skills involve "more than just calculating correctly; it also involves, 'the ability to use number correctly and appropriately across a wide range of situations and contexts...'" Children of all ages are able to develop their number skills in different situations across the curriculum, appropriate to their learning ability and understanding of the subject. Developing number across the curriculum links in with many of the skills within the Foundation Phase framework - Mathematical Development. Each of the skills mentioned under the 'Developing Number across the Curriculum' heading are in the Foundation Phase and Key Stage Two PoS. However, it is intended for the children to "identify ways of using number that are pertinent to several Areas of Learning or subjects across the curriculum" explains the key skills framework (2007).
The fourth and final Key Skill to be taught across the curriculum is developing ICT. ICT as a Key Skill should be used to create and present information and ideas, as well as to find and to develop information ideas across the curriculum. Through providing a wide range of opportunities to use ICT children should be able develop a sense of an audience for their work; increase competence and sophistication in their selection and application of ICT resources which best suit the task, audience and purpose.
Progression in Key Skills should be at the heart of the curriculum planning. Children should be given the opportunities to develop the application of these skills in as many different activities as possible. These Key Skills are essential for children at this age as they can help to improve learning and can also be further developed through higher education and in due course applied to everyday life, for example, when it comes to entering the world of work, children who have good, well-balanced knowledge of these skills will have an advantage over those without the four Key Skills.