• Helping Cumbrian Primary school children to Dream BIG.


Introduction to SkillsBlox

Introduction to SkillsBlox

SkillsBlox - An Introduction

Welcome to SkillsBlox, the PBP’s very own skills development programme for primary pupils across Cumbria.

SkillsBlox helps to identify and build the skills which will enable our young people to flourish in the future, whichever pathways they choose. (It will also help them to understand and choose the right pathway for them in later life!)

The PBP SkillsBlox Framework is built around Tony Wagner’s – 7 Skills for the Future which were outlined in his book The Global Achievement Gap…the skills people will need to succeed in a global knowledge economy.  Aside from the obvious ways this learning will meet workplace needs, these skills will support the confidence and abilities of young people as they proceed through their education and lives more generally.


The seven skills are outlined below with their equivalent descriptions we’ve adapted them for SkillsBlox in bold italics for the primary audience.


 Collaboration and Leading by Influence – being good leader or team player

 Agility and Adaptability – being adaptable to change

 Curiosity and Imagination – being curious and imaginative

 Good Oral and Written Communication – being a great communicator

 Accessing and Analysing Information – being good at using information

 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – being a Problem Solver

 Creativity and Entrepreneurship – having great and exciting ideas

What are the 7 skills?

SkillsBlox have been intentionally created to reflect the idea that the skills can be built upon and would lend itself to delivering sessions with building bricks such as Lego or Duplo – especially with the primary audience and bright colours used. The SkillsBlox programme will also be enhanced with a passport which will allow the pupil to record their skills development, what they’ve done and how they’ve improved their skills and abilities over time.

All of our resources and workshops will be linked to the SkillsBlox framework and how they contribute to skills development in each of the 7 skills areas so at any stage in your pupils’ developments you can clearly see which resources and sessions will contribute to the development of which skills.

Please feel free to link the SkillsBlox concepts and ideas to your own resources and lessons and let us know which ones work best for you and your classes.

We will also link schools with their own SkillsBlox Advisor, someone from the local business community who will help reach out to their own networks, support and bring to life the learning and relation it to the world of work.

7 Skills for the Future

 The icon represents: people working together and the idea that when people work together there are more and better ideas.


Skill: This is about teamwork and leadership.

A good leader makes sure everyone is willing to work alongside them and that they will listen to ideas from everyone in the team.

Good teamwork means that individual members work together to complete a task.



How it is useful: teamwork is essential – whether on the sports field, in games, tasks, in a classroom or at work. Teams need to help each other to be successful. The best teams also have leaders who can guide them to success and share the good and bad times.


The icon represents: different pathways and directions. Different people want to go in different ways sometimes. Being adaptable to things changing in our lives is helpful.


Skill: This is about being able to respond to change. Sometimes change can be planned and we can get ready for it, sometimes it happens suddenly and we have to react fast.

Some of us can adapt better than others.

Because we know things in all our lives will change it is helpful to be able to adapt. Think back to when you were a baby – you used to have someone who fed and helped you go to the toilet, now you don’t – you’ve grown up and developed new skills.


How it is useful: Life is full of changes, we change as people, we get older, we develop new skills and interests and have to be able to change as we develop.

Being adaptable will mean that most of the changes we have to make will be easier than if we were resistant to change or upset by them. (Sometimes we will still be upset by changes, but by being able to talk about and understand change we can cope better).


The icon represents: imagining new things and ways of doing things. It’s a cloud question mark because we often look up when we are thinking about things that are new and exciting!


Skill: curiosity is really important because it is our brain saying ‘I wonder why…?’ and ‘how does that work?’.  It’s essential in helping scientists and engineers to come up with new ideas and overcome challenges.


How it is useful: We can develop our curiosity and imagination by drawing and thinking about different worlds. Reading great books about imaginary words and machines is also a great way of stretching our curiosity and helping our imaginations.

Think about anything you have at home or in school that is made by humans – computers, trampolines, footballs, music, art – all of it has come from someone’s imagination and fuelled by their curiosity. If we didn’t have the skills of curiosity and imagination we might still be living in caves!

The icon represents: two people communicating – one is giving out a message and we hope the other is hearing it.


Skill: communicating is essential and includes speaking, listening, seeing, body-language from person to person. Communication also includes the way people communicate – face to face, telephone, video, text, books, different languages, newspapers, song, dance and a host of other ways we get messages across. We adapt our communications depending on who we are communicating with and what the message is.


How it is useful: Life is a series of different interactions with other people – have a think about the number of people we communicate every day. We use different methods and styles of communication according to where we are what we’re doing. As well as being useful, it’s essential – safety, kindness, care, understanding, teaching all need to be communicated and we pick up and develop the skills we need as we grow and develop.

The icon represents: a search engine enquiry bar and a dictionary / book. These are both sources of information and are helpful when we need to know something.


Skill: We need to know where to get information from when we need it. Once we have that information – news, facts, words, data, measurements, timings, dates and names – then we need to know how to use it.


How it is useful: When we need to write stories, communicate an opinion, describe something or persuade someone then using the right information and data are important. We don’t always have that data and information to hand so we need to know where to get the information from and how to use it properly.

The icon represents: an image of a rope that is about to break and a rope that has been repaired / replaced. This is a good example of a problem that has been solved.


Skill: when something is going wrong or has already gone wrong we need to find ways to put them right. Someone who corrects mistakes or makes things better is a problem-solver.


How it is useful: Sometimes things go wrong. We don’t win. We lose something. There’s an accident. Something breaks.

What do we do when that happens? We ask someone to help OR we fix it ourselves.

Problem-solvers mend things and make things work.

Problem-solvers look at things that don’t work very well and say ‘I’m going to improve that and make it better for everyone”.

Being an engineer, a leader and a teacher is being a problem-solver. This is a really important skill for life, for everyone.

The icon represents: what people say when they are trying to imagine new concepts, items, solutions and ideas. What if we…do / make / think about / decide / choose this?


Skill: If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got! The skill in coming up with ideas is not being afraid to think up new things and then not being scared to tell people about them. Asking ourselves ‘what if…?’ is one of the best ways to come up with new ideas.


How it is useful: People need to come up with new ideas…think about when you’ve designed a monster or decorated a cake, built something from Lego or painted something from your imagination, that is what having ideas is all about.

Thank you to all our fabulous SkillsBlox Advisors who are helping primary pupils across Cumbria identify and build key skills for the future!
Click on the logo to learn more about who is involved