05 May HT Blog 30 – LORIC
Education, as I am sure you are aware, is awash with acronyms. From the SATs that our neighbours at Springfield and elsewhere will be taking in a couple of weeks to the LOTC opportunities that were the subject of last week’s HT blog, acronyms and abbreviations are everywhere and working in or dealing with a school sometimes requires a great deal of up-to-date specialist knowledge before any sense can be made of a conversation. Another acronym that we have at Daubeney, but which might not yet be so commonly or widely understood, is LORIC, which stands for some of the vital skills that students can learn alongside and through their academic subjects during their time at school, namely leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication. Originally, the term LORIC comes from an educational company called PiXL (Partners for Excellence), which is a not-for-profit partnership of over 1,600 secondary schools, 500 sixth forms, 600 primary schools and 75 providers of alternative education who together share best practice to raise standards and, in the words of the organisation, give students a better future and brighter hope. The decision to choose the five LORIC skills came about because education and industry partners, including the CBI and the National Careers Service, produced lists of desirable qualities for the workplace and the 5 Edge Attributes (as they were then called) – leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication – were selected as the most representative skills across all the research. To be clear, leadership is defined by PiXL as “leading a group of people or an organisation or having the ability to do this”, organisation is “being able to identify what you need to do, how you are going to do it and then checking you get it done,” resilience is “the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, it means bouncing back from difficult experiences and not giving up,” initiative is “the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do” and communication is “to share or exchange information, news or ideas by speaking, writing or using some other medium.” At Daubeney, we know that although we place huge value upon the academic outcomes that our students achieve in their GCSE subjects, not only is this not the only purpose of their time at school but actually they are much more likely to do well in their exams if they have also spent time developing the LORIC skills (also sometimes termed soft skills by employers and further education organisations) as they mature into the young adults that will form the next generations of our communities. Our subject leaders have been tasked with adding explicit LORIC attributes to our curriculum, so that they underpin the learning of the students and become part of the Daubeney vocabulary. LORIC will, to a certain extent, link academic progress even more coherently with our commitment to character education and the Colours system that is such an important part of what we already do. If our students can see the LORIC skills that they are acquiring through the learning that takes place in their lessons, it will help them to understand the purpose of the activities and how it is preparing them for their next stage of their education or training. Over the course of the summer term, our teachers will begin to make reference in lessons to which tasks link with which LORIC skills and our teachers will explain to our students what the acronym means and why it could be so crucial to their ongoing development at Daubeney.
A wonderful example of our students displaying and developing LORIC skills could be found last week in our school when three boys (one from year eight and two from year ten) took the time to prepare the resources, along with the support of our amazing Miss Moubarak, that our teachers will deliver to all of our students next week during our am form time sessions. Our theme for the week is Ramadan, and the three students were determined to offer their own personal perspectives as to what this time of the year means to them and their families as members of our local Islamic community. The presentation that the students have prepared touches on all LORIC skills, but perhaps most obviously upon organisation, initiative and communication, with slides focusing upon factual elements and common misconceptions around Islam, the five pillars of Islam and what it means to the boys to be Muslims in a modern, diverse society that still, sadly, contains much prejudice, hostility and suspicion towards people of different faiths. Our aim, as is always the case with everything that we do, is to educate our young people so that their minds are filled with new knowledge and opened to new ideas and experiences, and I am not only very proud of the manner in which our three students have stepped up to the mark in order to organise and complete this task but also confident that their message will be one that is understood and appreciated by their peers.