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Key Skills

Key Skills Learning PIt

At St Stephens, we promote the use and development of every child's key skills to help them become effective communicators, creative thinkers and resilient problem solvers with a growth mindset. An explanation of each of the key skills is below.


The ability to speak effectively for different audiences; to listen, to understand and respond appropriately to others; participate in group discussion; communicate using a range of media.

This key is designed to reinforce the idea that communication skills should not emphasize verbal communication alone. It is designed to encourage teachers and adults to extend the possibilities for children to represent and communicate their thinking e.g the key is drawing his thinking but could equally be dancing, performing, singing or painting his thinking.


Creative Thinking

The generating and extending of ideas; noticing detail; making connections; suggesting hypotheses; using and applying imagination; looking for innovative outcomes; asking unusual questions.

The key is blue to link to the popular term 'blue skies thinking' and he has a box to link to the colloquial term, 'thinking out of the box'. Children will not necessarily be acquainted with these terms but they soon begin to understand how they relate to the attributes of creative thinking if their teachers make explicit references when they hear or see creative thinking.


Asking relevant questions; posing and defining problems; planning what to do; planning how to research; predicting outcomes; anticipating responses; testing ideas and conclusions; improving ideas

This key has an exaggerated nose, ears, hands and feet to represent his use of all the senses in enquiring and exploring the world.


Improving Our Own Learning

The setting of personal goals; reflecting on and critically evaluating; identifying ways to improve your own learning; identifying the purpose of the learning; reflecting on the process of the learning; developing and using success criteria; focusing and concentrating on learning; persisting when learning is difficult; developing independence and resourcefulness.

This key is represented running forward happily, continuously improving his learning by evaluating it. He has his thumb up to show how positive he is feeling with his wn, intrinsic learning goals. He understands that ability is not fixed.

Problem Solving

The identifying and understanding the problem; asking questions with regard to identifying the problem; planning ways to solve the problem; monitoring progress in tacking a problem; reviewing a solution to a problem.

This key is scratching his head to help him think and holding a puzzle piece to represent the puzzle or problem he is trying to solve.


Information Processing

Using first hand experiences to answer questions; using a range of information sources and ICT tools to find answers; analyzing; interpreting; evaluating; presenting; make critical and informed judgements; expressing ideas; reviewing and evaluating work.

This key has a rectangular face to represent some of the products we use to find our information, for example, books, television, computers and newspapers.


Giving reasons for opinions and ideas; drawing inferences and making deductions; using precise (reasoning) language to explain thinking; making judgements and decisions informed by reasons or evidence.

This key is represented with two hands in balance, weighing up this and that, yes and no, sure and not sure, pros and cons. He is 'weighing up' the possibilities and the probabilities.

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Relate to others; taking an active part in a group; negotiating and resolving differences; supporting the learning of others; understanding and predicating the feelings of others; modifying one's own responses; managing own feelings; self-awareness.

The social key skill is two characters, who represent the co-operative nature of learning and the more demanding and sophisticated colloborative aspects of social learning. This key involves learning, playing and working together.

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