The Competency Curriculum Toolkit

Developing the PLTS framework through themed learning

By: Jackie Beere MBA OBE , Helen Boyle


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Pages : 208
ISBN : 9781845901264
Format: PaperbackCDROM
Published: May 2009

This book explores the concept of a competency-based curriculum for Key Stage 3 and provides a range of resources for implementing creative learning in schools. It is widely acknowledged that students will need to be flexible, self-motivated learners if they are to thrive in our rapidly changing global community.

  • Do students need to nurture their resilience and commitment to learning?
  • Are schools keen to develop the skills and competencies of learning how to learn, leadership and teamwork ready for their crucial choices in KS4?
  • Can we help students become more resilient and self reliant by teaching a project based approach that delivers progress in key personal competencies?

Various models for delivery and assessment are considered and schemes of work for projects as well as sample lessons to use in the classroom are provided. In addition, the CD-ROM has a range of PowerPoint presentations for training staff and students. An essential toolkit for all those wishing to develop independent learners.

Picture for author Jackie Beere MBA OBE

Jackie Beere MBA OBE

Jackie Beere, OBE is an Independent Thinking Associate who worked as a newspaper journalist before embarking on a career in teaching and school leadership. She was awarded an OBE in 2002 for developing innovative learning programmes and is the author of several bestselling books on teaching, learning and coaching. Since 2006, Jackie has been offering training in the latest strategies for learning, developing emotionally intelligent leadership and cultivating a growth mindset.

Click here to see a summary of Jackie's writings in the press - both online and in print.

Picture for author Helen Boyle

Helen Boyle

Helen Boyle has spent the last ten years working in education, leading and implementing innovative teaching and learning initiatives and since 2004 has been the lead teacher at Campion School developing the RSA Opening Minds programme at key stage three.


  1. According to Einstein, you cant solve the problems by using the same thinking that caused them. If we school children the way we were schooled then we are in serious trouble when it comes to the challenges of the 21st century. In your hands, with this wonderful new book, is a tool that can transform the nature of education in this country and beyond. And dont let thedeath of subject knowledge naysayers distract you. Jackie and Helen are not talking about doing away with knowledge. They are describing in detail, in easy steps, in a systematic and proven manner, how you can help children acquire knowledge in a way that teaches them the skills to survive whatever the 21st century throws at them. And do better at school in the process. This powerful and practical book from genuine educational pioneers has made it easy for you. Your challenge is whether you are brave enough to do what this book asks of you. For everyones sake lets hope you are.

    And you get a flying scrotum to stick on your wall too whats not to like!
  2. ,"In the twenty first century, illiteracy is not just about being unable to read and write, it is about the inability to learn how to learn. The Toolkit will help convince the doubters that aKey Competencies approach is vital. After reading through it, I am convinced more than ever that the development of PLTS is not a way to motivate, develop, engage, challenge and inspire young people, it is THE way. The review of theory is comprehensive, the resources are excellent, the projects engaging and the tracking tool simple and effective. For those who are hesitating it is a greatway in and for those who are well down the road it will enhance what they are already doing. The art of teaching meets the science of learning!.
  3. This is a rich, exemplary handbook for the kind of competency-focussed KS3 curriculum that we have been moving towards for several years and is now fully promoted by QCA. It answers all the questions that hold many managers and teachers back: why should we change; what will the benefits be; how do we genuinely integrate PLTS and subject-specific content; how do we plan themed projects; how do we timetable them; how do we ensure rigour; how do we assess?

    The Competency Curriculum Toolkit informs, excites, guides and resources. Better still, Jackie and Helen invite you to customise and create; they provide lots of detailed, workable ideas that will accelerate your planning, but each project has enough room for you to embellish the frameworks and activities. Best of all, the book provides you with models and examples” patterns that show you how to devise your own unique themed projects. It gets you into a modern, holistic way of thinking about curriculum design and classroom delivery.

    The timing of the book could not be better. In many ways, the conceptual battle has been won” most people accept the urgent need for generic skills and attitudes to be deliberately taught alongside traditional curriculum content. However, this emerging national priority is leaving teachers hungry for practical applications.The Competency Curriculum, with its wisdom and pragmatism, satisfies the professional appetite. It fills the gap between embracing and implementing some big, important ideas.
  4. As an educator in personal development, I read the title and had no idea what PLTS stands for, and after first paging through the book, I was still not sure what it stands for although it seemed to have an objective. So my immediate reaction is I cant review this book.

    However, what caught my eye was"In the past knowledge was like gold: it gave you power, influence and wealth. Now knowledge is like milk: if you keep it too long, it becomes out of date and stagnant., And that really rung true for me. Plus the statement of Abu Yusuf Al-Kindi"We should not shy away from welcoming and acquiring the truth regardless of where it comes from, even if it comes from distant races and nations that are different from us. Nothing is more important than seeking the truth except truth itself., Now that is very much my attitude and philosophy to life.

    So what has this book got to offer people like myself who are not part of the formal educational system, yet dedicated to learning and expanding ourselves through consistent learning of knowledge and applying it in every day life?

    I think Roy Leightons comments about attitudes within the UK are particularly relevant and although the book is focused on students within formal education, the value of the exercises in business or personal development groups, is to my mind, excellent for team building or as ice breakers and allowing a group of people to appreciate the vast array of perceptions to one concept and yet developing global affinity, co-operation and understanding.

    The PLTS system of learning is to my mind, valuable in that it again focuses more on practical skills that are needed within business once a student has left formal education. Learning how to work within a team, how to self manage oneself and ones time for productivity are vitally important skills that affect the bottom line of any business. The only way one can successfully work in a team and be a self manager that creates results is to develop the abilities of independent thinking, reflective learning and creative thinking around a particular task or challenge within the work place. And the only way to effectively develop these skills is to observe and participate in each circumstance.

    So the idea behind this book and what it is seeking toteach students in terms of practical approaches to working effectively with different traditions, cultures as well as equipping them with skills that can be used in business, really does reflect a radical change in the way we as human beings can learn and bring peace to the world and live in harmony with our environment.

    Whilst this book is primarily written for the student in formal education, I can definitely appreciate the exercises as being of extreme value for people within business. Their formal education may be over, however, innovative bosses and companies understand their ability to maintain a profitable company will depend on how much they implement the PLTS concept into their working ethics. So what started off for me asI am not able to review has turned around intoI am going to apply some of these exercises with various seminars and trainings I lead as ice breakers and to demonstrate perceptual concepts around productivity, creativity, innovation and co-operation with others from other traditions.

    The content of the book using global issues that we all need to take responsibility for ... excellent idea and great metaphor for how each human being is a microcosm within the macrocosm and vice versa" and that unless we become responsible citizens regardless of our race, religion and traditions .. we wont have a world to live in.

    I look forward to applying this information within my own life.

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