21st Century Skills Refresh

At the beginning of a new year, it's nice to have a little refresh on what is good to keep our minds focused on for the next 12 months. At Zeeko, we are firm believers that 21st Century skills should be at the forefront of the classroom. These skills are at the core of all of our programmes, content and strategies. But, what are the 21st Century skills again and how are they broken down?

The 21st-century skills are a set of abilities that students need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. There are 12 of these skills in total that are furthermore broken down into the 3 categories of Learning, Literacy and Life Skills. These skills have always been required in working life, however, now more than ever in this information age.

What does each category mean?

Learning Skills

Learning skills are often called the 4 C’s and refer to how we learn. They are critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating.

Literacy Skills

Literacy skills are all the skills needed for reading and writing and understanding information. They include such things as information, media and technology literacy.

Life Skills

Life skills are the skills students need to make the most out of life and be able to adapt to a changing environment. These include flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity and social skills.

Ways to implement 21st Century skills into the classroom


Opt for relevant topics - Teach students topics that are relevant to their daily lives. Discuss current topics in the news and start a conversation. Starting conversations in the classroom is one of the best ways to improve students communication skills. When we reflect on our own time in school, some of the most exciting times were when our teacher would have an off-curriculum chat and allow those of us who could voice our opinions. As teachers ourselves, we probably hear stories often repeated from home, especially from younger classes, however, it's one of the best ways to build relationships in the classroom both between students and teachers and between students themselves.

Teamwork makes the dream work - The best way to build relationships and develop a multitude of 21st Century skills is to incorporate teamwork into the classroom. Any form of group work will help students work on their learning skills by learning from each other and taking on others opinions, communication skills by sharing their opinions and not to forget life skills by working on productivity, leadership and social skills. Teamwork doesn't have to be a daunting task to set up, the most basic of group activities will do the trick.

Flexible seating - A stress-free way to helping to implement many of the 21st Century skills into the classroom is to allow flexible seating. Moving seats every week or every couple of weeks will allow students to build new relationships with different students, start different conversations and take them out of their comfort zones of sticking with their best friends all the time. It will also help quieter students build confidence and expand their abilities.

Let your students lead the learning - Peer-led learning empowers students to learn. Effective teachers are more like moderators, offering inspiration and guiding students to discover for themselves. Give students the opportunity to be self-learners, which guarantees lifelong learning. This brings us nicely onto our peer-led learning programme, see below for more on the Magical Leaders.

The Magical Leaders

Zeeko’s Magical Leaders programme is a peer-led programme that helps children develop 21st century and transversal skills. The programme is engaging, fun, and interactive! The Magical Leaders programme is fully developed, with detailed lesson plans and instruction manuals included.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the programme is currently free to schools in Ireland. For more information visit our website, or get in touch with the Zeeko Team today. And make sure you share the programme with your child's teacher. Hopefully, your children will have the opportunity to meet the Magical Leaders in the New Year!

Teachers can sign up for our Monthly Teachers Newsletter here. Don't forget to sign up for our Parents Blog List here.

To learn more on the Magical Leaders, click the button below to join our FREE information webinar on Wednesday 26th of January 2022 at 7 PM.