The Skills Suitcase


The Skills Suitcase is designed to support learners in identifying their own skills and abilities, as well as identifying those they may need further help in developing. You can use this resource in two main ways:

As a 1-2-1 activity:

  • Always start by 'packing' the case with the skills that students already have.
  • If they struggle, ask them what a good friend would pick to describe them.
  • Spend as long as you like discussing/reflecting/praising the student for their skills.
  • Ask them to choose the cards they would like to develop.

As a paired activity:

  • Pair students according to teacher objectives.
  • Student A packs their case with their skills.
  • Student B then suggests skills they have missed.
  • Student A chooses the cards they would like to develop.
  • Students swap roles.

Find further strength-based tools which are free to download here.  

Top tips
  • Make the experience even more kinaesthetic by using a real suitcase and larger prompt cards.
  • Use The Skills Suitcase as part of a general discussion-based activity where a group of students pack the suitcase together.
  • Ask students to pick a card that represents a skill they have, or one that another member of the group has, and provide feedback as to why they have chosen it.

“I really liked your suitcase exercise and have used it really successfully with Extended Diploma Art and Design students. It was a group of students who did not want to go on to HE and are looking at going out to work/apprenticeships. I linked it to the skills employers are looking for. It was great as we started conversations about what skills they have gained on their course”

Careers Professional

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