Smart Choices Programme

Kickstart offer intensive mentoring support for primary school pupils who may require in-school support for a variety of reasons.

The majority of pupils that are identified and considered for the groups  are vulnerable due to having difficulties in emotional literacy, self-regulation, socialising, communicating, confidence and self-esteem.

(Ofsted, 2011) identified that concerns fall into three main categories:
• Behavioural Difficulties – aggression, ‘acting out’
• Behavioural – not particularly challenging but disruptive to learning
• Withdrawn behaviour and interaction difficulties with others

We recognise that there are pupils with challenging and difficult behaviour that would benefit from being included in our intervention programme and are continually working towards their inclusion.

Lucas,S., Insley,K. and Buckland,G. (2006) Nurture Group Principles and Curriculum Guidelines Helping Children to Achieve, The Nurture Group Network.

Our Kickstart Intervention Mentors work in several schools  to provide support and mentoring to pupils that require that little bit of extra support  in  school, our tailored intervention programme offers support for the children who struggle to cope with challenges and don’t know how to reach their full potential.

The pupils targeted quite often struggle to form relationships and adult attachment, as well as low self-esteem/confidence, have weak or little emotional literacy and this in turn can lead to negative behaviours and unhealthy lifestyles which can culminate in anti-social and risk-taking behaviours.
Our Mentors work over a period of 10 weeks with individual pupils, or small groups, using a specific targeted programme of activities tailored to individual needs.
A mentoring questionnaire for baseline assessments is completed at the start of the programme and again at the end of the programme to enable monitoring, analysis and evaluation our results.
Our programme has produced some excellent results with improvements in relationships with both adults and peers, as well as emotional literacy and organisational skills.

Brief Case Study – Child A
At the start of the programme Child A presented with low scores showing that they had difficulty engaging with peers and adults in an appropriate manner, and that concentration and organisational skills were poor. Child A also struggled with low confidence, self-esteem and boundaries.

At the end of the programme Child A’s baseline assessment scores reflected some small but very important changes across all the strands assessed. The child and teacher both scored an  improvement in relationships and respect with adults, better with peers, and an small but significant change in his overall scores.

Work during the sessions has been based around communication, confidence, friendships/team-work, impact of behaviour, self-esteem, and managing emotions.

Pupils & Staff feedback

A pupil ‘interview’ conducted at the end of the programme has shown that Child A responds well to being listened to and being helped to feel valued. They said that “this club has help me to calm down”. Others in the group commented that child A “listen’s more” and “knows how to be kind”

Class Teacher has reported an improvement in Child A’s overall class behaviour and attitude.

Parental feedback was that the sessions have had a positive impact, and the Child A is doing better at school and responding to positive praise.

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