Smart Choices – Early Intervention Programme

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

The majority of pupils that are identified and considered ‘vulnerable’ may have difficulties in 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 interruptive 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• Withdrawn behaviour and interaction difficulties with others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 have been working in several schools this last term to provide support and mentoring to pupils that require that little bit of extra support both in and out of 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 have worked 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 are completed at the start of the programme and again at the end of the programme to enable us to monitor, analyse and evaluate 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 high scores showing that they had difficulty engaging with peers and adults, 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 very good changes across all the strands assessed. There was significant improvement in relationships with adults and peers, literacy and organisation had also improved.

Work during the sessions has been based around confidence, self-esteem, and positivity.

We also worked on friendship and feelings, speaking and listening skills, and interaction with adults and peers.

A small sample of work taken during our Smart Choices Programme, work also included games with aims for speaking and listening skills, turn taking, and concentration, and improving interaction with adults and peers with boundaries in place. Positive praise is given throughout the sessions with time to chat and catch up on any news that they may wish to share with our mentors.

Pupil, Staff, and Parental Feedback

A pupil ‘interview’ conducted at the end of the programme has shown that Child A responds well to positive praise and would like his teachers to show a good mark in his book and to tell him that he has done well.

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

Overall Child A has made very good progress, and responds well to positive praise.

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.

Next Steps for the programme – Child A

Work would continue around building self-esteem and confidence with some additional work on friendships and feelings.  We would also introduce some work around peer pressure and consequences of crime to combat risk-taking and anti-social behaviours.

Introducing more activities around emotions and feelings to develop emotional literacy, as well as spending time playing games with aims to help to improve concentration, and speaking and listening skills.

Sample Work taken throughout the Smart Choices Programme


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