Pilot project gives young people resilience
It’s a problem shared by pretty much every school across the country. That small core of students in each year group who, for one reason or another, disengage from school.
While sanctions might work for some, for others punishments only cause the divide between student and school to widen. That’s why we’re working with Lytham St Anne’s Technology and Performing Arts College, on a different approach; one that re-engages students by working on their resilience and giving them a focus.
The Journey Programme is aimed at Year 9 students, Jamie Gordon, Lakeside Senior Instructor for Training, explained why:
“By Year 9, students are starting to mature both physically and mentally. It’s also a high pressure time for these 13 and 14-year-olds. As well as the internal turmoil of growing up, social and peer pressure increases and GCSEs draw closer and become a reality. Some react to the pressure by rebelling or, if they’re struggling with academic work, feel that school isn’t worth bothering about.”
By teaching these young people to be more resilient and by demonstrating how much they can achieve with the right support, the aim is that they’ll re-engage with school and education.
How The Journey Programme works
Lytham St Anne’s College invited a group of 10 Year 9 students, who were showing signs of more challenging behaviour at school, to take part in The Journey Programme.
Each Tuesday, Jamie travels from Lakeside to run the programme, which works towards a 2-night, 3 day camping expedition on 14-16 July. During the 1½-hour after-school sessions, the students work together to plan their trip and learn the map reading, cooking and camping skills they’ll need to complete the expedition.
“By giving these young people a single goal to work towards they can see how their efforts and teamwork help them to succeed. It’s fun, gives them a sense of self-worth and builds their confidence. Importantly, it shows them that adults and teachers are not working against them, but are there to support and help them,” said Jamie.
With schools facing budget cuts, it was important to find external funding for The Journey Programme. A bursary from the Lottery Fund has paid for the pilot so there’s no additional financial burden on the school or parents.
The pilot will provide valuable data regarding engagement and performance levels before and after the Programme.
“I’ve seen a big improvement in the students’ attitude and behaviour. If the data supports this anecdotal evidence, we plan to apply for funding to roll The Journey Programme out to other schools, helping more young people reach their potential,” said Jamie.
We’ll let you know the results of the Lytham St Anne’s pilot later this summer. Keep an eye out for our articles.