A report compiled following a survey of over 900 Scottish school pupils from 11 Secondaries and four Primaries, and over 100 teachers has highlighted the positive impact made by an education programme run over a two year period and developed by Dumfries-based training specialist, Libby Hammond, and her consultancy Confident Communicators.
The programme develops confidence and communication skills through a variety of methods including classroom based activities, workshops and PSHE modules. Among a range of benefits the report highlights:
• Improvement in pupil behaviour in both primary and secondary schools;
• Pupils, teachers and parents identifying a positive impact on pupils’ learning;
• Improved pupils’ performance in basic skills such as reading and writing;
• Both weak and academically strong pupils benefitting;
• Teachers confirming pupils are more motivated, enthusiastic and attentive in class.
The survey covers the past two years. However, the programme was originally launched in Airth Primary, near Falkirk, six years ago and a total of 40 schools in Scotland, including Secondaries, Primaries and SEN schools, have used the programme so far. Nine schools in North West England are carrying out trial programmes at present and an adapted version is currently being used in a ground-breaking social confidence programme at Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, Canada, and trials have also been held in South Africa.
Darren Donnelly, Modern Studies Teacher, Sanquhar Academy states: “The pupils I have mentored and supported have developed in confidence and, consequently, in expectation and behaviour.
My S5/6 group were not all academically able, but all have attained above the expectations placed upon them. They are now engaged in cross curricular work in schools, working with other pupils and teachers on shared learning outcomes. They are demonstrating a more shared and sustained sense of purpose in school and community, including involvement with Primary schools and adult literacy agencies, the School Council, the School Charities ‘Commission’ and Parents and Pupils extracurricular activities.
This more than ably meets the demand of even the most rigorous HMIE inspection as regard to pupil opportunities; it even excels the Citizenship prerequisites and will, I know, be a beacon in Sanquhar Academy, in introducing Curriculum for Excellence across departments.”
Programme originator, Libby Hammond, continues: “The survey is the first time we have made a concerted effort to collect formalised responses from a wide range of sources, and it confirms the anecdotal evidence we have from teachers, pupils and parents about the positive impact this programme achieves. Schools – and this includes pupils and staff – face a range of challenges, including disengaged pupils, a need to raise academic performance, a need to improve discipline and pupil behaviour and a need for resources that support them in developing the Curriculum for Excellence. By using the techniques I have developed, schools are making an impact in these, and related, areas.
“I believe the report confirms the validity of a methodology by which schools can achieve a number of goals, including the development of confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors. The fact that results were independently evaluated by Determined to Succeed is confirmation this approach makes a positive contribution to improving the school experience for all.”
A copy of the Impact Report can be obtained free by contacting Confident Communicators.
Confident Communicators (Libby Hammond): T: +44(0)1387 252828 or +44(0)07764 465783 info[.]confidentcommunicators.uk.com.