Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

Books

Joan Mowat

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • Copyright

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    Dedication

    To my daughter, Alison, and my husband, Gordon

    Contents of the CD Rom

    • Chapter 1
      • Initial organization checklist
      • Pupil referral form (1)
      • Pupil referral form (2)
      • Permission letter to parents
      • Pupil permission slip
    • Chapter 2
      • Long-term target (example)
      • Target-setting template
      • Pupil Support Booklet/Card (Primary and Secondary)
      • Support Group Diary
      • Parents' leaflet
    • Chapter 6
      • Area of Concern Form
      • Support Group Pledge
    • Chapter 7
      • Programme of activities
      • Pupil folio checklist
      • Support Group Leaders' Guide to Activities
      • Support Group Leaders' Reflective Diary
      • Parent report
    • Pupil Activities
      • Index
      • Information sheets (x9)
      • Introductory section
      • Section 1
      • Section 2
      • Section 3
      • Section 4
      • Plenary section
    • Support Group Evaluation
      • Support Group Evaluation Checklist
      • Evaluation Tools
        • Class teachers' questionnaire
        • Parent questionnaire
        • Pupils' interview
        • Pupils' self-assessment checklist
          • pre-intervention
          • post-intervention
    • Chapter 8
      • Evaluation template 1
      • Evaluation template 2
      • Evaluation criteria
      • Support Group processes affecting stakeholders
    • INSET materials
      • Presentation for School Staff (Primary)
      • Presentation for School Staff (Secondary)
      • Presentation for Support Group Leaders
      • Presentation for Parents

    How to Use the Accompanying CD Rom

    Throughout the book, you will see this CD icon used. This indicates that there is electronic material available on the accompanying CD Rom. Whilst reference may be made to individual materials on the CD Rom within several chapters of the book, the materials on the CD Rom have been placed in relation to the most relevant chapters.

    All the materials and guidance needed to carry out the Support Group programme of activities are contained in pdf files on the CD Rom. You will need Acrobat Reader version 3 or higher to view and print these pages. The document is set to print at A4 but you can enlarge them to A3 by increasing the output percentage using the page set-up settings for your printer.

    The CD Rom contains writable pdf files with checklists and pro formas for use in implementing a Support Group programme.

    There are also four PowerPoint presentations, which may be run in association with a Support Group programme by the purchaser/user of this book within their own institution.

    The Content of the CD-Rom is available at the end of this book.

    About the Author

    Joan, a practising teacher for twenty-eight years, commenced her teaching career as a Music Teacher in a Secondary school. Having been involved in voluntary organisations working with children and young people and having worked as a Care Assistant in a Children's Home, Joan developed her interest in the welfare of pupils over the course of her career. She taught in a range of schools encompassing those in leafy suburbs, inner-city schools and areas of significant deprivation. Joan has had responsibility (over a seventeen-year period) for two Music departments and, latterly, held the position of Depute Head Teacher.

    Joan undertook a range of post-graduate qualifications, including the Scottish Qualification for Headship and is currently completing a Ph D at Glasgow University – ‘Teaching for Understanding: within the Affective Field’, based upon an evaluation of the Support Groups. She was the joint recipient of the SCRE Practitioner Award in 1997, drawing upon her work in promoting positive behaviour (see p. 105). She undertook a short-term secondment for the Scottish Executive, working as a National Development Officer for the project, ‘Better Behaviour – Better Learning’, taking forward pupil participation and peer support in Scottish schools.

    Joan is keen to take forward consultancy work with Local Authorities and schools. She is currently a lecturer in Educational and Professional Studies at Strathclyde University and can be contacted at joan.mowat@strath.ac.uk.

    For further information on the research study and its findings, please refer to the Conference Paper which was presented at the ECER Conference in Geneva in 2006 which can be accessed at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/157588.pdf.

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank the Gordon Cook Foundation for their support; Bob Gibson, former colleague and mentor; Stuart Hall from the Scottish Council of Research in Education; Professor Eric Wilkinson at Glasgow University; Professor David Perkins for his encouragement; and all staff (teaching and non-teaching), pupils and parents at the school who made the development of the approach and conduct of the research possible, in particular the Support Group Leaders, who did a sterling job.

    Preface

    ‘It wasnae only me’ is an expression that will resonate with teachers throughout the land. As a newly appointed Assistant Head Teacher of a Secondary school in a deprived area of the West of Scotland, I became aware of the sense of despair I felt when the same pupils were referred to me for indiscipline day after day. Nothing that I did seemed to make any difference. I found many parents to be equally despairing, some of them, despite social work intervention, struggling to maintain parental control. Whilst the school had a Pupil Behaviour Support Base to which pupils with behavioural difficulties could be sent by classroom teachers if it was felt that they were not coping within the classroom situation, in reality, many pupils were abusing the system and deliberately misbehaving in order to be sent to the Support Base. Clearly a different approach was needed.

    After discussion with the Senior Management Team and Behaviour Support staff, and with the involvement of a social worker (for the first year), it was decided to establish Behaviour Support Groups for the year group for which I was responsible – 13- to 14-year-olds (Year 9/S2) in the hope of reaching out to young people, enhancing their life chances and the life chances of the pupils who shared classrooms with them.

    What followed was an intense period of contemplation as I set out to devise the approach during which I drew on my personal experience as a teacher of 20 years, my experience as a mother (what would I want for my own daughter?), the previous research and development work which I had undertaken into Promoting Positive Behaviour (Mowat, 1997) and the interest I had developed in the work of David Perkins and Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Whilst there are many approaches to working with children who are perceived as having Social and Emotional Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) and which rely upon the development of social and communication skills, emotional literacy, anger management techniques and/or positive thinking, I believe that, valuable as these approaches are, they are not sufficient in themselves. It is only through reaching a deep understanding of who we are as individuals and how we relate to others and through encouraging children to develop an awareness of their innermost thoughts and feelings that we can seek to develop the long-term values and beliefs which will guide their lives and which will help them not only to understand their rights, but their responsibilities towards others.

    This is no easy undertaking, but with a team effort and with access to a carefully and thoughtfully prepared programme of activities, it can be done. In the seven years over which the programme has run within the school, 150 pupils have participated within Support Groups, 16 members of staff have volunteered to lead groups in addition to the author, and the work of the groups has been thoroughly evaluated within an action research study focusing upon the progress of the first four cohorts of pupils to participate within Support Groups – 69 pupils in total. More in-depth accounts were obtained from six individual case studies of Support Group pupils, their parents, Support Group Leaders and class teachers, undertaken by the author in collaboration with Stuart Hall of the Scottish Council for Research in Education.

    The book presents the approach itself, an opportunity to ‘meet’ some of the pupils through short case studies and a brief outline of the research study and its findings within the context of recent developments in education.

    A Brief Overview of the Book

    The principal aim of this book is to provide the necessary information and material such that the approach can be implemented within a range of educational settings. The approach should be applicable to pupils within mainstream and special schools in Upper Primary and Lower/Middle Secondary stages and can be implemented by any caring adults who take the time to familiarise themselves with the materials and the underlying philosophy.

    The initial chapters set the scene, giving an overview of the types of approaches adopted within Support Group work and advise upon how Support Groups can be set up and managed. The aims and underlying theories of the approach are explored in Chapters 3 and 4.

    It is also important to understand where this initiative resides in relation to national priorities for education, the quest for social inclusion and equality, and national drives to improve educational standards and school discipline. This is the focus of Chapter 5. Chapter 6 advises Support Group Leaders about how to teach for understanding and how to create an appropriate climate within the group. Chapter 7 introduces and gives examples of the pupil materials, the guide for implementation and means of assessing pupil progress.

    Many initiatives fail not because they are basically unsound, but because they have failed to engage the ‘hearts and minds’ of all concerned. It is important therefore to ensure that change is managed effectively and efficiently at whole-school level and is sustainable – the focus of the penultimate chapter. The final chapter draws from the findings of the research study to illuminate the factors that are likely to make a difference in terms of pupil outcome and to look to the wider implications of Support Groups.

    Overview

    An Introduction to Support Groups: What are They and What is Their Function?

    Chapter 1 An introduction to Support Groups: planning and setting up a Support Group

    Chapter 2 The Support Group in action

    Chapter 3 The aims of the approach

    The Context of Support Group Work

    Chapter 4 The influences underlying the approach

    Chapter 5 Placing the approach within the context of educational developments: identifying and meeting a need

    Implementing the Approach

    Chapter 6 Leading and working with pupils in groups: the role of the Support Group Leader

    Chapter 7 Introduction to Support Group materials, guidance for their implementation and assessment of pupil outcomes

    The Wider Picture

    Chapter 8 Implementing and sustaining Support Groups at whole-school level, focusing upon leadership, staff development and evaluation

    Chapter 9 The implications of Support Group work

  • Notes

    1 The long-term target was inspired by the New Haven Program as described by Goleman (1996: 276).

    1 Social capital: The concept of social capital is related to issues of social justice and equity. It is concerned with the quality and nature of networks that form between people which can advantage or disadvantage them. It underlies many of the government's policies on social inclusion. A clear description of social capital is provided in MacBeath et al. (2007: pp. 42–46).

    2 Theory of mind: The concept of theory of mind has been very influential in helping to explain the processes through which children gain a sense of their own identities and of their discreteness from others. It is not a scientific concept but is described by Astington (1994) as belief/desire or folk psychology.

    3 Means of conducting research: The research study was carried out using a variety of means, including questionnaires, interviews and analysis of documents and statistical data, drawing from the accounts of pupils, their parents, Support Group (SG) Leaders, Pastoral Care teachers, senior management and class teachers. All research tools were piloted as per normal practice and guidance was issued (verbally and in writing) to SG Leaders regarding the conduct of them. Normal ethical procedures were adhered to. Interviews were scribed rather than recorded and were authenticated either by the interviewer reading over the responses to the interviewee or by providing a written transcript of the interview. Interviews were conducted by the author, by Stuart Hall (SCRE) and by SG Leaders who received training to support them in this process. The study is being undertaken as a PhD at Glasgow University. For further details, contact the author at joan.mowat@strath.ac.uk.

    4 Tests of statistical significance: Tests of significance (in this case, derived from chi-squared tests) are a means of establishing the extent to which events could be accounted for by chance. These measures of statistical significance are used as a means of predicting the likelihood of occurrences of a similar nature happening within a similar set of circumstances. (For a simple explanation of how to conduct chi-squared tests refer to Munn and Drever, 1996: pp. 48–53.)

    1 Metacognition: A clear description of metacognition and how it can be applied within the classroom can be found in Kirkwood (2005: 122–127).

    1 Transcripts: The transcripts are derived from video recordings of two Support Groups made over a six-week period using a still-camera set up in a corner of the room so that pupils would gradually acclimatise to the camera. Permission was sought of parents and pupils for this to take place and normal ethical procedures have been adhered to.

    2 Learning Community: The concept of a Learning Community has been gaining momentum in a range of professional contexts and is associated with building capacity and a sense of community within an organisation. In this chapter, however, the concept is discussed within the context of social constructivist teaching, ‘Teaching for Understanding’ being a manifestation of such.

    Recommended Reading

    Mowat, J. (1997) Promoting Positive Behaviour, SCRE (http://www.scre.ac.uk/scot-research/mowatprom)
    Astington, J.W. (1994) The Child's Discovery of the Mind, London: Fontana Press
    Brewer, S. (2001) A Child's World: A Unique Insight into How Children Think, London: Headline Book Publishing
    Gardner, H. (1999) Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, New York: Basic Books
    Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, London: Bloomsbury
    Perkins, D. and Blythe, T. (1994) ‘Putting understanding up front’, Educational Leadership, Vol. 51, no. 5, Alexandria, VA: ASCD. pp. 4–7
    Blythe, T. & Associates (1998) The Teaching for Understanding Guide, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
    Dweck, C.S. (2006) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, New York: Random Mouse.
    Kelly, P. (2005) Using Thinking Skills in the Primary Classroom, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Kirkwood, M. (2005) Learning to Think: Thinking to Learn, Paisley: Hodder Gibson
    McGuinness, C. (2006) ‘Building thinking skills in thinking classrooms’, in Teaching and Learning Research Briefing, no. 18, London: TLRP
    McLean, A. (2003) The Motivated School, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Perkins, D. (1992) Smart Schools: Better Thinking and Learning for Every Child, New York: The Free Press
    Smith, I. (various dates) Series of Occasional Papers (nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7), Glasgow Caledonian University: Learning Unlimited
    Hamill, P. and Clark, K. (2005) Additional Support Needs, Paisley: Hodder Gibson (Scottish context)
    Munn, P., Lloyd, G. and Cullen, M.A. (2000) Alternatives to Exclusion from School, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Riley, K.A. and Rustique-Forrester, E. (2002) Working with Disaffected Students, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Boyd, B. (2005) CPD: Improving Professional Practice, Paisley: Hodder Gibson (Scottish context)
    Fullan, M. (2003) Change Forces with a Vengeance, New York: Routledge Falmer
    MacBeath, J. and McGlynn, A. (2002) Self-Evaluation: What's In It for Schools?, London: Routledge Falmer

    References

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    Audit Scotland/HMIE (2003) Moving to Mainstream: The Inclusion of Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools, Edinburgh: HMSO
    Blythe, T. and Associates (1998) The Teaching for Understanding Guide, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
    Brewer, S. (2001) A Child's World: A Unique Insight into How Children Think, London: Headline Book Publishing
    Canter, L. and Canter, M. (1992) Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline: Positive Behaviour Management for Today's Classroom, Los Angeles, CA: Lee Canter & Associates
    Claxton, G. (1998) Hare Brain Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less, London: Fourth Estate
    Covey, S.R. (2004) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, London: Simon and Schuster
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    DfES (2005b) A New Relationship with Schools: Improving Performance through School Evaluation, London: DfES/OFSTED
    DfES (2006a) Inclusion: Does It Matter Where Pupils Are Taught?, London: DfES/OFSTED
    DfES (2006b) The Standards Site: Behaviour and Attendance Guide. http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/secondary/keystage3/issues/behaviour (accessed May 2007)
    Dweck, C.S. (2002) ‘Motivational processes affecting learning’, in Pollard, A. (ed.), Readings for Reflective Teaching, London: Continuum. pp. 118–120
    DWP (2004) Opportunity for All, London: Department for Work and Persions
    Dweck, C.S. and Elliot, E.S. (1983) ‘Achievement motivation’, in Hetherington, E.M. (ed.), Socialization, Personality and Social Development. Vol. IV of Mussen, P.H. (ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, New York: Wiley. pp. 643–692
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    Gardner, H. (1993a) Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (
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    Gardner, H. (1993b) ‘Educating for understanding’, The American School Board Journal, no. 20, pp. 21–25
    Gardner, H. (1995) The Unschooled Mind: How Children Learn and How Schools Should Teach, New York: Basic Books
    Gardner, H. (1999) Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, New York: Basic Books
    Gardner, H. (2000) Foreword to Armstrong, T. (2000) Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, Alexandria, VA: ASCD
    Gladwell, M. (2000) The Tipping Point, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company
    Glasgow Herald (2006) ‘Crime committed by young girls doubles’, 8 June
    Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, London: Bloomsbury
    GTCS (2005) Discipline in Scottish Schools: A Survey of Teachers’ Views, Edinburgh: General Teaching Council for Scotland
    Hamill, P., Boyd, B. and Grieve, A. (2002) Inclusion: Principles into Practice: Development of an Integrated Support System for Young People (SEBD) in North Ayrshire, Glasgow: University of Strathclyde
    HMIE (2002a) Count Us In: Achieving Inclusion in Scottish Schools, Edinburgh: HMSO
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    rev. edn
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    House of Commons Education and Skills Committee (2006) Special Educational Needs, Vol. 1, London: The Stationery Office
    Kendall, S., Cullen, M.A., White, R. and Kinder, K. (2001) The Delivery of the Curriculum to Disengaged Young People in Scotland, Slough: NFER
    Khon, A. (1999) Punished by Rewards, New York: Houghton Mifflin
    Kinder, K., Kendall, S. and Howarth, A. (2000) ‘Disaffection talks’ (Conference Paper given at Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress in Glasgow)
    Kinder, K., Wakefield, A. and Wilking, A. (1996) Talking Back: Pupil Views on Disaffection, Slough: NFER
    Kirkwood, M. (2005) Learning to Think and Thinking to Learn, Paisley: Hodder Gibson
    Lawrence, D. (2002) What Is Self-Esteem?, in Pollard, A. (ed.), Readings for Reflective Teaching, London: Continuum. pp. 102–104
    Lawson, H., Parker, M. and Sikes, P. (2005) ‘Understandings of inclusion: The perceptions of teachers and teaching assistants’, (Conference Paper given at Nfer Council of Members Meeting, London, 4 October 2000)
    MacBeath, J. and McGlynn, A. (2002) Self-evaluation: What's In It For Schools?, London: Routledge Falmer
    MacBeath, J., Galton, M., Steward, S., MacBeath, A. and Page, C. (2006) The Costs of Inclusion, Cambridge: University of Cambridge
    MacBeath, J., Gray, J., Cullen, J., Frost, D., Steward, S. and Swaffield, S. (2007) Schools on the Edge: Responding to Challenging Circumstances, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    MacGilchrist, B., Myers, K. and Reed, J. (1997) The Intelligent School, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    McCluskey, G. (2005) ‘What does discipline mean in secondary schools now?’, SER, Vol. 37, no. 2. pp. 163–174
    McGuinness, C. (2006) ‘Building thinking skills in thinking classrooms’, in Teaching and Learning Research Briefing, no. 18, London: TLRP
    McLean, A. (2003) The Motivated School, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Mosley, J. (1998) Quality Circle Time in the Primary Classroom: Your Essential Guide to Enhancing Self-esteem, Self-discipline and Positive Relationships, London: LDA
    Mowat, J. (1997) Promoting Positive Behaviour, SCRE (http://www.scre.ac.uk/scot-research/mowatprom)
    Munn, P. and Drever, P. (1996) Using Questionnaires in Small-Scale Research: A Teacher's Guide, Edinburgh: SCRE
    Munn, P., Johnstone, M. and Sharp, S. (2004) Discipline in Scottish Schools: A Comparative Survey Over Time of Teachers’ and Headteachers’ Perceptions, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh
    Munn, P., Lloyd, G. and Cullen, M.A. (2000) Alternatives to Exclusion from School, London: Paul Chapman Publishing
    Nuthall, G. (2002) ‘Social constructivist teaching and the shaping of students’ knowledge and thinking’, in Brophy, V. (ed.), Social Constructivist Teaching: Affordances and Constraints, Ch. 1, Greenwood, CT: JAI. pp. 43–79http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1479-3687%2802%2980005-0
    OFSTED (2005) Every Child Matters: The framework for the Inspection of Children's Services. Available at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/publications/2433
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    Perkins, D. (1998) ‘Understanding understanding’ and ‘The Teaching for Understanding Framework’, in Blythe, T. & Associates, The Teaching for Understanding Guide, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp. 9–24
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    SEED (2005) Happy, Safe and Achieving Their Potential: A Standard of Support for Children and Young People in Scottish Schools, Edinburgh: HMSO
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    Wilkin, A., Moor, H., Murfield, J., Johnson, F. and Kinder, K. (2006) Behaviour in Scottish Schools, Insight Paper no. 34, Edinburgh: HMSO

    How to Use This CD Rom

    All the materials and guidance needed to carry out the Support Group programme of activities are contained in pdf files on the CD Rom. You will need Acrobat Reader version 3 or higher to view and print these pages. The document is set to print at A4 but you can enlarge them to A3 by increasing the output percentage using the page set-up settings for your printer.

    The CD Rom contains writable pdf files with checklists and pro formas for use in implementing a Support Group programme.

    Whilst reference may be made to individual materials on the CD Rom within several chapters of the book, the materials on the CD Rom have been placed in relation to the most relevant chapters.

    There are also four PowerPoint presentations, which may be run in association with a Support Group programme by the purchaser/user of this book within their own institution.

    All material on this CD Rom can be printed off and photocopied by the purchaser/user of the accompanying book. This CD Rom itself may not be reproduced or copied in its entirety for use by others without prior written permission from SAGE. The CD Rom may not be distributed or sold separately from the book without the prior written permission of SAGE. Should anyone wish to use the materials from this CD Rom for conference purposes, they would require separate permission from us. All material is © Joan Mowat, 2007.

    Contents of the Cd Rom

    • Chapter 1
      • Initial organization checklist
      • Pupil referral form (1)
      • Pupil referral form (2)
      • Permission letter to parents
      • Pupil permission slip
    • Chapter 2
      • Long-term target (example)
      • Target-setting template
      • Pupil Support Booklet/Card (Primary and Secondary)
      • Support Group Diary
      • Parents' leaflet
    • Chapter 6
      • Area of Concern Form
      • Support Group Pledge
    • Chapter 7
      • Programme of activities
      • Pupil folio checklist
      • Support Group Leaders' Guide to Activities
      • Support Group Leaders' Reflective Diary
      • Parent report
      • Pupil Activities
        • Index
        • Information sheets (x9)
        • Introductory section
        • Section 1
        • Section 2
        • Section 3
        • Section 4
        • Plenary section
      • Support Group Evaluation
      • Support Group Evaluation Checklist
      • Evaluation Tools
        • Class teachers' questionnaire
        • Parent questionnaire
        • pupils' interview
        • pupils' self-assessment checklist
          • pre-intervention
          • post-intervention
    • Chapter 8
      • Evaluation template 1
      • Evaluation template 2
      • Evaluation criteria
      • Support Group processes affecting stakeholders
    • INSET materials
      • Presentation for School Staff (Primary)
      • Presentation for School Staff (Secondary)
      • Presentation for Support Group Leaders
      • Presentation for Parents
    Arrangements to be madeComments
    Initial consultation with Senior Management Team
    Agree communication procedures with Senior Management Team
    Begin to form initial team and conduct some initial In-Service training
    Decide upon the target group of pupils; those responsible for nominating pupils; and the means of allocating pupils to groups.
    Put into place nomination procedures and decide upon the number and constitution of the groups
    Liaise and negotiate once again with Senior Management
    Establish team of Support Group Leaders and arrange an initial meeting with them
    Put in place the communication systems with parents and pupils and organise the information session for parents
    Arrange to have the necessary materials photocopied and distributed
    Decide upon the location and timing of groups and negotiate this with class teachers
    Liaise with and negotiate with individual class teachers
    Inform all staff, the pupils concerned, and their parents of the arrangements in writing

    Pupil Support Booklet

    Pupil Support Booklet

    Pupil Support Card

    Support Card (Primary)

    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Parents' Leaflet

    (Insert Name of School) (Insert Name of LEA)

    It gave me insight into what I was doing with my life… I have to thank teachers for helping me. For telling me, “You can do this.”

    Contact Person:(Insert Phone No.)

    What are Support Groups and Why do They Exist?

    Support Groups were first introduced in 1998 to a Secondary School in the West of Scotland in response to a desire to ‘make a difference’ for those pupils who were experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties within the school. Groups of 3–6 pupils meet weekly with a Support Group Leader for 20 weeks of the year.

    What are Support Groups about?

    The Support Group aims to develop in pupils, understanding of their own and others':

    • Beliefs
    • Values
    • Motivations
    • Attitudes
    • Emotions

    The Support Group also seeks to promote in pupils:

    • heightened self-control and self-responsibility – being able to apply what has been learned within the groups in different situations
    • heightened understanding of others and social skills
    • gains in self-confidence and self-esteem
    • more positive attitudes towards learning and school
    How are the Pupils Identified and Why?

    Pupils are identified by their teachers who are asked to explain why they want the pupil to be included in the groups. A decision will then be made within the school as to whom places should be offered, at which point parents and pupils will be consulted about participation. Some pupils are recommended to take part in the groups not because their behaviour is particularly problematic at the time but for preventative reasons. The most common reasons for referral are the pupil:-

    • defies teachers and/or refuses to obey rules
    • argues with teachers
    • deliberately does things to annoy other people
    • fails to take responsibility for his/her own behaviour
    What do Pupils Do in Groups?

    Most of the activities are discussion rather than writing based. Pupils will do the following:

    • discuss with their Support Group Leader their progress during the past week
    • set their own behaviour targets for the coming week in consultation with their Support Group Leader
    • fill in and discuss their Pupil Diaries describing an incident (good or bad) which has happened to them during the week (not every week)
    • do a group based activity which encourages them to think about their experiences in classrooms and their relationships with others

    One of the most important aspects of the approach is the opportunity it provides for pupils to talk about things from their own point of view in a ‘safe’ environment but, more importantly, to begin to develop an understanding of other people's points of view and an understanding of how their behaviour affects not just themselves but others. Of the 150 pupils and their families who have been involved within this approach it has been a positive experience and only two children failed to complete the course.

    What Can Parents Do to Help?
    • Take an interest in what your child does in the group. Encourage him/her to talk about it.
    • Always ask to see the Behaviour Target Card and make a brief comment on it.
    • Try to be positive in your comments when possible.
    • Contact the Pastoral Care (Guidance) teacher if your child is not co-operating with the Target Card.
    • Try to adopt a positive approach towards discipline at home. Within the groups we try to explain to pupils why their behaviour is unacceptable or inappropriate.
    • Contact the Pastoral Care (Guidance) teacher if you have any concerns about your child's progress.
    Have the Groups Made a Difference?

    Within the pilot school, the effectiveness of the approach was evaluated in a variety of ways – by interviewing the pupils themselves; by asking for reports from their class teachers; by asking parents to complete an evaluation form; by asking Support Group Leaders to write a report on each child's progress; and by looking at patterns of attendance, indiscipline and attainment before and after the intervention.

    The groups have succeeded for many pupils in either preventing deterioration or decreasing the number of referrals to Senior Management and/or temporary exclusions from school for indiscipline.

    What Difference Did it Make?
    • Many pupils had succeeded in developing self-understanding and understanding of others.

      Some of the exercises encouraged him to think more deeply about his behaviour and he found the pupil diary helpful in reflecting upon his behaviour and learning from it.

      (Sg Leader)
    • This growing understanding showed itself in a growing awareness of the effect of their behaviour on others; a greater understanding of the needs of others and of the role of the teacher in creating an effective climate for learning; and in the development of self-responsibility.

      It's not just “me, me, me” but them. (I) never used to think about it before. I used to think, “Never mind everybody else – it's only me”. The Sg has helped me a lot.

      (Sg Pupil)
    • The majority of pupils considered that their behaviour had improved, if only to some extent and within some situations. This is backed up by Sg Leaders and, to a lesser extent, by classroom teachers.
    • The majority of pupils considered that they had formed better relationships with their teachers and some pupils reported better relationships with their parents.

      I realised I wasn't the nicest pupil – I realised I can work and get on with things – I usually get on well with teachers now.

      (Sg Pupi)
    • Half of the Sg pupils reported gains in self-esteem.
    • “Being listened to”; “Being cared about” and the development of trusting relationships with the Sg Leader were important aspects of the approach for some pupils.

      He (Sg Leader) made us feel welcome. He wanted us to have a good education and achieve something with our lives.

      (Sg Pupil)
    • In interview, some pupils reported an increased ability to concentrate in class and ability to ‘stay on task’; greater ability to learn new information and develop skills; increased motivation towards learning and an increasing ability to listen and follow instructions.

    Support Group Dairy

    Support Group Targets

    Area of Concern Form

    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Support Group Leaders' Guide to Activities

    Programme Overview

    Pupil Folio Checklist
    Guide to Activities
    Introductory Section
    Introductory Lesson 1
    Introductory Lesson 2
    Introductory Lesson 3
    Section 1
    Activity 1a
    Activity 1b
    Activity 1c
    Section 2
    Activity 2a
    Activity 2b
    Activity 2c
    Activities 2d-2f
    Section 3
    Activities 3a-3b
    Activities 3c-3d
    Section 4
    Activity 4a
    Activities 4b-c
    Plenary Section
    Plenary Lesson
    Support Group Leaders' Reflective Diary

    Parent Report
    Sample Parental Letter: Please Personalise to Your Own Circumstances
    Support Group Report

    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Index of Materials

    Information Sheet 1: What are Support Groups?
    Information Sheet 2: A Guide to Target-Setting
    Information Sheet 3: Setting a Group Pledge

    A pledge is a promise which group members make to each other about how they are going to behave towards each other within the group. The pledge covers both the pupils and the Support Group Leader. If the group is to work successfully so that everyone can achieve it is important that the group works as a team and that people support each other. An example of a Support Group Pledge (produced by another Support Group) is printed below. You can either use this pledge as a starting point for making up your own or you can brainstorm ideas with the help of your Support Group Leader.

    Understanding Goals

    Information Sheet 4a

    Understanding Performances

    Information Sheet 4b

    Circle of Influence
    Information Sheet 5

    Information Sheet 6

    VISUAL – by seeing

    AUDITORY – by listening

    KINAESTHETIC – by doing

    Do you think its true that people have preferred learning styles?

    Do you feel that you have?

    Is it helpful to think of yourself as being a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner or are there dangers in this?

    Summerhill School
    Information Sheet 7

    What the school believes in (its philosophy)

    Information Sheet 8: Self-Esteem

    • How important do you think self-esteem is?
    • Do you think that it's true that your self-esteem may vary depending upon the circumstances that you are in?
    • What are the dangers of contingent self-esteem? How might it affect your learning and your feelings about yourself?
    Stress Reactions
    The Fight or Flight Response
    Introductory Activities 1a-1b
    • Using the set of cards (Act la) select “What I feel”. Starting with the Support Group Leader, each group member should give an example of an emotion.

    • Take each of the other cards and do the same.
    • Using the set of cards (Activity lb) one member of the group should take a card and say whether it is an emotion, attitude, value, belief or motivation. The others in the group should then say whether they agree or not and put forward different suggestions, explaining their reasons.
    • Repeat the last step until all of the cards have been used.

    Introductory Activity 1c
    • Using the set of cards (Act 1b), select the card “If you try hard you succeed”. Go round the group and identify what it is:

      For example:

      • it's a belief about yourself but it also to do with what motivates you.
      • it's a belief about yourself but it is also to do with how you feel about yourself (emotion)
      • how you feel about yourself affects whether you want to do something or not (your motivation). (If you don't feel good about yourself or believe that you cannot succeed, you may not try.)
    • Take the set of cards (Activity 1a) and place them onto the chart for Act 1c, drawing arrows between the things which connect, as in the example below.

    • Using the other cards as prompts, continue to make connections between the different concepts. Arrows may go in both directions.
    Activity 1a
    • Do you think each of these two pictures are correct?
    • If you don't think that they are correct, explain why.
    • Do you think its true that the pupil doesn't understand what he/she is doing wrong?
    • Do most teachers try to be fair or do they pick on children because they don't like them?
    • How can two versions of the same situation be so different?
    Spot the Pupil
    Acitvity 1b

    Values and Beliefs
    Activity 1c

    Learning
    Activity 2a

    Learning Situations

    Activity 2b
    • Read over Information Sheet 5 and discuss it with your Support Group Leader.
    • Take the ‘It depends’ cards which you completed in the previous session. Take each card in turn, and decide whether it should be placed in the inner or outer circle. This should be done as a group exercise with everyone making suggestions and asking questions of each other.
    • Read over Information Sheet 6 and discuss the questions at the bottom of the sheet.

    Circle of Influence

    Activity 2c
    • Look at the descriptions below of ‘entity’ and ‘incremental’ learners.
    • Which type of learners are John, Amy and Martin?
    • Which of these patterns is most likely to lead to successful learning?
    • Which of these patterns best fits you?
    • What lessons are there for you if you want to be a more successful learner?

    Table derived from Dweck, C. (1983) ‘Socialization, personality, and social development’ in Mussen and Hetherington (eds.) ‘Handbook of child psychology’, vol 4., New York: John Wiley & Sons Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    Learning

    John has always been thought of as being a clever boy. He started to learn to read before starting Primary school and has never found learning difficult. He won several prizes in Primary school for his academic work and is also good at sport and music. John is quite competitive and likes to win so that others will think well of him. John tends to think that other children are less intelligent than he is and that is why he outperforms them. If you are seen to make an effort, you're giving off a message that you're not very bright.

    Activity 2c

    Martin is progressing reasonably well at school. He succeeds in many of the tasks he is asked to do but sometimes he comes across something that is too difficult for him. When he does, he asks the teacher for help and looks for feedback which will help him to improve his work (even if it indicates that he has got some things wrong). Martin's Dad tells him that if you make an effort you can succeed. Just takes things one step at a time, try to work out the nature of the difficulty and think of ways in which you can overcome it. Martin likes to challenge himself even if he doesn't succeed at first. Try, try and try again is his motto.

    Activity 2 c

    Amy struggles at school. She finds reading and writing difficult. She likes tasks in which she knows she can succeed even if they don't require much effort of her. She's frightened of feeling foolish in front of other children and scared in case they think that she's dumb. She likes to get praise from her teacher and gold stars for her work. She's constantly looking at children like John and feels inadequate. If she begins to feel that she can't manage a task (even if she gets some of it right) she feels stupid and gives up. She lacks confidence in herself and relies on the opinions of others to judge the quality of her work.

    Activity 2 c

    Activity 2d
    What's it for?

    • Are there any other reasons why children should attend school?
    • Take the nine cards in turn and discuss how well you think schools do these things. How might they do better?

    Summerhill School
    Activity 2e

    Your Ideal School
    Activity 2f
    What Would it Be Like?
    • Who would attend the school?
    • Who would teach there?
    • What size should it be?
    • What should the accommodation be like?
    • What are the hours?
    • What types of knowledge, skills and understanding would you want pupils to develop?
    • What sorts of activities would pupils do?
    • Should pupils have to attend all classes?
    • What would they do if they were not at classes?
    • What should the rules be?
    • Who makes them up and makes sure that they are kept?

    Activity 2f

    Activity 2f

    Example: Worksheet for Activity 3a – Understanding Motivation

    Activity 3a

    Managing Stress
    Activity 3b
    The Effects of Stress on You

    How do you react in a stressful situation?

    • What body reactions do you experience? eg. racing heart (no bodily functions, thank you!)
    • Have you ever found yourself unable to explain why you behaved as you did in a stressful situation?
    • Do you behave in any of the ways described in Information Sheet 9 c?
    • Do you ever feel stressed when you are trying to learn?

    Activity 3c
    Activity 3d
    Setting Goals

    Setting Goals

    Activity 4b
    • Working together as a group, decide who is most at fault in this situation. Use the cards provided and place them on the grid.
    • Is this a case of bullying or is it just two girls falling out? Explain your answer.
    • Is it always the case that there is a ‘baddie’ and a ‘goodie’ in situations like this?
    • Take each person or group of people in turn and describe how things could have been handled differently to avoid the situation getting worse.
    • In which way(s) might the school's systems (its ways of dealing with things) be at fault. How would you improve things?
    • Read over the story.
    • Working together as a group, take each card in turn and place them in order as described below according to the part they played in the situation.
    • Return to the sheet and complete the remaining activities/questions.
    Who's to Blame

    Activity 4c
    • How would you recognise a bully?

      In what sorts of ways would he or she behave?

    • Why do you think that some people are bullied?
    • What should people do when they are bullied?
    • What should you do if you see someone else being bullied?
    • When does aggressive behaviour become bullying?
    • Make up a definition of bullying.

    Support Group Evaluation Checklist
    Support Group aimsEvidence in support of Aims
    Pupils gain insight into their attitudes (thoughts and feelings), values, beliefs and motivations and those of others
    • pupils' participation in group discussion
    • pupils' discussions of their diaries
    • the selection and evaluation of targets
    • pupils' responses to the self-assessment: ‘What have I learned?’ and Likert scale questionnaire
    • pupils' responses to the interview with SG Leaders
    • parents' responses to the questionnaire
    Pupils develop further their capacity to self-regulate their behaviour through applying what they have learned with good judgement to other contexts
    • pupils' conduct within the group – are they able to exercise self-control?
    • pupils' conduct in classes and around the school
    • a reduction in the number and severity of indiscipline measures (e.g. detentions, referrals, suspensions)
    • class teachers' responses on target cards
    • class teachers' responses to the questionnaire
    • pupils' responses to the self-assessment: ‘How have I changed?’ and to the Likert scale questionnaire
    • pupils' responses to the interview with Sg Leaders
    • parents' responses to the questionnaire
    Pupils develop further their capacity for empathy and the quality of their interpersonal relationships
    • pupils in group discussion demonstrate a greater capacity to consider perspectives other than their own and to show consideration to others
    • pupils behave with greater consideration towards others in classes and around the school
    • as for 3–8 above
    Pupils develop further their self-esteem and confidence
    • pupils, through their general conduct, appear to be more relaxed and comfortable in their inter-personal relationships
    • pupils appear to be more willing and able to contribute meaningfully to group discussion and to participate in activities
    • as for 3–8 above
    Pupils develop more positive learning dispositions and more positive attitudes towards school.
    • pupils participate more actively in their learning and take greater responsibility for it (e.g. completion of homework tasks; coming to school equipped for lessons)
    • pupils are developing a range of strategies which enable them to learn more effectively (e.g. asking for help when required; forward planning)
    • pupils are more positive in their attitudes towards school and are more aware of its purpose
    • improved attendance and reduced truancy
    • as for 3–8 above.
    Class Teacher Questionnaire
    Letter to Staff to Elicit Their Co-Operation

    Dear Colleague,

    I would appreciate it very much if you could take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire about pupils in your class(es) who have been involved in the Support Group. I appreciate your involvement in the target-setting process and hope that you have found it to be of value to your pupils. The information which you provide on this questionnaire serves several purposes:

    • it enables the Support Group Leader to form an overview of the child's progress
    • it informs the report which is sent home to parents
    • it helps us to evaluate the efficacy of the approach.

    Thank you in anticipation.

    xxxxxx

    Class Teacher Questionnaire

    Parent Questionnaire

    Support Group Pupil Interview
    Guidance for Support Group Leaders
    Pupil Interview

    Pupil Self-Evaluation
    Pupil Self-Evaluation Guidance

    Pre-Intervention Self-Assessment

    • Inform pupils of the purpose of the exercise:
      • to provide information which may help in setting targets
      • to establish a starting point
      • to help to establish whether the approach works or not
    • Ask pupils to put their names and the date on the questionnaire but assure them that the information will be treated as confidential and will not be abused.
    • Give an example of how to complete the questionnaire:
      • eg. if you agree with the statement, ‘I understand my behaviour’, tick the left box
      • if you agree with the statement, ‘I don't understand my behaviour’, tick the right box
      • if you are uncertain or somewhere in the middle, tick the middle box.
    • Ask pupils to respond to every statement and to respond honestly
    • Ask pupils to carry out the exercise in silence and seat pupils away from each other
    • If a pupil requires assistance, read out the statements to them, leaving time for them to respond
    • Check that pupils have completed all the responses and have written their names and dated the form before filing it in their personal files.
    Pupil Self-Evaluation

    Pupil Self-Evaluation Guidance

    Post-Intervention Self-Assessment

    • Inform pupils of the purpose of the exercise:
      • to be able to check on progress
      • to help to establish whether the approach works or not
    • Follow the instructions as before but, on this occasion, ask pupils to complete the questionnaire as follows:
      • go through each statement and tick the middle column if your opinion has not changed about it
      • go through each statement and tick the left column if you now feel more positively about it
      • go through each statement and tick the right column if you now feel more negatively about it
    • Check that pupils have completed all of the responses and have written their names and dated the form before filing it in their personal files.
    Pupil Self-Evaluation

    Support Group Evaluation

    • Engages young people in the highest quality learning activities (ECM 3, 4 & 5)
      • learning is relevant and meaningful to the lives of young people
      • pupils participate actively in group activities
      • pupils participate actively in the target-setting process
      • pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning
      • pupils are encouraged to reflect upon their learning
      • thinking skills are promoted through group activities
      • the learning takes account of the starting point of individual pupils
      • pupils receive appropriate support and challenge
    • Focuses on outcomes and maximises success for all learners (ECM 1–5)
      • the desired pupil outcomes are appropriate to the needs of the learners
      • the desired pupil outcomes are clearly articulated and are shared with the learners
      • pupils obtain ongoing feedback about their progress which feeds back into the learning process
      • pupils are encouraged to reflect upon their progress through target-setting and the pupil diary
      • data is collected which enables the Support Group Leader to measure the progress of the pupil against the initial aims (as reflected in ‘understanding goals’ and ‘understanding performances’)
      • parents, pupils and class teachers are informed of the progress of individual pupils in relation to the initial aims
    • Develops a common vision across children and young people, parents and staff (ECM 4–5)
      • inclusive practice is promoted throughout the school by all members of the school community
      • all pupils and parents are informed about the initiative and pupils and parents are consulted about the participation of the pupil within it
      • the school Governors/School Council play an active part in developing and promoting the initiative within the school
      • staff development activities enable Support Group Leaders and staff within the school to form a shared vision which is in keeping with the specific circumstances of the school
      • communication links are established to keep staff informed of progress and, if required, to consult with them
      • the vision is sustained through staff development
    • Fosters high quality leadership at all levels (ECM 5)
      • the Project Leader acts as a role model and provides a high quality of support and encouragement to Support Group Leaders
      • the Project Leader puts in place a framework to support effective learning through:
        • negotiation with senior management about how groups will be formed, organised, resourced and staffed
        • arrangements for the duplication, organisation and distribution of materials
        • effective monitoring and trouble-shooting systems
        • systems to track pupil progress and to maintain pupil files
        • communication systems between Support Group Leaders, staff, parents, external agencies and pupils
        • high quality staff development activities for all staff
      • the Project Leader consults with and is open to the ideas of others and is responsive in approach
      • the Project Leader seeks to develop staff through mentoring, team teaching and providing opportunities for staff to exercise leadership
      • school management is supportive of the initiative and resources it appropriately
    • Works in partnership with other agencies and its community (ECM 1, 2 & 5)
      • Support Group work should complement the range of services currently available to support pupils within the school such as through Children's Trusts (DfES, 2005)/Joint Assessment Teams (HMIE, 2004)
      • Support Group Leaders communicate effectively with Pastoral Care staff and senior management within the school to ensure that, when necessary, communication can take place with external agencies to put in place appropriate support for pupils (such as Common Assessment Frameworks (DfES, 2005)/Co-ordinated Support Plans (SEED, 2004)) to improve learning for pupils
    • Works together with parents to improve learning (ECM 3, 4 & 5)
      • Support Group Leaders actively seek to involve parents from the inception of the approach (the initial Information Event) and throughout the intervention (through the target-setting process)
      • informal contact is maintained with parents and parents are encouraged to contact Support Group Leaders if they have any concerns
      • Support Group Leaders and parents should work together to problem-solve and to try to provide a cohesive approach in working with the young person
      • parents are informed of the progress of their children through a formal report and are invited to complete an evaluation of their child's progress
    • Reflects on its own work and thrives on challenge (ECM 5)
      • through completion of the Support Group Leaders' Reflective Diary (c.c. Ch 7), staff are encouraged to reflect critically upon their practice and to seek continuous improvement in their practice
      • through provision of a range of staff development opportunities (c.c. Ch 9), staff are enabled to develop further their knowledge, understanding and skills and those of others
      • through the mechanism of regular meetings, staff are encouraged to share and reflect upon their practice and to problem-solve
      • through the collation and analysis of a wide range of data, Support Group Leaders are enabled to evaluate their practice and to identify priorities which can be fed into the development planning process
    • Values and empowers its staff and young people (ECM 3, 4 & 5)
      • through the mechanisms described above, staff are enabled to build upon their potential and develop further their leadership capacities
      • pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour and learning
      • pupils are provided with the opportunity to talk about issues of immediate concern to them and which may impact upon their future prospects
      • a sense of community is created in which all members of the school community are valued unconditionally
    • Promotes well-being and respect (ECM 1 – 5)
      • positive, respectful relationships are promoted both within the groups and within the wider school community
      • pupils are provided with the support and challenge which enables them to gain insight into their inter-personal relationships and behaviour such that improvements in their relationships and behaviour can be effected
      • pupils, through having the opportunity to achieve success in appropriate goals, develop a sense of self-efficacy which impacts upon their self-esteem and confidence
      • pupils develop the learning dispositions (eg. capacity to problem-solve in order to surmount difficulties) which enable them to learn more effectively and to develop more positive attitudes towards school
    • Develops a culture of ambition and achievement (ECM 3, 4 & 5)
      • pupils develop a sense of the purpose of schooling
      • pupils are enabled to see beyond determinist views associated with deprivation and to aspire to “be the best they can be”
      • achievement is recognised appropriately
      • pupils are enabled to be affirmed and included
      • staff are enabled to develop their full potential and are provided with the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the life of the school
    Support Group Processes
    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Presentation for Parents

    • What are Support Groups?
    • What are they for?
    • How do they work?
    • How can pupil progress be assessed?
    • What is the evidence to support the use of Support Groups?
    What are Support Groups?
    • groups of 3–6 pupils meet weekly (or twice weekly) with a Support Group Leader for 50–60 minutes.
    • groups may also be supported by other adults (eg. Special Needs Auxiliaries) and/or by senior pupil mentors.
    • groups meet over approx. 20 sessions.
    • pupils take part in activities to encourage them to develop an understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.
    Who are They for?

    Support Groups are intended for pupils who are:

    • having social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties in coping with school life

      e.g. difficulties in relationships with other pupils and/or teachers; difficulty in controlling anger; disruptive behaviour in classes and/or anti-social behaviour around the school

    • showing signs of developing social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties in coping with school life.
    What are They for?

    Support Groups aim to develop, in children:

    • understanding of themselves
    • understanding of others
    • understanding of their relationships with others.
    What are the Desired Outcomes?

    Through developing understanding of themselves and others, children will:

    • be more able to take account of the points of view of others
    • form better relationships with others
    • develop self-responsibility
    • develop self-control.

    In addition, it is hoped that children will gain:

    • in self-esteem
    • more positive attitudes towards learning and school.
    How do Support Groups Work?
    • How does it happen?
    • Parental Involvement
    • Group Activities
    How does it Happen?
    • pupils are nominated for participation by their class teachers or by a teacher with pastoral care responsibilities
    • pupils and parents should be consulted about participation and should have the opportunity to participate or not
    • pupils will then be allocated to a group and a Support Group Leader identified to lead the group
    • parents, pupils and class teachers will then be informed about the arrangements for the group.
    Parental Involvement
    • initial consultation and Information Event
    • through the target-setting process (to follow)
    • by taking an interest in their child's progress and encouraging them to persevere and do well
    • through the provision of a progress report at the end of intervention (to follow)
    • through completing an evaluation form.
    Group Activities

    Pupil Diary
    Group Activities

    Target Setting
    • targets are chosen by the pupil with help from the Support Group Leader
    • targets are set weekly and monitored daily by class teachers and Support Group Leaders
    • target booklets are sent home daily or weekly
    • if problems arise, parents should contact the Support Group Leader or the Support Group Leader should contact parents.
    Pupil Support Card

    Support Card (Primary)

    Group Activities

    Values and Beliefs

    Activity 3d: Setting Goals

    Activity 4a: Agony Kids

    How Can Pupil Progress Be Assessed?

    Through:

    • informal observation of the pupil's participation within the group
    • examination of pupil target-cards & group work
    • responses from class teachers (questionnaire)
    • responses from pupils (questionnaires + interview)
    • responses from parents to the pupil report
    • examination of attendance, discipline and attainment records.
    Support Group Report

    What is the Evidence to Support the Use of Support Groups?

    Many pupils had succeeded in developing insight into their behaviour.

    Didn't realise you're doing other people's ‘heid’ in when they want to work and how frustrated the teacher gets and that. It brought it home. (Sg pupil)

    We got to the grass roots of why I was behaving the way I was. It taught me respect for people around me. Making a clown of myself – people laughing at me not with me. Others are trying to learn – they don't need me disrupting them. (Sg pupil)

    This growing understanding showed itself in a developing sense of empathy and development of self-responsibility.

    Made me think about the way I behave – if it was right or not. I've not treated others the way I would like them to treat me. (Sg pupil)

    It's not just “me, me, me” but them. I never used to think about it before. I used to think, “Never mind everybody else – it's only me”. The Support Group has helped me a lot. (Sg pupil)

    The majority of pupils considered that their behaviour had improved, if only to some extent and in some contexts.

    I no longer need to be monitored. Can't remember when I last got a punishment exercise. Teachers treat me with respect now. I've realised that these years are important now. (Sg pupil)

    I'd talk to other people now before going into a fight – give them a chance to apologise. (Sg pupil)

    Half of the Support Group pupils reported gains in self-esteem.

    I feel much calmer because I am able to talk to someone and it has helped me to feel better and more confident in myself. (Sg pupil)

    At school he finds it hard to speak up in front of others – it built up his confidence to speak up. (Sg parent)

    The majority of pupils considered that they had formed better relationships with their teachers and some pupils reported better relationships with their parents.

    I realised I wasn't the nicest pupil – I realised I can work and get on with things – I usually get on well with teachers now. (Sg pupil)

    I've learned to get on well with my parents – my Dad in particular. It affects me at home as well as at school. (Sg pupil)

    “Being listened to”, “Being cared about” and the development of trusting relationships with the Sg Leader were important aspects of the approach for some pupils.

    He (Sg Leader) made us feel welcome. He wanted us to have a good education and achieve something with our lives. (Sg pupil)

    It gives him a sense of belonging as he used to think he was the only one to do silly things and get into trouble. (Sg parent)

    In interview, some pupils reported:

    • greater capacity to concentrate and ‘stay on task’
    • greater ability to learn new information and develop skills
    • increased motivation towards learning
    • greater capacity to listen to and follow instructions

    He considers that he is more motivated, able to concentrate better and has developed more positive attitudes towards some, but not all, subjects. He feels more confident in his ability to do his work and has developed better relationships with teachers.

    (Sg Leader)

    Discipline Related

    In the period following intervention, the number of referrals (on average) to senior management for indiscipline fell for Support Group pupils as did the number of days of suspension from school. This was in contrast to the pattern for other pupils within the same year group.

    ….'s improved behaviour has meant far less periods of exclusion which in turn means more education and hopefully improved learning. (Sg parent)

    Some final words:

    Not what I expected. Not rubbish – turned out all right. (Sg pupil)

    It gave me insight into what I was doing with my life… I have to thank teachers for helping me. For telling me, “You can do this”.

    (Sg pupil)

    We are delighted with the progress that… has made. He has seen that the harder he tries, the more positive encouragement he gets. (Sg parent)

    The best thing for kids! (Sg parent)
    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Presentation for Staff (Primary)

    • What are Support Groups? Who are they for?
    • What is their function?
    • The involvement of class teachers
    • How do they work in practice?
    • How can pupil progress be measured?
    • What is the evidence to support their use?
    What are Support Groups?
    • groups of 3–6 pupils meet weekly (or twice weekly) with a Support Group Leader for 50–60 minutes
    • groups may also be supported by other adults (eg. Learning Support Auxiliaries) and/or by senior pupil mentors
    • recommended intervention period is 20 sessions
    • pupils engage in activities to promote reflection, thinking skills and understanding
    • pupils are involved in individually negotiated target-setting.
    Who are They for?

    Support Groups are intended for pupils who are:

    • Considered to have Social, Emotional and/or Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)
    • showing signs of developing SEBD.
    What is the Function of Support Groups?

    Support Groups aim to develop in children:

    • understanding of themselves
    • understanding of others
    • understanding of their inter-personal relationships.
    What are the Desired Outcomes?

    Through developing understanding of themselves and others, children will gain in their capacities:

    • for empathy (ability to appreciate different perspectives)
    • to form better inter-personal relationships
    • to regulate their behaviour in a range of contexts.

    In addition, it is hoped that children will gain:

    • self-esteem
    • more positive dispositions towards learning and school.
    The Involvement of Teaching Staff
    • teachers can act in the capacity of Support Group Leader
    • class teachers can assist in the daily monitoring of pupils
    • teachers are involved in monitoring pupils' progress in relation to set targets throughout the day (to follow)
    • teachers are asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of intervention asking them to comment upon the response of pupils within the intervention.
    How do Support Groups Work in Practice?
    • Organisation of groups
    • Parental Involvement
    • Group Activities
    Organisation of Groups
    • pupils are nominated by their class teachers on the basis of identified criteria
    • a referral form is completed in which reasons for the referral and hoped for gains are clearly stated
    • a matching of needs against resources is undertaken by the Project Leader, and, in consultation with the Senior Management Team, decisions are made regarding staffing, accommodation and resourcing of groups.
    • consultation takes place between the Project Leader and Support Group Leaders re. the constitution of the groups
    • Support Group Leaders consult with parents and pupils
    • information leaflets are sent to parents along with letters of consent and an invitation to an information event
    • consultation takes place with teaching staff & arrangements are communicated to staff, parents & pupils.
    Parental Involvement
    • initial consultation with parents
    • information meeting for parents & leaflets
    • involvement in the target-setting process
    • regular informal communication with parents
    • progress report (opportunity to comment)
    • parental evaluation (questionnaire)
    Pupils Activities

    Pupil Diary
    Pupil Activities

    Target Setting
    • targets are chosen by the pupil with help from the Support Group Leader
    • an aid for setting targets supports the process
    • targets are set weekly and monitored daily by class teachers and Support Group Leaders
    • target booklets are sent home daily or weekly
    • trouble-shooting procedures support the process.
    • targets are incremental – Rome wasn't built in a day!
    • the target-card should be presented to the class teacher at the beginning of the day
    • the teacher should comment upon the progress of the pupil in relation to the target (left column) at the end of the day
    • the teacher can comment on any other aspect of the pupil's behaviour/work attitude in the right column
    • comments should be constructive.
    Support Card (Primary)

    Pupil Activities

    Activity 1c: Values and Beliefs

    Activity 3d: Setting Goals

    Activity 4a: Agony Kids

    How Can Pupil Progress Be Measured?

    By means of:

    • informal observation of pupil participation within the group
    • scrutiny of pupil target-cards & group work
    • class teacher questionnaire & informal discussion with staff
    • the pupil self-evaluation questionnaires & postintervention interview
    • responses by parents to the pupil report
    • scrutiny of attendance, discipline and attainment records.
    What is the Evidence to Support the Use of Support Groups?

    Many pupils had succeeded in developing insight into their behaviour.

    Didn't realise you're doing other people's ‘heid’ in when they want to work and how frustrated the teacher gets and that. It brought it home. (Sg pupil)

    We got to the grass roots of why I was behaving the way I was. It taught me respect for people around me. Making a clown of myself – people laughing at me not with me. Others are trying to learn – they don't need me disrupting them. (Sg pupil)

    This growing understanding showed itself in a developing sense of empathy and development of self-responsibility.

    Made me think about the way I behave – if it was right or not. I've not treated others the way I would like them to treat me. (Sg pupil)

    It's not just “me, me, me” but them. I never used to think about it before. I used to think, “Never mind everybody else – it's only me”. The Support Group has helped me a lot. (Sg pupil)

    The majority of pupils considered that their behaviour had improved, if only to some extent and in some contexts.

    I no longer need to be monitored. Can't remember when I last got a punishment exercise. Teachers treat me with respect now. I've realised that these years are important now. (Sg pupil)

    I'd talk to other people now before going into a fight – give them a chance to apologise. (Sg pupil)

    Half of the Support Group pupils reported gains in self-esteem.

    I feel much calmer because I am able to talk to someone and it has helped me to feel better and more confident in myself. (Sg pupil)

    At school he finds it hard to speak up in front of others – it built up his confidence to speak up. (Sg parent)

    The majority of pupils considered that they had formed better relationships with their teachers and some pupils reported better relationships with their parents.

    I realised I wasn't the nicest pupil −1 realised I can work and get on with things −1 usually get on well with teachers now. (Sg pupil)

    I've learned to get on well with my parents – my Dad in particular. It affects me at home as well as at school. (Sg pupil)

    “Being listened to”, “Being cared about” and the development of trusting relationships with the Sg Leader were important aspects of the approach for some pupils.

    He (Sg Leader) made us feel welcome. He wanted us to have a good education and achieve something with our lives. (Sg pupil)

    It gives him a sense of belonging as he used to think he was the only one to do silly things and get into trouble. (Sg parent)

    In interview, some pupils reported:

    • an increased capacity to concentrate and ‘stay on task’
    • greater ability to learn new information and develop skills
    • increased motivation towards learning
    • greater capacity to listen to and follow instructions

    He considers that he is more motivated, able to concentrate better and has developed more positive attitudes towards some, but not all, subjects. He feels more confident in his ability to do his work and has developed better relationships with teachers.

    (Sg Leader)

    Discipline Related

    In the period following intervention, the number of referrals (on average) to senior management for indiscipline fell to a statistically significant extent for Support Group pupils as did the number of days of suspension from school. This was in contrast to the pattern for other pupils within the same year group.

    ….'s improved behaviour has meant far less periods of exclusion which in turn means more education and hopefully improved learning. (Sg parent)

    Some final words:

    Not what I expected. Not rubbish – turned out all right. (Sg pupil)

    It gave me insight into what I was doing with my life… I have to thank teachers for helping me. For telling me, “You can do this” .(Sg pupil)

    We are delighted with the progress that… has made. He has seen that the harder he tries, the more positive encouragement he gets. (Sg parent)

    The best thing for kids! (Sg parent)
    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Presentation for Staff (Secondaiy)

    • What are Support Groups? Who are they for?
    • What is their function?
    • The involvement of class teachers
    • How do they work in practice?
    • How can pupil progress be measured?
    • What is the evidence to support their use?
    What are Support Groups?
    • groups of 3–6 pupils meet weekly (or twice weekly) with a Support Group Leader for 50–60 minutes
    • groups may also be supported by other adults (e.g. Learning Support Auxiliaries) and/or by senior pupil mentors
    • recommended intervention period is 20 sessions
    • pupils engage in activities to promote reflection, thinking skills and understanding
    • pupils are involved in individually negotiated target-setting.
    Who are They for?

    Support Groups are intended for pupils who are:

    • Considered to have Social, Emotional and/or Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)
    • showing signs of developing SEBD.
    What is the Function of Support Groups?

    Support Groups aim to develop in children:

    • understanding of themselves
    • understanding of others
    • understanding of their inter-personal relationships.
    What are the Desired Outcomes?

    Through developing understanding of themselves and others, children will gain in their capacities:

    • for empathy (ability to appreciate different perspectives)
    • to form better inter-personal relationships
    • to regulate their behaviour in a range of contexts.

    In addition, it is hoped that children will gain:

    • self-esteem
    • more positive dispositions towards learning and school.
    The Involvement of Teaching Staff
    • teachers can act in the capacity of Support Group Leader
    • Register/form/class teachers can assist in the daily monitoring of pupils
    • teachers are involved in monitoring pupils' progress in relation to set targets throughout the day (to follow)
    • teachers are asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of intervention asking them to comment upon the response of pupils within the intervention.
    How do Support Groups Work in Practice?
    • Organisation of groups
    • Parental Involvement
    • Group Activities
    Organisation of Groups
    • pupils are nominated by their Pastoral Care teachers or class teacher on the basis of identified criteria
    • a referral form is completed in which reasons for the referral and hoped for gains are clearly stated
    • a matching of needs against resources is undertaken by the Project Leader, and, in consultation with the Senior Management Team, decisions are made regarding staffing, accommodation and resourcing of groups.
    • consultation takes place between the Project Leader and Support Group Leaders re. the constitution of the groups
    • Support Group Leaders consult with parents and pupils
    • information leaflets are sent to parents along with letters of consent and an invitation to an information event
    • consultation takes place with teaching staff & arrangements are communicated to staff, parents & pupils.
    Parental Involvement
    • initial consultation with parents
    • information meeting for parents & leaflets
    • involvement in the target-setting process
    • regular informal communication with parents
    • progress report (opportunity to comment)
    • parental evaluation (questionnaire)
    Pupils Activities

    Pupil Diary
    Pupil Activities

    Target Setting
    • targets are chosen by the pupil with help from the Support Group Leader
    • an aid for setting targets supports the process
    • targets are set weekly and monitored daily by class teachers and Support Group Leaders
    • target booklets are sent home daily or weekly
    • trouble-shooting procedures support the process.
    • targets are incremental – Rome wasn't built in a day!
    • the target-card should be presented to the class teacher at the beginning of each lesson
    • the teacher should comment upon the progress of the pupil in relation to the target (left column) at the end of the day
    • the teacher can comment on any other aspect of the pupil's behaviour/work attitude in the right column
    • comments should be constructive.
    Pupil Support Card

    Pupil Activities

    Stress Reactions

    The Fight of Flight Response

    Physical changes in the body:

    • Blood vessels tighten resulting in a rise of blood pressure
    • Blood flow increased to where it is needed (the heart) and away from the skin and digestive system
    • There is a rise in adrenaline (to help us run) and cortisol (to cope with pain)
    Information Sheet 9a

    The Fight of Flight Response

    Brain responses:

    • When under stress, instead of a signal going to the thinking part of the brain, it goes directly to that part of the brain which activates the physical survival responses and to the amygdala which controls the emotions.
    • This results in people acting without thinking.
    Information Sheet 9b
    Activity 3b: The Effects of Stress on You

    How do you react in a stressful situation?

    • What body reactions do you experience? eg. racing heart (no bodily functions, thank you!)
    • Have you ever found yourself unable to explain why you behaved as you did in a stressful situation?
    • Do you behave in any of the ways described in Information Sheet 9c?
    • Do you ever feel stressed when you are trying to learn?
    Activity 3b: Setting Goals

    Activity 4a: Agony Kids

    How Can Pupil Progress Be Measured?

    By means of:

    • informal observation of pupil participation within the group
    • scrutiny of pupil target-cards & group work
    • class teacher questionnaire & informal discussion with staff
    • the pupil self-evaluation questionnaires & postintervention interview
    • responses by parents to the pupil report
    • scrutiny of attendance, discipline and attainment records.
    What is the Evidence to Support the Use of Support Groups?

    Many pupils had succeeded in developing insight into their behaviour.

    Didn't realise you're doing other people's ‘heid’ in when they want to work and how frustrated the teacher gets and that. It brought it home. (Sg pupil)

    We got to the grass roots of why I was behaving the way I was. It taught me respect for people around me. Making a clown of myself – people laughing at me not with me. Others are trying to learn – they don't need me disrupting them. (Sg pupil)

    This growing understanding showed itself in a developing sense of empathy and development of self-responsibility.

    Made me think about the way I behave – if it was right or not. I've not treated others the way I would like them to treat me. (Sg pupil)

    It's not just “me, me, me” but them. I never used to think about it before. I used to think, “Never mind everybody else – it's only me”. The Support Group has helped me a lot. (Sg pupil)

    The majority of pupils considered that their behaviour had improved, if only to some extent and in some contexts.

    I no longer need to be monitored. Can't remember when I last got a punishment exercise. Teachers treat me with respect now. I've realised that these years are important now. (Sg pupil)

    I'd talk to other people now before going into a fight – give them a chance to apologise. (Sg pupil)

    Half of the Support Group pupils reported gains in self-esteem.

    I feel much calmer because I am able to talk to someone and it has helped me to feel better and more confident in myself. (Sg pupil)

    At school he finds it hard to speak up in front of others – it built up his confidence to speak up. (Sg parent)

    The majority of pupils considered that they had formed better relationships with their teachers and some pupils reported better relationships with their parents.

    I realised I wasn't the nicest pupil −1 realised I can work and get on with things −1 usually get on well with teachers now. (Sg pupil)

    I've learned to get on well with my parents – my Dad in particular. It affects me at home as well as at school. (Sg pupil)

    “Being listened to”, “Being cared about” and the development of trusting relationships with the Sg Leader were important aspects of the approach for some pupils.

    He (Sg Leader) made us feel welcome. He wanted us to have a good education and achieve something with our lives. (Sg pupil)

    It gives him a sense of belonging as he used to think he was the only one to do silly things and get into trouble. (Sg parent)

    In interview, some pupils reported:

    • an increased capacity to concentrate and ‘stay on task’
    • greater ability to learn new information and develop skills
    • increased motivation towards learning
    • greater capacity to listen to and follow instructions

    He considers that he is more motivated, able to concentrate better and has developed more positive attitudes towards some, but not all, subjects. He feels more confident in his ability to do his work and has developed better relationships with teachers.

    (Sg Leader)

    Discipline Related

    In the period following intervention, the number of referrals (on average) to senior management for indiscipline fell to a statistically significant extent for Support Group pupils as did the number of days of suspension from school. This was in contrast to the pattern for other pupils within the same year group.

    ….'s improved behaviour has meant far less periods of exclusion which in turn means more education and hopefully improved learning. (Sg parent)

    Some final words:

    Not what I expected. Not rubbish – turned out all right. (Sgpupil)

    It gave me insight into what I was doing with my life… I have to thank teachers for helping me. For telling me, “You can do this”.

    (Sg pupil)

    We are delighted with the progress that… has made. He has seen that the harder he tries, the more positive encouragement he gets. (Sg parent)

    The best thing for kids! (Sg parent)
    Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour

    Presentation for Support Group Leaders

    • What are Support Groups? Who are they for?
    • What is their function?
    • What are the influences underlying the approach?
    • How do they work in practice?
    • How can pupil progress be measured?
    • What is the evidence to support their use?
    • groups of 3–6 pupils meet weekly (or twice weekly) with a Support Group Leader for 50–60 minutes
    • groups may also be supported by other adults (eg. Learning Support Auxiliaries) and/or by senior pupil mentors
    • recommended intervention period is 20 sessions
    • pupils engage in activities to promote reflection, thinking skills and understanding
    • pupils are involved in individually negotiated target-setting.
    Who are They for?

    Support Groups are intended for pupils who are:

    • Considered to have Social, Emotional and/or Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)
    • showing signs of developing SEBD.
    What is the Function of Support Groups?

    Support Groups aim to develop in children:

    • understanding of themselves
    • understanding of others
    • understanding of their inter-personal relationships.
    What are the Desired Outcomes?

    Through developing understanding of themselves and others, children will gain in their capacities:

    • for empathy
    • to form better inter-personal relationships
    • to regulate their behaviour in a range of contexts.

    In addition, it is hoped that children will gain:

    • self-esteem
    • more positive dispositions towards learning and school.
    What are the Influences Underlying the Approach?

    Teaching for Understanding Framework

    Understanding Goals

    Support Groups aim to develop in children:

    • understanding of themselves
    • understanding of others
    • understanding of their inter-personal relationships.
    Understanding Performances

    Children will develop and demonstrate understanding of themselves and others through their developing capacities:

    • for empathy
    • to form effective inter-personal relationships
    • to regulate their behaviour in a range of contexts.

    In addition, it is hoped that children will gain:

    • self-esteem
    • more positive dispositions towards learning and school.
    Ongoing Assessment
    • the response of the Support Group Leader and peers to the pupil's contribution within the group
    • feedback from class teachers and Support Group Leaders through the target-setting process
    • feedback in discussion of the pupil's Support Group Diary
    • feedback at the end of the intervention from class teacher and Support Group Leader progress reports.
    Theory of Multiple Intelligence: Gardner

    Emotional Intelligence: Goleman
    • knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life
    • being able to manage distressing moods well and control impulses
    • being motivated and remaining hopeful and optimistic when you have setbacks in working towards goals
    • it's empathy and it's social skills
    Emotional Intelligence: 4 Domains of Ability

    How do Support Groups Work in Practice?
    • Organisation of groups
    • Management of groups
    • Parental Involvement
    • Group Activities
    Organisation of Groups
    • pupils are nominated by their class teachers on the basis of identified criteria
    • a referral form is completed in which reasons for the referral and hoped for gains are clearly stated
    • a matching of needs against resources is undertaken by the Project Leader, and, in consultation with the Senior Management Team, decisions are made regarding staffing, accommodation and resourcing of groups.
    • consultation takes place between the Project Leader and Support Group Leaders re. the constitution of the groups
    • Support Group Leaders consult with parents and pupils
    • information leaflets are sent to parents along with letters of consent and an invitation to an information event
    • consultation takes place with teaching staff & arrangements are communicated to staff, parents & pupils.
    Management of Groups
    • there should be a Project Leader who liaises with SMT
    • Support Group Leaders are volunteers, drawn mainly from Pastoral Care & Behaviour Support Staff
    • negotiation is required with SMT in relation to how staffing is to be resourced
    • resources should be managed centrally
    • an extensive programme of INSET, regular meetings and the mentoring of staff new to the approach is essential.
    Parental Involvement
    • initial consultation with parents
    • information meeting for parents & leaflets
    • involvement in the target-setting process
    • regular informal communication with parents
    • progress report (opportunity to comment)
    • parental evaluation (questionnaire)
    Pupils Activities

    Pupil Diary
    Pupil Activities

    Target Setting
    • targets are chosen by the pupil with help from the Support Group Leader
    • an aid for setting targets supports the process
    • targets are set weekly and monitored daily by class teachers and Support Group Leaders
    • target booklets are sent home daily or weekly
    • trouble-shooting procedures support the process.
    • targets are incremental – Rome wasn't built in a day!
    • the target-card should be presented to the class teacher at the beginning of each am/pm session
    • the teacher should comment upon the progress of the pupil in relation to the target (left column) at the end of the day
    • the teacher can comment on any other aspect of the pupil's behaviour/work attitude in the right column
    • comments should be constructive.
    Pupil Support Card

    Support Card (Primary)

    Pupil Activities

    Stress Reactions

    The Fight of Flight Response

    Physical changes in the body:

    • Blood vessels tighten resulting in a rise of blood pressure
    • Blood flow increased to where it is needed (the heart) and away from the skin and digestive system
    • There is a rise in adrenaline (to help us run) and Cortisol (to cope with pain)
    Information Sheet 9a
    Stress Reactions

    The Fight of Flight Response

    Brain responses:

    • When under stress, instead of a signal going to the thinking part of the brain, it goes directly to that part of the brain which activates the physical survival responses and to the amygdala which controls the emotions.
    • This results in people acting without thinking.
    Information Sheet 9b
    Activity 3b: The Effects of Stress on You

    How do you react in a stressful situation?

    • What body reactions do you experience? eg. racing heart (no bodily functions, thank you!)
    • Have you ever found yourself unable to explain why you behaved as you did in a stressful situation?
    • Do you behave in any of the ways described in Information Sheet 9c?
    • Do you ever feel stressed when you are trying to learn?
    Activity 3d: Setting Goals

    Activity 4a: Agony Kids

    How Can Pupil Progress Be Measured?

    By means of:

    • informal observation of pupil participation within the group
    • scrutiny of pupil target-cards & group work
    • class teacher questionnaire & informal discussion with staff
    • the pupil self-evaluation questionnaires & postintervention interview
    • responses by parents to the pupil report
    • scrutiny of attendance, discipline and attainment records.
    What is the Evidence to Support the Use of Support Groups?

    Many pupils had succeeded in developing insight into their behaviour.

    Didn't realise you're doing other people's ‘heid’ in when they want to work and how frustrated the teacher gets and that. It brought it home. (Sg pupil)

    We got to the grass roots of why I was behaving the way I was. It taught me respect for people around me. Making a clown of myself – people laughing at me not with me. Others are trying to learn – they don't need me disrupting them. (Sg pupil)

    This growing understanding showed itself in a developing sense of empathy and development of self-responsibility.

    Made me think about the way I behave – if it was right or not. I've not treated others the way I would like them to treat me. (Sg pupil)

    It's not just “me, me, me” but them. I never used to think about it before. I used to think, “Never mind everybody else – it's only me”. The Support Group has helped me a lot. (Sg pupil)

    The majority of pupils considered that their behaviour had improved, if only to some extent and in some contexts.

    I no longer need to be monitored. Can't remember when I last got a punishment exercise. Teachers treat me with respect now. I've realised that these years are important now. (Sg pupil)

    I'd talk to other people now before going into a fight – give them a chance to apologise. (Sg pupil)

    Half of the Support Group pupils reported gains in self-esteem.

    I feel much calmer because I am able to talk to someone and it has helped me to feel better and more confident in myself. (Sg pupil)

    At school he finds it hard to speak up in front of others – it built up his confidence to speak up. (Sg parent)

    The majority of pupils considered that they had formed better relationships with their teachers and some pupils reported better relationships with their parents.

    I realised I wasn't the nicest pupil −1 realised I can work and get on with things −1 usually get on well with teachers now. (Sg pupil)

    I've learned to get on well with my parents – my Dad in particular. It affects me at home as well as at school. (Sg pupil)

    “Being listened to”, “Being cared about” and the development of trusting relationships with the Sg Leader were important aspects of the approach for some pupils.

    He (Sg Leader) made us feel welcome. He wanted us to have a good education and achieve something with our lives. (Sg pupil)

    It gives him a sense of belonging as he used to think he was the only one to do silly things and get into trouble. (Sg parent)

    In interview, some pupils reported:

    • an increased capacity to concentrate and ‘stay on task’
    • greater ability to learn new information and develop skills
    • increased motivation towards learning
    • greater capacity to listen to and follow instructions

    He considers that he is more motivated, able to concentrate better and has developed more positive attitudes towards some, but not all, subjects. He feels more confident in his ability to do his work and has developed better relationships with teachers.

    (Sg Leader)

    Discipline Related

    In the period following intervention, the number of referrals (on average) to senior management for indiscipline fell for Support Group pupils as did the number of days of suspension from school. This was in contrast to the pattern for other pupils within the same year group.

    ….'s improved behaviour has meant far less periods of exclusion which in turn means more education and hopefully improved learning. (Sg parent)

    Some final words:

    Not what I expected. Not rubbish – turned out all right. (Sgpupil)

    It gave me insight into what I was doing with my life… I have to thank teachers for helping me. For telling me, “You can do this”.

    (Sg pupil)

    We are delighted with the progress that… has made. He has seen that the harder he tries, the more positive encouragement he gets. (Sg parent)

    The best thing for kids! (Sg parent)

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