#931 “Club Aspirations” improving self esteem and confidence at Rushmere Hall Primary
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What did we do?
Kim Totter at Future Female Society was recommended to me based on previous work with young girls around confidence and self esteem. We agreed an 8 week (1hr 30 mins) course for Kim to work with 15, Year 4/5 girls who had been flagged up by either their teacher or concerned parents to encourage good mental health, wellbeing and confidence.
The project covered:
Team building, (working as a team to create a TV advert);
confidence and communication (creating a radio show for Suffolk Radio – jingles interviews, presenter, story);
creative thinking and problem solving;
Love what you do (visit from a selection of women working or studying in a variety of careers);
Be Brave – Be kind (collage), reflection and future gazing
The children made and recorded a radio programme about the club (with BBC Suffolk Radio). It is hoped this will go out on ai
‘we have learned about respecting ourselves’
‘we can say goodbye to negativity’
‘learn about being yourself, making friends and having lots of fun’.
‘I feel more confident to speak out and I feel listened to’
‘I feel better about being me – I don’t have to be perfect’
‘I feel I matter now’
Kim and I met via zoom initially (in November) and then she did a school visit to discuss exactly what we wanted to achieve. This was straight forward and we were able to start the project after Christmas. A room in school needed to be allocated and Kim requested one school adult. As we had a hearing impaired child attending, she came with her 1:1 which solved this problem. Kim asked for minimal resources from school (mainly colouring pencils and paper) and access to the computer. She supplied all recording equipment for the radio show along with a DJ!!
What would we do differently
Be extremely careful of the wording you give to parents about the project! Anything mentioning mental health seems to send them into panic mode! I had to meet a couple of parent face to face to expel any concerns they had. The evaluation form for beginning and after was quite lengthy. If I did this again, I would look into a more suitable evaluation form for this age group. After the first few sessions I was a little nervous that I had chosen the wrong age group for the project – I worried the content would be beyond their understanding, but Kim adapted quickly to meet the needs and abilities. I feel this project would really benefit older children, especially at transition time, so in future, I may choose to target Year 6 girls.
Cost £1320 for 8 weeks. The children made a radio programme to go on air with Suffolk Radio, with a local DJ. Very little was requested from school – just pens, paper and an additional adult.
Resources to do something similar yourself
Attached is a Pupil Voice By EC, a Year 4 girl who has a mild form cerebal palsy. Her self esteem was low, she told me she has no friends ‘they play skipping and cartwheels and I can’t do them’. Mum contacted school for support as her child had said ‘I don’t want to live anymore’. There are no concerns around her academic work and she is in a friendship circle but feels she goes by unnoticed / can’t always join in. The improvement in her self esteem has been noticed throughout the school. She is happy, confident to approach an adult if she needs support and is proud to be ‘unique’ regarding her disability. Mum says she is happy at home and there has been no more negative talk about her life.
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