Adult Advocates

Our Adult Advocate Programme

Why was the Programme implemented?
This programme was set up in September 2012 as an initiative stemming from the headteacher’s research regarding National and International Curricula models.

The dictionary definition of an advocate is ‘a person who positively supports a cause’.

The programme supports children in this way. The initiative involves every child in Key Stage 2 having an Advocate in the school (other than current teacher/TA etc) with whom they will have termly meetings, as part of a ‘High 5’ group.

These meetings have different foci to develop all aspects of the school’s Student Exit Profile. The adult advocate will also make contact as often as possible for informal ‘chats’, eg. after an achievement assembly or when a child has won or taken part in something – to give them praise and show interest.

It also supports the school’s ARCS Student Exit Profile.

The benefits of the programme have been immense:

  • Building the confidence and self esteem of vulnerable children
  • Providing an additional point of contact
  • Providing an additional role model
  • Have fun
  • Encouraging children to work with other children they normally wouldn’t collaborate with
  • For children to shine in a small group scenario
  • For children to receive focussed praise and encouragement on an individual level
  • Provision of an additional person to track development towards the Student Exit Profile

 

Formal meetings are held 5 times a year. Some of the activities which have taken place, include the following;

  • Walking through the day – reflection
  • Planting bulbs and seeds
  • Exploring and creating personal profiles
  • Making sculptures of ourselves out of plasticine and taking photos
  • Working in pairs to create jigsaws
  • Making badges
  • Relax Kids activities
  • A map of my life (hobbies, pets etc)
  • Lego hangers for aircraft
  • Plane making
  • Biscuit decorating
  • Poetry
  • Creating a home environment and playing games
  • Baking
  • Showing the group their favourite place in school
  • Games and songs
  • Painting, sketching and crafts
  • Mini walks and picnics
  • Collaborative work
  • Bird watching
  • Board games
  • Singing
  • Sports and maths games
  • Circle time
  • A portfolio to record our activities
  • Music related activities
  • Building and establishing relationships with their parents
  • Finding out about more personal interests and sharing hobbies
  • Outdoor activities
  • Making key rings
  • Origami
  • Christmas decorations
  • Start a project together
  • Being more proactive in recognising achievements/ identifying problems
  • Develop survival skills, enjoy being outside regardless of the weather
  • Willow weaving
  • Painting a High 5 pot
  • Develop a new skill
  • Using the children’s ideas

The headteacher provides annual training for the Adult Advocates, to ensure that the impact of the programmes is measured and the initiative continues to develop.
Feedback from the adults and children has been extremely positive. Here are some of the comments which have been made;

Adults;

  • I have sent the children a card and a chocolate bauble at Christmas. Will try and remember their birthday too!
  • Very enjoyable!
  • It has been lovely to work closely with a small group of children and get to know them better
  • I really enjoy the sessions and having the time to guide children in KS1 and KS2
  • Keep reviewing and reflecting on each pupil’s file
  • Lovely to have opportunities to listen to and enjoy the children
  • The feedback from children has been positive and encouraging

Children;
Have you enjoyed being in the group?
100% of children answered ‘yes’, with several saying ‘a lot’!

Do you feel your High 5/Adult Advocate could help with a worry or a problem?
100% of children interviewed said ‘yes’
‘Yes, because I know she would make me smile’

Other comments
‘The group is a great idea’
‘Everyone should be in a group’
‘If the Adult Advocate/High 5 leader is on playground duty, you can say hello and have a chat’

What have you enjoyed?
‘having fun’, ‘being with friends’, ‘teamwork’

What skills have you learnt?
‘to be calm and peaceful’, ‘throwing a Frisbee’, ‘icing cookies’, ‘to use control Lego with the computer’, ‘how to solve a problem’, ‘making pancakes’, ‘bird spotting’

What are the benefits/good things?
‘meeting children from other year groups’, ‘we all come together and talk’, ‘I love the way other children make me smile and laugh’, ‘get to know more teachers and spend time with other pupils’, ‘ you can always go and talk to your group leader’, ‘the teacher always tries to make the lessons good for us’, ‘you get to make friends and relax in the group’.

Other comments
‘I love the way we do different things each time’, ‘I really like my High 5 group’

 

 

Measuring the Impact of the Programme

Qualitative
Advocates are currently trialling various ways to record children’s responses, activities completed and finished products, e.g.:

  • photographs
  • scrap books
  • profiles
  • post-its
  • journals/portfolios
  • logs

These are used to assess changes/shifts in children’s attitudes and conduct, which is measured through teacher assessment.
Quantitative
PASS Survey (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School)
Achievement data
Individual Target Setting/Progress proformas
Annual questionnaire to advocates and participants.

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