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:
Formal meetings are held 5 times a year. Some of the activities which have taken place, include the following:
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:
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’
‘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’.
‘I love the way we do different things each time’, ‘I really like my High 5 group’
Measuring the Impact of the Programme
Advocates are currently trialling various ways to record children’s responses, activities completed and finished products, e.g.:
These are used to assess changes/shifts in children’s attitudes and conduct, which is measured through teacher assessment.
PASS Survey (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School)
Individual Target Setting/Progress proformas
Annual questionnaire to advocates and participants.