Next Step Training
Making the Link was delivered to our youth students. Making the Link promotes help-seeking for cannabis use and mental health problems. By seeking help early, young people are less likely to develop long term consequences as a result of mental health and substance use issues. Making the Link teaches young people how to help each other to seek professional help. It promotes the idea that “Mates Help Mates” and reduces the barriers to seeking help from professionals. It also educates teachers about how to assist their students to access professional help. Our youth say that it contained good information and that they felt they would be more confident about helping a friend.
Evaluating the programme: We use the CORS form and ask the children at the beginning, halfway through and at the end of the programme ‘How do you feel about your learning in Science?’ The average positive shift for Green Island School was 9 points, and the average positive shift for Musselburgh School was 11.1 points. We are also interested in the parents’ perspective on the programme. On a scale of 1 – 10, all parents from both schools marked their child’s enjoyment of the programme as a 10. We also ask parents which part of the programme their child gained the most from – there are a range of responses including increased confidence, the experiments, learning new skills, and visiting the museum. In response to what could we do better, most replies are keep the programme as it is although a really good suggestion from one parent that suggested an information sheet for the child to take home about what they had been doing in the programme to share with parents, which we are now developing. In addition we also look for feedback from the schools – Steve Hayward, Principal at GI School, wrote that the programme contained a good balance of school based activities and going off-site to the Museum. He noted that there were some big gains in confidence noticed for some children, and said the children were highly motivated about the programme.
The Incredible Years course is just over half way now and parents are really starting to notice the difference that positive parenting is making to their children and the atmosphere in their homes. One parent said her daughter is responding to the extra time she is spending with her by following her directions without complaining, which she was not doing before, and by offering to help with jobs around the home. Another mum said that she has successfully used a sticker chart to help her daughter to get dressed independently in the mornings, and she no longer has to nag her daughter to get ready. We are looking forward to hearing how children and families have responded to more predictable routines at home, which was the subject of our last session before the holidays.
Little Citizens Kiwi Room
Currently we have three children with special learning and developmental needs in the Kiwi Room. We have developed warm, close relationships with each child’s caregivers and family. We have also had visits and conversations with several health professionals connected to the care of these children - an Early Intervention Teacher from the Ministry of Education, a teacher from CCS, a speech therapist, a physio, an occupational therapist, and a psychologist. While it has been busy managing many new faces and visits, it has been very beneficial to have their suggestions and advice for the care of our children, and it is very rewarding working with these children. Each achievement is a cause for delight and celebration, and we share these moments with such pleasure with the caregivers and health professionals. There have been many small moments of success in the time that we have had these children with us. With combined efforts from families, health professionals, us and of course each child’s own hard work, determination and curiosity, we are making positive steps with these children’s learning and development.
Little Citizens Kotuku Room
It has been wonderful watching the children's faces as we introduce the new equipment purchased through the science and technology fundraiser. It has seen an increase in parent engagement – an example is where one dad spends some time each morning constructing and designing with his child. It has also seen more discussions with parents about the learning role of the equipment and where it can be purchased for ongoing use at home.