SEN school project
I recently met a visionary Head Teacher of a SEN school with 95% of children diagnosed autistic. His vision was to change the culture of the school and improve personal development in schools. Hence making it the best SEN school in the UK. Especially relevant the focus on emotional intelligence, well-being, and building resilience, hence creating the foundation for personal responsibility. And perhaps more importantly, independent living beyond Year 11.
When I asked him why he chose us as the delivery partner to support his vision he said:
“I was introduced to the work of Develop Your Child by someone I trust who had experienced their programs. After meeting with Alan I could tell that we had a similar vision. I could feel his passion, dedication, and determination and see the impact of his range of programs. The outcomes would be just what we need to transform our school community. Early indications are very encouraging so I’m looking forward to developing our working relationship.”
As part of our personal development in schools program, we are working with the teachers (those trained get materials to teach students). In addition all school staff, including kitchen and maintenance. And of course the most important cohort, the parents and carers, to create a culture of personal empowerment.
During the personal development training we identify potential Champions. They will receive additional training to support sustainability and cascade learning. When we all work together with the same cohesive approach, the whole environment of the school family will evolve. Especially relevant the children will grow exponentially.
How We Improve Personal Development In Schools
We have just started working with the first cohort of school staff. In the next academic year we will be working with parents as well. Whilst we are in the very early stages, the initial response is very encouraging. We use a wide variety of tools and techniques in our personal development in schools programs. The four main tools (all founded in mindfulness):
- The Success Diary – recording the best thing that happened to you that day. The associated feelings helps to reinforce the quality of that success. Identifying potential is paramount. It creates forward momentum for the next level of success.
- The Power of Thought – your thoughts create your feelings and emotions, which control your actions and behaviour. This leads to your reactions, which creates your next thought. Practicing awareness of this cycle allows you to track back to the thought, that sparked this chain of events. You can change your thought as quickly as clicking your fingers. Leaving you free to create your own reality.
Probably the most important tools are:
- Levels of Listening – beyond empathic, ‘active’ listening, we have proved there is a deeper level of listening. We call this energetic listening or connection. This is vitally important because we all emanate an energy. This directly links to how we feel about ourselves. Children are more sensitive to this energy. Consequently they take responsibility for an adult’s emotional state, whether positive or negative. The quality of our energy directly impacts the quality of our relationships. Understanding the energetic connection is the core of our personal development program.
- Goal Setting – W.L. Bateman said, “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” The purpose of coaching is to help you to step out of your comfort zone, one small step at a time. We use a version of SMART goals and the GROW Model for empowering conversations.
Our unique approach
Our program uses the best of coaching, emotional literacy and mindfulness techniques, underpinned by neuroscience. Create personal empowerment for the foundation of personal development in schools.
The Learning Framework illustrates how this powerful combination of modalities enables each individual to intuitively take what they need. Most of all to make transformational change. Parents, children and professionals have called it magic in action!
I was excited to discover that during the Head Teacher’s training (National Professional Qualification for Headship – NCTL), he became aware of the Teal process and was interested in exploring it. What really blew me away was the case study of the ESBZ school in Laloux’s book where students teach each other and the teachers coached them.
Our vision is to achieve a successful conclusion and produce an evaluation that will attract a mainstream school and then who knows where this will lead!