Boost is an nine-session programme delivered in the classroom. Pupils explore and gain an in-depth understanding of the seven core life and learning skills, that we promote through all of our programmes: resilience, confidence, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, goal-setting and curiosity. Each two-hour session is designed to get children thinking, reflecting, planning and taking control of what they want and how they’re going to achieve it.
Our Boost programme is one of our ‘theory and learning’ elements of our overall offer, running alongside the ‘experiential’ and ‘parent support’ elements, to create a full family support package.
How is it delivered?
Our trainers deliver each of the 2-hour workshops for up to 30 children at a time, in the classroom alongside the class teacher. We recommend a morning slot so the children can have a break halfway through. All we need is a screen to plug a computer into and a standard classroom set-up. We bring the post-it notes!
Each session includes elements of active listening, discussion, practise and activity. We know how to engage children, using effective teaching techniques to elicit deep thinking and development of skills.
Firstly we want children to feel good about themselves. This begins with understanding their unique skills and abilities, learning styles and preferences. We all like to learn and work differently and we all excel in different ways, according to the way our brains are wired. Knowing that intelligence isn’t fixed and that there are seven different recognised intelligences, (H.Gardener, 1983) will broaden the children’s view of what it means to be ‘smart’.
Resilience is a frequently-used buzz word and often wrapped up with self-confidence and self-esteem. We talk about it a lot during our Enrichment programme activities, but do the children really know what it means, to recognise it when they see it, know where it comes from and what’s needed to build and develop it? During this session, children will have a chance to talk about what it really is and reflect on their own personal experience of it, then plan for how they’ll utilise it throughout their lives.
Our session on problem-solving, breaks down how to solve a problem with a series of steps and prompts. Armed with this knowledge, children are given the opportunity to practise through games and activities, evaluating the problem-solving skills they’re using along the way. Our trainers will observe and reflect the children’s efforts and achievements allowing them to learn and grow.
Leadership and teamwork are represented frequently in our Enrichment programme activities, such as den building at Arnos Vale, team games at Mojo Active and cardboard arcade building at the Children’s Scrapstore. Some will naturally gravitate to leadership roles and some will find it easier than others to work harmoniously as a team. We see this a lot. There are those who really want the opportunity to be a leader, and when given the chance and support they really take to it.
The prompts and support that our staff give can be distilled and taught in the classroom, looking at ways to be assertive, listening, communicating and managing conflict. In a safe, practise environment, all children can learn to be leaders and understand what it takes to be a valuable team-member, whatever their preferred role may be.
Setting, planning and achieving goals is no easy task, yet there are steps, considerations and many practical things that can be put in place to increase the chances of success. We want to teach children how to set realistic goals and be clear about how they’re going to get there. And even with the best-laid plans, there are many pitfalls. Learning about how to overcome the challenges that knock us off course, is an essential topic to look at in detail. With a healthy dose of self-reflection children can recognise why they fail and do something about it, in turn feeling great about themselves, boosting their confidence and aspirations.
The World Economic Forum set out the top ten skills employers of the future will want in their workforce. The future they talk of in their 2016 study is of 2020! Our Boost programme not only delivers important content relating to our seven key life an learning skills, but also those held high by the World Economic Forum. We want children to be successful in their lives right now, as they grow up and also in their future with whatever career route they choose to take.