16. A Looked After S2 Boy with Challenging Behaviour Arising From Family Issues

Background This pupil arrived from a care situation in another Authority, where he had attended the local school until the end of S1. He had made progress and been well settled there and it was considered that he was ready to return home. He was keen to make a fresh start and make a success of attending a new school in S2. He had a history of difficult behaviour within the home in relation to his step-father and there had been sexual abuse in the past by a member of the extended family (from age 2 until Primary school). There were also peer group issues, unpredictable reactions across situations, perceived importance of physical strength, aggression, low level of self-esteem, lack of confidence and a tendency to tell lies and hold grudges. He regularly planned retaliation. He remained on a compulsory supervision order at the time of his admission. There was partnership involvement with the Reintegration team, from the time of his admission into S2, in order to focus and capitalise on positive aspects both in and out of school. Solution Focused Approaches Solution Focused Approaches were used to identify strengths and encourage the pupil to focus on both past and present successes, especially in the area of relationships. Strategies • A consistent and flexible support structure in place from admission to school. • Clear message that school and agencies involved were working together. • Clear, high expectations of conduct in school with few rules, but those consistently applied. • Negotiated part-time timetable to include extra Music and Art. • Recording of own music CD in Music Department. • Daily single target sheet generated by young person, in discussion with key worker/ lead person. • Daily review discussion between key worker/lead person, Re-integration team worker and pupil to acknowledge successes. • Reward stickers, certificates etc in subject classes (much valued by young person). • In-class support from Re-integration worker in classes identified by young person. • Information to subject staff – updated on need to know basis. • Regular contact between agencies and with parent to exchange information. • Consistent and flexible responses reflected the high expectations of effort and behaviour required for successful integration. This strategy achieved a significant level of success with this young person. Key success factors were as follows: • coping with work and people in mainstream classes; • improving his relationships with family which would support a successful return home; • work on ‘thinking before acting’ in difficult situations. Range of Strategies to Promote Positive Behaviour and Improve Learning In-class support helped maintain the boy in mainstream classes. Use of ‘star’ awards, negotiated target sheet etc proved very motivating. Generally, a consistent, structured approach. Individualised Planning Careful planning, prior to arrival, which took account of significant needs . Also, daily planning (young person and workers) in order to provide a flexible response to changing situations . A Flexible Curriculum in Line with Curriculum for Excellence The high level of planning and structure, throughout the year helped to support the development of all aspects of the young person during his time in this school ie the ’rounded’ person who shows responsibility, develops confidence and improves his relationships with others. Partnership Working The close partnership between school and the Reintegration team provided a support network which helped the boy to focus on his own aims and objectives. The commitment to working together, daily discussion and a clear agreement as to the strategies which would be likely to lead to success, made for a very positive involvement between the workers and a lot of success for the young person. Successful Outcomes included:
  • greater confidence in his own abilities;
  • good peer relationships;
  • improved self-control;
  • improved attitude to authority;
  • very good subiect reports to take to new school in 53;
  • a more capable and much happier person!
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