18. An S4 Girl Who Found School Attendance Very DifficultBackground
This girl was unable to attend secondary school regularly and had been receiving 1-1 support at home from a ‘Level 3’ teacher once a week to enable her to complete English and Maths at Standard Grade. Although support was offered weekly, she was only able to take part irregularly. She sat both exams but had no opportunity to socialise or to make plans for the future.
Solution Focused Approach
She was referred to Youth Unlimited via the Authority’s Senior Integrated team and was approached for initial 1-1 support by a Development worker during summer 2009. This gentle approach
proved suitable and she was able to move quite quickly out of her home and into Perth, graduating to meeting another young person in similar circumstances. Using the Rickter assessment
an initial short-term plan with realistic targets was put in place over the holidays with the prospect of additional longer term and further academic targets for the
new school year . Discussion and agreement within the Youth Unlimited team, including the teacher, and subsequently with the school through emails, led to an Additional Support meeting and enabled these targets to be put in place.
Key success factors were as follows:
• mix of challenge and support within a positive ethos;
• strong relationship building with key staff and one other young person;
• high expectations of success by oil staff;
• a flexible curriculum, including small group work, alongside regular 1-1 support as required;
• partnership working with Youth Unlimited, original 1-1 teacher, parent and school;
• gradual build up of timetable.
Range of Strategies to Promote Positive Behaviour and Improve Learning
included a quiet learning environment; new pupils introduced gradually along with original partner, regular feedback to parent and school and much reinforcement of success. When the girl’s anxiety increased, l – l sessions were provided.
• Regular Additional Support meetings at school, attended by Youth Unlimited, issues and strategies thoroughly discussed with young person, prior to meeting.
• Detailed Individualised Educational Programme drawn up by school with all partners.
• Successes celebrated.
• Transition planning undertaken in detail.
A Flexible Curriculum in Line with Curriculum for Excellence
• Gradual increase in involvement with Youth Unlimited, leading to a 4 day per week timetable.
• Focus on both attainment, achievement and transition.
• Completed Friends resilience programme in a small group.
• Weekly ASDAN Level UP group and other creative groups.
• Bi-weekly small groups for academic subjects with additional 1-1 when required.
• Weekly large group coming together to eat lunch/snack.
Agencies and the young person undertook regular email liaison with the school. There was also regular liaison with her parent, including email, phone calls, meetings and an open day event. Perth College worked closely with the school and Youth Unlimited in order to plan options for post-school.
Successful Outcomes included:
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- the young person visibly grew in confidence and become able to express her own opinions in a group;
- she now contributes well to group activities and is able to work independently;
- the young person increased her time in school and now regularly manages her timetable;
- eith support, she manages anxieties connected with academic work;
- she has sat NABs for all subjects;
- she has gained the ASDAN Level UP award;
- she has been accepted to Perth College for a full-time Higher course and also applied to Carnegie College for a similar course;
- she is beginning to enjoy her successes.