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  • Writer's pictureBeth Nunn

Re-engaging at Highfields

We are embarking on more new projects for 2023!

At the end of 2022 we secured funding from Stockport Council to trial some of our programmes, specifically looking at reducing exclusions in secondary schools in Stockport. Working with the SEND and Inclusion team, we will be running a number of programmes with young people who have either already been excluded from school, or who are at risk of being excluded, and seeing if our programmes can help to reduce negative behaviour, support mental health, and help to re-engage young people in learning.

In January we started the first part of the project with Highfields College, an alternative provision in Brinnington. Students at Highfields no longer attend mainstream schools, normally due to an exclusion, instead having a much more personalised education taught in smaller group settings.

We are currently running two programmes as the first stage of this pilot at Highfields:

- Antony is running a Put It In Words programme with Year 10 and 11 boys - focusing on giving them the chance to look at identity, discuss issues around mental health, and explore how to communicate more effectively with others. The sessions so far are going really well - we have started to get some great poetry written, as well as having spent time building positive relationships. The group are going to be looking to produce some recordings of their poetry before the end of the programme - meaning they will learn some production skills with Antony as well as focussing on their use of words and language.

- Beth is running a Positivity PIE programme with Year 9 girls. The aim of this programme is to get students to focus more positively on themselves, as well as thinking about how they treat and react to others. So far, we have done work around using positive language, both about ourselves and others. This has included creating bracelets and keyrings with positive words about themselves - as well as creating items for family members, friends and school staff to be showing our positive attitudes and thoughts about others. After half term we will be focussing on a series of Random acts of kindness, making sure we are thinking about how we can have a positive impact on others through our actions.

We look forward to continuing the project in the coming months at Highfield, and then developing the next stage of the project supporting students at Werneth High School.

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