ALESHA BECOMES MORE SELF-AWARE AND DISCOVERS HER STRENGTHS†
Alesha had a rocky start to the programme. She wouldn’t sit down at the first student meeting and displayed challenging behaviour. We heard from her parent/carer that she was anxious about being out of her comfort zone. Once we knew this, we were able to adapt our response to her behaviour and to reassure her about the programme. We found that she became more open and conversational, and her behaviour improved after each trip. She attended every trip and by the end of the programme she was a very different person. At the start of the programme she ‘strongly disagreed’ to the statement, ‘I know what my strengths are’, whereas at the end, she ‘strongly agreed’. She commented:
This course has definitely helped me in many aspects and I totally suggest this course for others. It has made me more confident, more self-aware and smarter.
*Results are samples from individual programmes, not for all participants.
SAM TRANSFORMS HER BEHAVIOUR AND ATTITUDE TO LEARNING†
Sam was always in the isolation room at school, despite being a highly able student. She was easily distracted and avoided applying herself fully to school and learning. During the programme, her attitude began to change and she even began to show leadership qualities. She now listens actively to instructions and to other students, and she makes an effort to give feedback. Her teacher says:
She’s rarely in the isolation room now, and is more positive in her outlook in general. Her engagement in lessons is far better.
ABDUL OVERCOMES ANXIETY AND SECURES A UNIVERSITY PLACE†
Abdul was an able student but was very anxious, so much so that he had an EHCP (education and healthcare plan). He was keen to become a teacher, but his anxiety had been holding him back – and he didn’t respond to our initial invitations to Future Quest. However, Abdul’s tutor referred him when she heard about the programme through our regular updates to staff at the school.
Initially, our mentor talked to Abdul about what would help him achieve his goals, including attending a university summer school. But Abdul was worried about travelling and overnight stays. Gradually, we helped to build his confidence. We put in place one-to-one support, particularly at times of high anxiety; a trial train journey accompanied by our mentor; a buddy for the summer school and extra support from the university including a designated student ambassador.
After attending the summer school, Abdul applied to a number of universities. He received three offers including one from his local university, and commented:
I am absolutely delighted, thank you to you all for all of your hard work in the run up to this interview. I really do appreciate everything.
An unexpected outcome was that his final predictions are above his target grade in two of his three subjects.
In September 2019, Abdul enrolled at the University of Bristol as a Bristol Scholar. The Bristol Scholars scheme is designed for learners with adverse or more challenging circumstances.
†Names and in some cases ethnicity and gender have been changed.