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One-Eighty’s Kick Start project, funded by the OCF, has driven some dramatic improvements in behaviour amongst primary school pupils.

One-Eighty is a charity specialised in providing behavioural support to young people at risk of exclusion from school. With a solid grounding in psychological research, staff at One-Eighty help children to address the sources of disruptive or disengaged behaviour, turning their fortunes around and giving them a better future.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation awarded One-Eighty a grant at the end of 2013 to help with Kick Start, a special project aiming to strengthen relationships between pupils who were not ready to learn, and their parents. Johnny Latham, Director of One-2-One Interventions at One-Eighty, told us: “Sometimes, school children can display signs of depression or anxiety at school, naturally leading their teachers to conclude that they are depressed or anxious. However, in some cases children are not depressed or anxious in their own right, but are instead mimicking the behaviour of a parent who may be suffering. They have been caught up in a depressive ‘culture’ that determines their visible behaviour. We wanted to help these children be themselves, and we knew that the best way to do this was to build bridges with their parents.”

Johnny and the team designed a classroom programme for the children that included a fun workbook for them to take home and use in collaboration with their families. The OCF grant helped pay for the production of the workbook, which was developed with Design for Social Change and Oxford University Press. It was structured around the idea of a journey round the world, and encouraged children to work on the activities together with their parents. During the classroom, sessions, children were coached in small groups through fun activities that helped them develop new strategies for better behaviour, both at school and at home. Additionally, a leaflet created alongside the Big Picture design company was produced, aimed at parents, giving them simple, down-to-earth advice for listening to and better communicating with their children. The leaflet included a piece of seed paper that could be planted by parent and child together – a warm bonding activity that would provide the space for one-to-one interaction.

The project’s outcomes have been very positive, with 82% of class teachers reporting improvements in the pupils’ behaviour, and 94% of the youngsters saying they felt more in control of their own feelings and behaviours. 64% of the parents saw improvements at home following the programme.

If you would like to help fund more projects like Johnny’s, consider giving via the community foundation.

See Johnny introduce himself here: