The Caritas Schools’ Service held an event on the 28th April to explore the findings and celebrate the outcomes of the Super Skills for Life pilot scheme. The pilot had taken place in 27 schools across the Diocese of Salford. St John Vianney RC School kindly hosted the event and it was attended by children involved in the pilot, parents, Caritas Trustees, Head Teachers, Teachers, SENCOs, Chaplains and a School Nurse. The children were so well behaved and seemed to enjoy the event especially watching themselves on video.
The event began with a introduction from Peter Evers, Director of Education, stating how he was delighted to see evidence based interventions being offered by the Caritas Schools Service to the children in Diocesan schools. Then there was a welcome from the Caritas Diocese of Salford CEO Mark Wiggin followed by a presentation from Professor Cecilia A. Essau, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Roehampton University who developed the Super Skills for Life programme. The presentation highlighted, via the research, very positive results for all of the children who took part in all areas of the programme. The programme is an 8 week 1 hour lesson which teaches children skills to enhance self-confidence, build emotional resilience and social competence, manage with life changes and cope with stressful situations. It also teaches conflict and time management skills in addition to relaxation techniques.
This was followed by members of the Caritas Schools’ Service Team who were involved in delivering the groups to the children. They took the audience through a number of the activities that the children completed when doing the programme. There were a few worried faces at the thought of having to stand up and be filmed talking about themselves for 2 minutes in front of an audience! This was one way the facilitators were demonstrating the feelings of anxiety that some children face everyday. One of the Schools’ team Counsellors then took the audience through one of the relaxation exercises from Super Skills for Life , using a visualisation which was really well received by everyone and a perfectly relaxing way to end the event.
We concluded the morning with a communal lunch and an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of the programme more informally and celebrate the outcomes together. We want to say very big thank you to all the children, parents and schools who took part.