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WATCH: CHRISTIAN'S TEAM MATES STORY

Find out how year 7 pupil Christian gained his new found confidence with the help of our Team Mates programme.

Christian is a Year 7 student at his south London school and has been participating in the Team Mates programme led by School Intervention Officer Ross.

Team Mates is a 24-week programme delivered in schools and is aimed at children and young people to help improve their confidence and mental health. Some of the topics covered in the sessions are happiness, resilience, anti-bullying and respect.

In these sessions, Christian and his classmates worked with Ross to understand their mental health and confidence in different ways. They used social skills development as an effective tool to build up their protective barrier against poor mental health, as well as worksheets, student-led discussions and group activities which allows them to reflect on their experiences and create positive coping strategies all in a safe and comfortable environment.

When Christian first started Team Mates, he was very energetic and full of confidence. However, this confidence was sometimes misdirected which led to him getting into trouble at school. In the first couple of sessions, Christian struggled to listen the whole way through and would get distracted, and at times would distract others.

As the weeks progressed, so did Christian’s behaviour and engagement. For instance, Christian is now one of the first to contribute answers in class by wanting to be the first to give his check-in score or telling us about his weekend. He also began to understand how to respect those around him, including his teachers and peers, and now knows when the best time to share is.

School Intervention Officer Ross speaks on the change he’s seen in Christian over these sessions.

‘’Christian came into the workshop with a lot of energy which was good but at times was misdirected which made him get distracted. However, in the last 6 weeks we’ve seen that energy shift into more positive things in school.

These sessions have improved Christian’s confidence. He is now one of the first ones now to put his hand up and tell the class how his week has been. Where before he would not share and let his peers answer instead. He’s now become a leader in this group and encourages his classmates to share their answers’’ . 

The shift in Christian use of his confidence has developed him into a leader. This new positive attitude and willingness to help others has helped to create a more supportive environment for not only him, but everyone in the programme.

Christian has also recognised the impact Team Mates sessions with Ross has had on him.

‘’School before was kind of challenging and it was tough. Secondary is a big step up from primary but having Ross is really good so I can have someone to talk to and get stuff out of my mind.

What I gained from teammates is that I’ve gained more confidence and remember that not everything will be the best at times but you got to shake it off.’’

Christian’s progress has been evident to other staff members at school as well. Mr Clark, who is a learning mentor in the school, has known Christian since he was in Year 6. He commented on his development since attending Team Mates.

”When he transitioned from Year 6 into Year 7, he was very boisterous and energetic, and always wanted someone to talk to. Having Ross come in you can see the changes he’s made. He’s calmed down a bit, he’s learnt how to problem solve well, he’s starting to think first before he acts and has become a character that has developed into a leader. Not just myself, but lots of teachers have seen the shift in Christian’s attitude in recent weeks.

Find out more about the Palace for Life Team Mates programme here.

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