St Mary’s Colchester in Essex has introduced a pioneering programme designed to educate year 8 students about developing the skills needed to make informed decisions and navigate risky situations.
Staff at the school acknowledged the value of a comprehensive Personal, Social, Heath and Economic (PSHE) curriculum, and how enhancing pupils’ life skills are a vital part of their education.
The Training Effect (TTE) was commissioned to deliver its award-winning Risk-Avert programme to the school’s year 8 pupils. Risk-Avert’s aim was to educate students at St Mary’s Colchester about how to make informed decisions and develop practical skills to improve their ability to safely and confidently navigate risky situations.
The programme incorporated content and activities that challenged students on their current attitudes towards risk-taking behaviours and the pressures of being an adolescent. As part of the programme, students covered sessions related to the influence of peers, social norms, decision making and were taught how to use the decision making models and techniques integral to the success of the Risk-Avert programme.
TTE held a training day for staff at the school to introduce them to the programme and offer tips on how to incorporate this version of Risk-Avert into the classroom.
Feedback showed 65 percent of pupils felt more confident about avoiding risky situations and 69 percent said they would recommend Risk-Avert to others.
TTE’s Mark Bowles said: “St Mary’s Colchester was the first private school we’ve delivered Risk-Avert to and the feedback has been very positive.
“Risk is risk – whether you are a student at a comprehensive school or an independent school setting. The Risk-Avert programme teaches pupils from all backgrounds the principle of risk taking and mechanisms of how to cope with and manage risk.”