In the Spring and Summer term, Year 6 have been working weekly with a life coach, Paddy Venner, to help them prepare for their transition, to understand their difficulties and to help them develop effective working and personal relationships, in and out of school.
This is the programme Paddy generally follows:
The ACTIV8© Course in detail
Session 1 : The Parachute Debate – The Power of Words
Aim of session: to encourage children to understand the power of words and be able to stand their ground non-violently.
Children love this session as it is very different to anything they usually do in class and it sets the tone for the course.
Outcome: children learn teamwork. It also reveals the leaders, public speakers, the quiet ones, the strong communicators and the creative thinkers.
Session 2 : Who Are You Really?
Aim of session: Challenging children to be themselves, and to examine whether they have to become someone else just to fit in.
Outcome: children discuss the importance of fitting in and how to avoid peer pressure. Many battle to come up with a word to describe themselves and sometimes emotional. They are affirmed by Paddy who tells each child what positives he sees in them. Teachers have said what an eye-opener this session can be.
Session 3 : Attitude sets Altitude
Aim of Session: to realise that our aspirations can cause us to rise above what people have said that has hurt us.
A discussion session – children are encouraged to express their experiences of bullying and maltreatment, and how they have overcome.
Outcome: it evokes many good responses, especially when we look at the attitude to bullies, being bullied or even being a bully. Children often see this as one of their favourite sessions due to the tools given them to overcome, and adopt a positive attitude.
Session 4 : Advice – a test of scruples
Aim of Session: this is a test of their scruples and ability to analyse a situation and react accordingly. This session lets them see that a kind word or a piece of gentle advice, can make a huge difference in another child’s life.
Outcome: they learn to discuss and think collaboratively.
Session 5 : Advertise Yourself
Aim of Session: to get children to speak well of themselves.
Outcome: Children work alone, and are encouraged to get in touch with their positive attributes and to be able to communicate these appropriately. This builds self esteem and peer-group affirmation and has been a genuine turning point for some children.
Session 6 : If you don’t like the Consequence, Change the Choice
Aim and outcome of session: to teach children to stop blaming everyone else when they get into trouble and to take ownership of their own outcomes ie: weigh up actions and their consequences.
Session 7 : Overcoming Obstacles
Aim of session: To understand that hardships and obstacles in life are necessary and not there to discourage you but to strengthen you.
Outcome: that anything can be achieved or overcome through hard work and determination.
Session 8 : Letters to God and Dealing with Failure
Aim of the session: for children to put in writing what is really going on in their lives – a very eye-opening session, which ends with a discussion on bouncing back from failure. They are taught “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”
Outcome: the children work alone on a ‘letter to God’, where they have carte blanche to express themselves. This session yields much insight. Paddy reads them on site and any ones which have flagged concerns are reported to the teacher in charge.
This is the feedback the children have given about their sessions with Paddy half way through the programme:
Paddy is very unique man the way he speaks to us is incredible. When he talks to us it’s like he gets inside your head he always expresses the way he talks. Also, he’s an awesome guy he’s really funny I feel like Paddy will help us a lot and already I have a lot more confidence.
Thank you for spending the money on helping us
Paddy is incredible! I really felt like he already knew everything about me! He said that I had kind eyes… with the story he told us put me in tears! I’m truly inspired by him and I really hope he can come back soon! He is just so funny! He says such sweet things about all of us!
Paddy is amazing he helps us get ready for high-school and is so funny. He said I could be more confident in myself he thinks I’m Smart. I would love him to come more often.
Paddy is the best visitor we have ever in the whole of our federation. He teaches us life lessons. COOL AWESOME THE BEST
I really liked Paddy. He helps me and everyone else out. I thank Paddy for coming in to speak to us because he is very humorous. As humorous as he can be, he also can be quite serious. I appreciate he’s took time off to come speak to us. I enjoy every lesson I have with him, because he is so easy to speak to. When I do speak to him, Paddy only focusses on me. It makes me feel welcome, and it makes me feel wanted. He teaches us about life and tells us stories. He once said, “fists don’t talk for you”. I love Paddy. Coming: I can’t wait for him to come next week!
I found this session very helpful because he talked about who we were, we were also giving one word to describe ourselves and he made inference about us from what we told him. He explained why doing bad things doesn’t make us popular and to be ourselves not letting people control you.
Paddy brightens up my day, I always feel lonely but he makes me feel confident and unique in my own way.
Paddy really helps me believe who I can really be, he’s really fun and amazing. He’s positive, awesome, determined and different
Paddy has helped me express how I feel and made me feel more confident not just in myself but who I am, every time he leaves I feel relaxed and happy and can’t wait for Thursdays when he comes, Paddy motivates me and helps me to not make bad choices in life, I feel safe when we all talk and he’s super funny I feel so ready for high school and more confident when I talk aloud and alone “PADDY ROCKS”. He says kind things about me and he’s a real inspiration.
When Paddy comes I feel I can be myself and he really makes me think about who I really am and who I could be. He also makes a big impact on my social awareness, Paddy makes me see that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and that to really enjoy life but Paddy is a very funny person. I want to thank Paddy and say a much we THANK YOU, because (I speak for everyone) he makes a big difference and has helped us to make the right choice
Paddy told us about what would happen if you end up with wrong people. He started by making us guess what celebrities were on the board. He also told us a story about a kid named Billy who was once an innocent person but ended up with the wrong person.
Paddy’s a very humorous and fascinating man, we all love him coming to our school. He reaches really cool stuff ( like be who you really are).
Paddy is epic! Paddy is great at teaching life lessons.
Paddy is really cool he is really good at telling stories and tells us life lessons like fists are not a language and one day I want to be just like him.
Paddy’s sessions are always exciting and make me curious about the next week to come. He makes us feel like we can just be ourselves!
Paddy is really funny yet still portrays the things we’re supposed to learn in a way children listen and learn. He is a motivating speaker and lifts up peoples spirits. He can almost read minds the way he can read our emotions and what we are like. At some points when he told a story he would make me cry, other times he would make me laugh out loud. We welcome him and he welcomes us!
Paddy is very kind and extremely funny. He tells many jokes and stories. He teaches us many things. Lots of people are excited for him to come. It is really fun. He sets up the class in a very cool way. I learn a lot of stuff and he teaches us lessons.
Paddy was very helpful he told us to be who we truly are and not to change to be cool, and he was very funny doing so and he told us true stories and I can’t wait for him to come next Thursday.
Paddy is a very funny and supportive, he seems to take notice of all of us as though we were his greatest friends. Since Paddy come I’m sure everyone has been a lot more caring about eachother and have a lot more spirit in themselves and one another, I hope Paddy keeps coming even after S.A.T.S. THANK YOU PADDY and I’m sure everyone else thinks you are awesome and rock.
Paddy (I think I speak for everyone when I say this) makes us feel happy without selves without us having to do work. So he lets us have fin, learn, chears us up and does many more great things. He says good things to is and tells us great REAL stories about people he works with. He makes me feel happy and awares me to not kame the wrong choice.
I found this lesson interesting because we got to explain what we think about ourselves like if we are kind, sporty or friendly and told him why we thought that.
Paddie is a amazing human. He can probably help anyone who is sad or scared or is try to be popular.
I felt very inspired from our last session with Paddy. He asked us, “ who we really are?” and went into further detail about this, he told us we are unique and have a special purpose in life. He really engaged us too with his humour which really helps us understand. The whole thing was about how we should act like how we are, not how it makes it easier to fit in. My favourite part was when he told us to say one word that describes us. He was extremely motivational and expanded on our words, saying our traits and how we can excel.