In November 2018, after displaying quite extreme behaviour, Jamie was excluded from mainstream school and subsequently received tutoring at home until June 2019, when he joined Progress Schools.
Immediately after joining Progress Schools, staff noticed an ambitious and intelligent spark in Jamie, something they were very eager to nurture, but it wouldn’t be without challenges. In the beginning, Jamie was quite defensive and reactive during lessons and break times. He often preferred to be on his own and would get involved in altercations, which would sometimes result in 1:1 sessions with the Learning Engagement Mentor.
During these sessions, staff worked with Jamie to develop his confidence and self-esteem. Praise and positive recognition were always given when Jamie demonstrated his commitment to school – this made a huge difference in his self-development.
Initially, Jamie had several triggers, including if people focused on him without reason or if other learns were misbehaving. He found it challenging to concentrate if there was a disruptive atmosphere in the classroom.
To combat this, staff worked closely with Jamie to help him develop techniques to disassociate with disruptive behaviour. This has enabled him to focus on his tasks in lessons, complete his work to a high standard, and even achieve several Vocational Awards.
After several weeks, staff began noticing a shift in Jamie’s behaviour, which gained him a lot of respect. His continued diligence in his work and his ability to distance himself from conflicts demonstrated how Jamie was beginning to take his education and future seriously.
Jamie soon became a source of reliable support and encouragement not only for his fellow students but members of staff too. His positive influence began to shine as he set an example for other students in lessons.
Throughout his journey at Progress Schools, Jamie would always receive a positive phone call each time he achieved something at school or whenever his progression was markedly improved. This small act of recognition had a huge impact on Jamie’s relationship with his Mum, and embedded levels of trust and pride, which in turn support Jamie’s self-esteem.
While at Progress Schools, Jamie has also benefitted from our educational trips, especially where ‘Peaky Blinders’ was filmed at the Black Country Museum. He has a personal interest in this Drama, and being able to go to the BCM was a great experience for him. He was able to engage in many events there, which informed him of the filming process and made him consider the history through the Victorian era. He is a keen history student and is a great contributor to all his lessons.
Upon induction, each learner completes a STAR Assessment. This is a self-assessment where learners rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 5 in specific areas, including life outside school and education. Level 1 is the lowest where the learner believes they need a lot of work in this area to improve, and adversely 5 is the highest where the learner is very positive in this area and there would be little to improve. STAR Assessments are completed every term and then we can see where the student believes where they are.
When Jamie joined Progress Schools in June 2019, he scored most of the areas as 1s and 2s. However, during the most recent assessment in September 2021, Jamie was extremely positive and believes he has vastly improved.
Jamie has flourished from a year 9 student who was negative and insisted on sitting with his hood up to a mature young man with fantastic prospects.
Speaking on his journey at Progress Schools, Jamie said:
“Since I’ve been at Progress Schools I have really matured with the support of the staff, and I have really improved my skills in all my core subjects and my attitude has improved. I support staff now and encourage other students whereas before I would misbehave and cause issues that took the time of the staff. The use of my language has completely changed and I know that I do not need to swear anymore. I have become a role model for other students and I know I can get into college with my predicted grades and achieve what I want to achieve now. Progress Schools has really changed my perspectives on my abilities and potential.”
It is without question that Jamie is an intelligent and bright young man, with plenty of opportunities. His drastic change in attitude and perspective will undoubtedly support Jamie as he moves into the next stage of education.