Heads Up was implemented in 2006 to work with 40 young people in two local high schools. The project has since expanded and currently supports 285 in S2 and S3 in five secondary schools in West Dunbartonshire. Young people are referred to the project by their pastoral care teachers for reasons which include isolation, low self esteem, challenging behaviour, poor attendance or truancy.
The programme content has been designed in line with the needs of young people and the issues they are experiencing with the group work sessions covering a range of topics including: Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Healthy Eating and Healthy Lifestyle, Personal Safety, Relationships and Sexual Health. The programme and approach have been developed using the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy responding to their needs with tailored content, supporting young people to overcome problems and issues in their lives allowing them to achieve within school and thrive within their local community. Heads Up educates young people about the issues affecting them allowing them to put their own circumstances into context, and make more informed decisions that will support them in future. The project has produced distinct improvements in the confidence and self esteem of the young people who are reporting positive outcomes around increased ability to express their feelings, reduced isolation and the ability to sustain wider friendship groups
The introduction of SQA Qualifications will help to raise attainment levels within the area and support more young people to achieve nationally recognised qualifications. This is especially important given that 15.9% of the working age population within the area have no formal qualifications, again higher than the national average of 12%.
SQA Personal Achievement Award Level 2
The young people will develop:
- Thinking skills
- Knowledge & Understanding
- Communication Skills
- An ability to work with others
- Skills to support them work towards independence
SQA Wellbeing Award Level 3
Young people will undertake a planned activity, with directive support, aimed at improving wellbeing by:
- Identifying a way of improving well-being
- Participating in setting basic targets to improve well-being
- Developing a basic plan for an activity to improve well-being
- Carrying out the planned activity
- Reviewing the planned activity
Young people will investigate wellbeing in different contexts, with directive support by:
- Describing what wellbeing means in different contexts
- Identifying influences on wellbeing, using a few sources of information
- Describe the usefulness of the information
- Presenting findings in a suitable way.
IN SCHOOL DROP-IN SESSIONS -Includes one to one consultations, feedback and general advice sessions.
ONE DAY ACTIVITIES AND RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMMES – these activities increase staff engagement time with the young people and also create opportunities for them to try new and challenging experiences to which they would not otherwise have access (e.g. water park, climbing, and gorge walking).
PARENTING WORKSHOPS –In 2012 Tullochan’s Heads Up project introduced a pilot programme for parents/guardians. The forums were used as a platform to provide knowledge and support to offer proactive and practical support for parents and guardians to help raise confident, resilient and successful individuals. Through open discussion (which was managed, not led) by the team, the parents discussed the challenges they face as parents of teenagers. These challenges included communication, approach and understanding the issues their son/daughters face. The forums shared personal insight of the common issues that arise as children and young people develop as well as learning different parenting styles and how effective these can be. Joint activity days also provided a great leveller for parents and children to interact and build positive happy memories together.
We aim that Heads Up will give participating young people the opportunity to:
- Gain Level 2 Personal Achievement Award
- Gain Level 3 Wellbeing Award
- Improve confidence and self esteem
- Reduce the risk of isolation
- Benefit from parents/guardians attending forums
School Feedback From Our Annual Awards:
“There was a buzz of excitement through the whole evening. The auditorium was packed. The teamwork, confidence and humour in the presentations made it entertaining as well as inspiring. A strong theme emerged from the quick-fire succession of talks from young people, parents, “purple people (staff)” and “former young people” (I loved that!): Tullochan is credited by many in the Vale community as the agency that turned them or their children on to confidence, self-belief and aspiration. It has been working since the 1990s, and updated & polished, it is still working with the current group of young people. No-one else is doing this. In school, we see how crucial Tullochan is in the lives of young people facing serious challenges. We must support Tullochan!”
Harry Moran- Depute Head Teacher- Vale Of Leven Academy
What parents/guardians say:
“The way she is in Tullochan is the way I would like to see her in other classes, being more confident”
“I know from experience the work that Tullochan does can change people’s lives and love the fact he has someone he can talk to and learn these things from”
“He doesn’t have a strong positive male role model at home, so it’s good to spend time with people where he can learn responsibility”