Tag: Schools

Cobaw Community Health joins The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp®

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

We are excited to welcome Cobaw Community Health as a program facilitator of The Best of Friends®  and BaseCamp® program in Woodend, Victoria. 

The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp® are multi-award winning Social and Emotional Learning programs developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic, and are now used by over 18 schools and agencies around Australia. 

About Cobaw Community Health

Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd was established in 1986, and is a not-for-profit with the mission of providing excellence in accessible services to enable people in Victoria to live healthy, active lives. Cobaw provides a comprehensive range of free and low-cost services to over 5,000 people each year in early childhood, youth, families, adults, aged and disability.

Cobaw Community Health has embraced community health and wellbeing issues, proved to have been a driving force locally for service innovation and demonstrated a clear commitment to Social and Emotional Learning. We were impressed with their passion and commitment and are looking forward to working with their team to deliver their first programs to eight children during Term 3. 

How The Best of Friends® program will be implemented at Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd

The first 10-week group of The Best of Friends® program, along with the first 8-week group for the BaseCamp®  program will take place in Term 3 2020 and will be closely supported by our team of facilitators. Each participant receives a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid, while facilitators and parents have access to an extensive range of information, manuals and regular supervision as required. 

To ensure adequate evaluation, each individual child and group complete pre- and post- psychometric testing of their social and emotional skills to measure the outcome of the intervention. Evaluation and monitoring is an important component of The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp® programs.

We look forward to working closely with Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd

Interested in offering The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp® programs at your school, clinic or community group?

Cobaw Community Health is one of 18 other schools/clinics offering our programs around Australia. Our Social and Emotional programs are a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention which improves children’s social and emotional wellbeing. 

The programs have a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan, and we are keen to identify partners equally committed to Social and Emotional Learning.

We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.Contact us or visit the program website to find out more about The Best of Friends® program, and here to find out more about BaseCamp® to see how it can help you meet the needs of your students or clients.

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Moranbah State High School joins The Best of Friends®

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

School Logo to confirm The Best of Friends

We are excited to welcome Moranbah State High School to the The Best of Friends® program community. Moranbah State school is located in Queensland. 

The Best of Friends® is a multi-award winning Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic, and is now used by by many schools and agencies around Australia. 

About Moranbah State High School.

Moranbah State High School is located in the heart of Queensland’s coal mining industry. They offer a vibrant, innovative and inclusive learning community for all students. Their practices are based around a philosophy to ensure “every student, in every classroom, is learning, achieving and valued. The school strives to provide a school community built on professionalism, continuous improvement and accountability, with a key focus on the mental health of all students as a key for school success.

Moranbah State High School has a commitment to Social and Emotional Learning demonstrated through the positive, respectful and supportive learning approaches throughout the school, striving to achieve a high standard of mental health development and behavioural skills development.
We were impressed with their passion and commitment and are looking forward to working with their team to deliver their first program to sixteen students during Term 3.

How The Best of Friends® program will be implemented at Moranbah State High School

The first 10-week group of The Best of Friends® program will take place in Term 3 2020 and will be closely supported by our team of facilitators. Each participant receives a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid, while facilitators and parents have access to an extensive range of information, manuals and regular supervision as required. 

To ensure adequate evaluation, each individual child and group complete pre- and post- psychometric testing of their social and emotional skills to measure the outcome of the intervention. Evaluation and monitoring is an important component of The Best of Friends® program.

We look forward to working closely with Moranbah State High School

Interested in offering The Best of Friends® program at your school?

Contact us or visit the program website to find out more about The Best of Friends® program, and how it can help you meet the needs of your students or clients.

Moranbah State High School is one of many other schools/clinics offering our programs around Australia. Our Social and Emotional programs are a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention which improves children’s social and emotional wellbeing. 

The program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan, and we are keen to identify partners equally committed to Social and Emotional Learning.

We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

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Ascham Joins The Best of Friends

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

We are excited to welcome Ascham School as a program facilitator of The Best of Friends® program in Edgecliff, New South Wales.

The Best of Friends® is a multi-award winning Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic and is now used by over 18 schools and agencies around Australia. 

About Ascham School

Ascham School is an independent, non-denominational, day and boarding school for girls. The school’s teaching philosophy mirrors that of the Dalton Plan and focuses on four key principles — collaboration, responsibility, reflection and independence. Ascham school seeks to build resilience in its students by helping each girl develop the confidence to stretch herself and stumble, believing that self-confidence comes from effort leading to real achievement and that learning to bounce back from setbacks is an integral part of this process.

Ascham School believes girls’ wellbeing is of paramount importance and integral to the learning process demonstrating a clear commitment to Social and Emotional Learning. We were impressed with their passion and commitment and are looking forward to working with their team to deliver their first program to fourteen years, 7 boarders, during Term 2. 

How The Best of Friends® program will be implemented at Ascham School.

The first 10-week group of The Best of Friends® program will take place in Term 2 2020 and will be closely supported by our team of facilitators. Each participant receives a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid, while facilitators and parents have access to an extensive range of information, manuals and regular supervision as required. 

To ensure adequate evaluation, each individual child and group complete pre- and post- psychometric testing of their social and emotional skills to measure the outcome of the intervention. Evaluation and monitoring is an important component of The Best of Friends® program.

We look forward to working closely with Ascham School! 

Interested in offering The Best of Friends® program at your school?

Ascham School is one of 18 other schools/clinics offering our programs around Australia. Our Social and Emotional programs are a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention which improves children’s social and emotional wellbeing. 

The program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan, and we are keen to identify partners equally committed to Social and Emotional Learning.

We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.Contact us or visit the program website to find out more about The Best of Friends® program, and how it can help you meet the needs of your students or clients.

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St Catherine’s School and BOF

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

St Catherine’s School and The Best of Friends Program

We are proud to announce the St Catherine’s School in Waverley has just confirmed they will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’ ™ program during 2016 at the Junior School.

Their enrolment sets a landmark moment for us at Quirky Kid as we continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative and effective programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

About St Catherine’s School

St Catherine’s is the oldest independent Anglican girl’s school in Australia. St Catherine’s School was founded in 1856 by Mrs Jane Barker.

St Catherine’s is an innovative school and are Australian leaders in positive psychology and ICT in education. The School offers many opportunities in sport, music and the arts and our staff carefully guide and support students through her studies and encourage them to find an interest they will pursue with passion.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally with their commitment to academic results and positive psychology, St Catherine’s school has demonstrated clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of their students. We were impressed with the knowledge, focus, diligence and commitment the Learning Enrichment team demonstrated during our visit.

The Learning Enrichment team aims for inclusion for all girls, and Learning Enrichment programs are provided as in-class support and small group instruction. The Junior school is closely monitored from Kindergarten to Year 6 to make sure they are on track academically and with sound social and emotional skills.

About The Best of Friends and the School.

The implementation of The Best of Friends™ will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologists Dr. Kimberley O’Brien.

Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators and teachers will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.

The Best of Friend is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. Find our more.

Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends™’ program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.

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Social Exclusion at School

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Social Exclusion in the School Environment
Social exclusion in the school environment is increasingly being recognised as a form of relational aggression or bullying, in which a child is exposed to harm through the manipulation of their social relationships and status (Edith Cowan University, 2009).

Social exclusion can take many forms, with children reporting a range of experiences from being deliberately excluded from a peer group to having rumours spread about them, being called names and being purposefully embarrassed. In any sense, social exclusion is fundamentally entails a lack of connectedness and participation from a peer group. Australian research suggests that approximately 1 in 6 children report experiences of social exclusion, however, this may under- represent true prevalence rates given the difficulties in measuring social exclusion which is often undertaken in covert and hidden ways (Edith Cowan University, 2009).

 Who does it affect?

While belonging and connectedness to peers is important at any age, it is particularly relevant in adolescence. Research suggests that adolescents are particularly sensitive to peer rejection and as a group, may experience the most significant mental health effects such as depression and anxiety in response peer rejection. Adolescence is typically a time of increased independence from parents and family and increased dependence on their peer group. Identities are developed in relation to peer groups and peer group differences can become highly salient. The difficulty for adolescents is that ingroup and outgroup rules are fluid and as such, maintaining peer relationships can be fraught with complication (Leets & Wolf, 2005).

Studies on the neurological profile of children suggest that their brain areas for emotion (such as the Anterior Cingulate Cortex) become more activated in response to peer rejection with age, peaking in adolescence. In contrast, adolescents show significantly less activation in the brain regions which govern emotional regulation such as the Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex in response to peer rejection in comparison with younger children (Bolling, Pitskel, Deen, Crowley, Mayes & Pelphrey, 2011). This unique neurological profile for adolescents suggests that social exclusion at this age may be particularly distressing and that they may have significant difficulty in managing their distress.

Effects of social exclusion

Research suggests that the physical, emotional and mental health of children exposed to social exclusion can be compromised. For example, lower immune function, reduced sleep quality, reduced ability to calm oneself in times of distress, reduced self esteem, feelings of anxiety, depression and aggression have all been observed in children who have been excluded from a peer group (DeWall, Deckman, Pond & Bonser, 2011).

 So what can we do?

Children and adults all have a core need to be loved and valued within secure and lasting positive relationships (DeWall et al., 2011). Helping children develop and maintain these secure relationships both with their family, peers and wider social group is an important part of their development. Research is telling us that children become aware of social rejection from a young age (Leets & Wolf, 2005) and can reason as to why it is wrong to exclude others from preadolescence (Killen, 2007). Thus talking with your child from a young age about inclusion of others, feelings that occur when exclusion is encountered and strategies to manage social exclusion is important. Some helpful tips are:

 For the excluded child:

  • Be open, available and calm when your child needs to talk with you. Children often worry about upsetting or worrying their parents, so it is important to remain calm and engaged with your child.
  • Be responsive to your child. Affirm to them that they have the right to be safe and feel secure and that you will help them by talking with the school and providing a safe haven at home. For older children, listen to the action that they would like you to take and negotiate with them when it would be appropriate for you to talk with the school, for example, if they are still being excluded at the end of the week or if things escalate.
  • Be affirming. Tell and show your child that they are unconditionally loved and valued as a person. Enlist the support of family friends to share positive messages about your child and engage in their gifts, talents and interests. Build a circle of security around your child.
  • Make your home a safe haven. Minimise the risk of online social exclusion and bullying by monitoring technology use and using privacy settings and parental controls. The change of email addresses and mobile numbers may be necessary.
  • Help your child manage emotional distress but talking about their feelings and developing some self-coping statements such as “relax, don’t take it personally”. Help your child focus on their gifts, talents and interests.
  • Build your child’s friendships. Having one close friend has been shown to strengthen a child’s connectedness to school and self esteem. Help your child identify a friend or friends that share similar interests and foster the friendship through play dates and scheduled activities.
  • Use the high five principal. Help your child identify five people that they can seek support from and /or things to do, one for each finger, if they are being excluded. For example, seek out a special teacher, find a friend in an older year, go to the library or offer their help to the teacher on duty.
  • Develop ways your child can have some clear boundaries. Help your child communicate their distress and name the inappropriate behaviour of others through statements such as “I don’t like what you are doing and you need to stop” , “That is bullying and it is not right”. Help your child know that they need to seek support if the social exclusion continues.
  • Consider programs like the Quirky Kid ‘The Best of Friends’ program.

For the parents/ school

  • Develop a tone in your family and school that demonstrates an environment of mutual respect and responsibility.
  • Have clear and well communicated policies on bullying and social exclusion and explore these regularly with the school community.
  • Encourage class-based discussions on the meanings of ingroups and outgroups and common misperceptions, such as “kids who wear glasses are not good at sports”. Find examples in everyday life that will challenge these misperceptions. Extend discussions to help children realise the moral and emotional implications of social exclusion.
  • Facilitate teamwork and an atmosphere of inclusion by choosing working or sporting groups based on arbitrary characteristics such as birth months, favourite animals or having a rotating system by which every half day, the group rotates by one member.
  • Develop strong networks between teaching staff and children by including children in lessons, school activity planning and open discussions. Having the principal visible and available can also help develop an atmosphere of inclusion and connectedness.
  • Get the wider peer group involved. Social exclusion thrives when surrounding peers do not intervene. Help children understand why it is important to help others and strategies to do so, such as saying things like “stop that is not fair, leave her alone, she’s my friend” or know a teacher whom they can approach.
  • Again, programs like ‘The Best of Friends’ can be offered school wide to ensure the social skills and communication strategies are consistently applied.

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 References: 

1. Leets, L. & Wolf, S. (2005). Adolescent rules for social exclusion: when is it fair to exclude someone else? Journal of Moral Education, 34 (3), 343-362.

2. Killen, M. (2007). Children’s Social and Moral Reasoning About Exclusion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 6 (1), 32-36.

3. Bolling, D., Pitskel N., Deen, B., Crowley, M., Mayes, L. & Pelphrey, K. (2011). Development of neural systems for processing social exclusion from childhood to adolescence. Developmental Science, 14 (6), 1431-1444.

4. DeWall, C., Deckman, T., Pond, R. & Bonser, I. (2011) Belongingness as a Core Personality Trait: How Social Exclusion Influences Social Functioning and Personality Expression. Journal of Personality, 79 (6), 979-1012.

5. Edith Cowan University (2009). Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study, CHPRC http://deewr.gov.au/bullying-research-projects