Pupil Z is a sixteen-year-old female, who has been at Common Thread School since August 2016. During her time in care Z had several care placements, which meant she attended several different primary and secondary schools. As a result Z’s learning has been significantly interrupted, compounded by a diagnosed Reactive Attachment Disorder and other medical conditions. Z had large gaps in her education due to a break down in family circumstances and changes in foster placements.
In her early secondary years Z demonstrated erratic behaviour in school with high levels of attention seeking behaviour. While in mainstream school Z lacked a readiness to learn, had poor motivation and organisational skills. Student Z was easily distracted in lessons and would disrupt others in her class and make inappropriate comments to staff and peers.Z would often make excuses to leave class early. It was noted by Z’s teachers that she could only sustain short bursts of focus in learning and only on a one to one basis.
Socially, student Z participated in several risk taking behaviours including alcohol, substance misuse and was sexually active from a young age. Z would regularly abscond from her foster placements and placed herself in danger because of this. Z was also at risk through inappropriate relationships via the Internet and social media. As a result Z had difficulty forging positive relationships with her peers.
Since attending school with Common Thread Z has thrived in the supportive and nurturing environments with the help of the staff. The care and education model has resulted in her steps being well-ordered and appropriate outcomes achieved
Z has developed socially through participating in expressive arts events including drama and singing. She has completed a work experience placement where the employer was so impressed with her that she has been asked back on a regular basis. Z has improved relations with her staff and peers and has more positive relationships with people her own age. Z is more settled in school and has fewer outbursts in class. A small group setting has given Z the support she requires while at the same time valued interaction with her peers. Z has improved confidence and self-esteem through regular praise and encouragement from staff.
By providing Z with a stable care provision and a therapeutic learning environment she has achieved National 3 Qualifications in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Hospitality, IT and RMPS. Z is now on target to achieve several of these at National 4 level. Z has a keen interest in performing arts and has a talent for singing. She has been working closely with the Expressive Arts tutor, which is not only providing Z with the valuable qualification for further education but is giving her a therapeutic environment in which to express herself.
Z’s social worker has stated that she is making progress both academically and socially and that Z is keen to progress and achieve.
“Z is a young person whose self-confidence was extremely poor and this positive experience in education has undoubtedly increased her confidence and feeling of self-worth which is essential in assisting her to build resilience”. Z’s Social Worker
Some comments from Z herself:
“ I love music and working with the music tutor”
“I enjoy coming to school each day and like small classes”
“I enjoy coming to school each day and like the small classes”
Z – Our Young Person