Case Study. Flegg High School, Great Yarmouth - April 2010
In April 2010 Pete and Jo Wortley of "Performance Through People Partnership" conducted a trial in Flegg High School using the MTQ48 Mental Toughness Test and UCanPass Programme. Achievement Directors within the school identified students who would benefit most from the programme. Thirteen students were initially identified, increasing to sixteen on the actual day of the trial. Students were selected due to their lack of self confidence, motivation and resilience. They were also young people who had been identified as "easily distracted" and underachieving in certain areas of the curriculum. The students, including three who are looked after, had a range of differing and complex special educational needs including medical health problems, ADHD, dyslexia, social and emotional needs, persistent absenteeism and behavioural issues.
- 93% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they had a good understanding of Mental Toughness
- 71% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they had learned some important information, tools and techniques
- 71% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they would be able to use some of the tools and techniques learned.
- 64% of students agreed or strongly agreed that all students should be given the opportunity to complete the UCanPass Programme
Prior to the UCanPass programme Form Tutors were asked to rate their student on a scale of 1 to 5 in six areas: attendance, emotional control, concentration in class, politeness & positivity, response to coursework & assignments & time management. These 6 scores were added together and appear in blue on the graph below. The Form Tutors then re-assessed the students in October 2010 and the results are shown below in red. The students shown in 14, 15 & 16 were introduced at last minute and consequently did not have a pre-MTQ48 assessment, although additional feedback from tutors on these pupils is as follows:
Student 14 "still has a very low attendance figure of 51%. However there has been a marked improvement in their attitude towards some subjects and the way they interact with other staff and students.
Student 15 has "matured greatly over the past year, reflecting well on weaknesses and is able to set targets for future improvement."
Student 16 has "recently been diagnosed with a serious reoccurring illness and consequently has an attendance figure of 66%. However they try their best to catch up on any work missed and always tries hard."
Graph to Show Pre and Post UCanPass Programme Results:
After a 6 week period the majority of students involved with the Mental Toughness Programme showed a significant improvement in attendance, motivation, behaviour and achievement. On further reflection and analysis of continual teacher assessment data it appears that 13 of the students involved have significantly improved their attainment and achievement across the majority of the curriculum and considerably reduced any negative behavioural incidents (see diag. 2) Just 2 of the students have made a very small improvement in some areas. One student's assessment results have not changed and one student's results have worsened, but there are lots of circumstances in this student's home life that could account for this. Young people between the ages of 9 and 15 are going through enormous physical changes, as well as pressures from their studies, socially and in their home life.
"The Mental Toughness Programme may be very successful in the adult world of business and sports. However, for the scheme to be truly successful in a secondary school environment I believe that it must be a continual programme involving all members of staff and parents. The techniques and exercises used in the programme must be fully integrated into the curriculum at a classroom level and used at home. Parents, Progress Mentors, Subject Teachers and Support Staff must be informed of the results of the Development Report and equipped with the necessary skills to deliver and maintain the scheme so that all students can benefit from heightened concentration, self belief and positive thought."
T Fair. Assistant Headteacher / Director of Intervention and Families – Flegg High School