As all primary schools and parents who have children in Sixth Class know, from September when they start their last year at primary school, Sixth Class pupils have something VERY BIG on their minds – THEY ARE GOING TO BE CHANGING SCHOOLS!
Here at SHEP, we understand about change, and we know how scary it can be. We also know that children sometimes find it helpful to talk about their concerns away from teachers and parents, however close they feel to them, so, in response from requests from schools, we have developed a workshop specially, called:
LET’S TALK ABOUT GOING TO SECONDARY SCHOOL
Using storytelling, art, games and discussion our facilitators will create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where children have the chance to explore their fears and excitement around the big change that is coming. Every child will be encouraged and supported in identifying their own strengths, so that they can build upon them to empower them in facing change.
Sometime early on in the workshop, the facilitators will find out from the children the kinds of concerns they have and will develop activities to work on them. Sometimes schools or parents’ associations tell us about specific areas their school would like to have covered in the workshops. The following list gives an idea of the sorts of topics the children and the schools have been asking for:
- Who am I? (self esteem)
- Friendships and values (identity)
- The old and the new (change)
- My feelings
- Fears and expectations
- Growing and changing
- Meeting challenges
- Awareness and choices
- Relationships and sexuality
- Taking responsibility for myself
- Getting myself organized
- Lots of fun and activity
Parents’ Associations often ask for these workshops because they are keen for the children to have this kind of opportunity to prepare them for going to Secondary School, so between the parents’ associations, ourselves and the school we will work out the best timing.
What we need from the school
Ideally our facilitators would like the following, but if not all of it is possible, talk to us about how we can make it work:
- A room with enough space to have a circle of chairs for the children and facilitator(s) – this gives the group enough space for active games, too
- A flipchart and stand
- Crayons, markers and paper for artwork
- Sometimes photocopying facilities can be helpful, too
A five-hour workshop is €200 which covers one of SHEP’s Community Tutors working with up to 20 children.
(Plesae click on the image below for a higher resolution display)