David Sisi and Dave Attwood joined pupils at Westbury Junior School recently to launch Stickability, a new Bath Rugby Foundation education programme.
Sponsored by Trowbridge-based company The Consortium, Stickability is a literacy programme designed to give young people aged nine and ten years old the opportunities and support to develop learning skills and confidence, with lifelong impact.
Delivered in primary schools through a combination of classroom-based literacy sessions and active tag rugby sport sessions, the programme aims to reinforce five core learning skills: Individual problem solving; Perseverance and focus; Emotional resilience; Empathy and supporting others; Teamwork and collaboration. These skills, all of which are key to lifelong success in learning and work, are reinforced throughout the programme using a special sticker reward system and, of course, plenty of praise!
Vicky Heslop, Education Manager at Bath Rugby Foundation said, "We have piloted this programme in a variety of local schools and found that it really boosts children's confidence, particularly for those who start off with the lowest levels of confidence. 72% of the 193 children in the pilot phase showed increased confidence scores, some with an enormous increase of over 30% in just six weeks.
"We are delighted to have proven so far that this programme really works, but it would not have been possible without extraordinary support from The Consortium (an education and care supplies business). In addition to fully funding the programme, they have also provided their staff as weekly volunteers to help deliver the programme. Over the first year of delivery, the volunteers will have provided around 400 hours of support and will have had a positive impact on the lives of around 800 local children.
"In its first year, Stickability will have worked in 30 primary schools in a wide area of the South West spanning Bath and Swindon. Volunteers have come from across The Consortium (based in Trowbridge) and Smiths News Group (based in Swindon). We have been particularly impressed that incoming Managing Director of The Consortium, Glenn Leech, has led the way by making time to volunteer weekly within days of taking up the role, and he has been able to see the impact on the children for himself."
Glenn Leech, Managing Director at The Consortium said, "I am really proud of the support The Consortium has provided to Bath Rugby Foundation, and am delighted to have been a part of such a fantastic programme. Stickability offers such benefits to the children and I believe it would be a positive intervention in any school.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Vicky and her team. They are truly inspirational and so skilled at engaging the children. I look forward to next year."
One pupil who took part in the pilot programme in a school in Swindon had autism and had always refused to participate in his school PE lessons. He took part in the Stickability programme, which over time really helped to build his confidence. The school fed back that after taking part in the programme that pupil happily took part in his first ever PE session, in his four years at school, and most importantly absolutely loved it. The following week he even asked if he could take part!
In total 30 schools will be involved in the programme this year and spaces are still available. To nominate a school to take part, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.