Incredible Years Service (aimed at children aged 5-12, their parents and their schools)
In Incredible Years-youngballymun's work, three dimensions of social and emotional wellbeing are considered:
- Emotional wellbeing includes being happy and confident and not anxious or depressed.
- Psychological wellbeing includes the ability to be autonomous, problem-solve, manage emotions, experience empathy, be resilient and attentive.
- Social wellbeing is about having good relationships with others an absence of behavioural problems, not being disruptive, violent or a bully.
A number of key pieces of evidence underpin the Incredible Years strategy. This evidence is drawn from a range of empirical studies and international reviews:
- Social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for healthy development.
Social and emotional competencies, skills and capabilities (e.g. self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making) are important in their own right as they provide the foundations to enable children to fulfil their potential and make positive transitions to adolescence, adulthood and independence.
- Children learn social and emotional competencies.
Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills to recognise and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle interpersonal situations effectively. Educators can help children develop these competencies in a school context by systematically teaching and modelling and facilitating the application of social and emotional skills. Similarly, parents can promote and reinforce these skills and help children develop them further within the home.
- Schools play an important role in promoting children's social and emotional development.
Learning is closely intertwined with wellbeing. The school environment, as a context for learning, plays an important role in children's social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing. The positive association between learning and wellbeing has also been shown to be longitudinal and predictive of change from childhood to adolescence. Children's learning and enjoyment in primary school predicts their later wellbeing in secondary school, with some gender differences.
- A whole-school approach should be taken to the implementation of social and emotional skills programmes, that embrace the wider school, family and community context.
School-based social and emotional skills programmes have significant positive effects on pupils' social and emotional competencies and on their attitudes towards themselves, other and school when embedded in a whole school approach which embraces change to the school environment, ethos and practice.
- Multi-component programmes, which include training for teachers, development and support for parents and a curriculum for the development of children's social skills are particularly valuable.
The Incredible Years training series includes evidence-based school and home programmes to support positive emotional and social development in primary school-aged children and promote positive behaviour management. Synchronously implementing the three interlocking components of Incredible Years (child, teacher and parents programmes) provides a coherent, consistent and continuous strategy for promoting and managing children's social and emotional learning and behaviour across the home and school contexts.
- Higher levels of implementation quality are associated with better outcomes.
The integration of social and emotional learning programmes into schools is not without its challenges. Quality of implementation has been identified to be essential in producing outcomes including enhancing the school environment, pupils' social experiences, school attainment and reducing persistent absence.
What is Incredible Years?
Incredible Years - an integrated teacher, parent and child programme - is a school and home evidence-based programme proven to support positive emotional and social development in primary-school aged children and to address behaviour management.
The Incredible Years service is designed in collaboration with schools and community organisations and is delivered in partnership with Archways, the national promoter of Incredible Years in Ireland.
Incredible Years focuses on positive behaviour management that coaches children in sharing, building relationships, recognising and managing feelings, choosing appropriate behaviours and dealing with anger and conflict. The programme works both in school and home settings.
Dina School programmes are co-delivered by class teachers and by staff from the two local School Completion Programmes: BEST (Ballymun Educational Support Team) and Whitehall. Special Needs Assistants have also trained and assist in the delivery of programmes. Children from Junior and Senior Infant classes participate in Dina School where they are introduced to Dina Dinosaur and her friend Wally, Molly and Tiny Turtle during class time. These puppets are integral teaching tools to the 60 lesson curriculum which consists of 20-30 minute circle time lessons which incorporate the use of small group practise activities to promote key skills. The programme emphasises training in skills such as emotional literacy, empathy or perspective taking, positive communication skills, problem solving strategies, anger management and appropriate school behaviours. Dina School lessons aims to promote children's positive self-esteem and social and emotional competence.
The Basic Parenting Programmes are co-delivered by CAFTA (Ballymun's Community and Family Training Agency), Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinators and including more recently the Co-ordinator of Whitehall School Completion Programme. Parents and primary carers including grandparents and/or other relatives of children aged 3-10 years attend the Basic Parenting Programme. The programmes run one morning a week for 12 weeks and cover all the basic aspects of parenting as well as offering help to individual parents who find their child's behaviour challenging. The aim of the programme is to enhance; positive parenting interactions, coaching and attachment with children and proactive discipline. Local schools host the programmes with 9 programmes delivered annually.
Teacher Classroom Management
The Teacher Classroom Management Programmes are co delivered by Archways, BEST and youngballymun. The teacher programme is a 5 day programme delivered one day over a 5 month period thus enabling the teachers to implement and test the strategies they have learned during the training. It is designed for teachers of children aged 4-12 years but is also open to school counsellors, psychologists, teaching assistants and after-school support workers. The programme aims to enhance; teacher classroom management skills, proactive discipline, positive teacher-pupil relationships, effective behaviour plans and teaching regarding social and emotional regulation skills. It also encourages positive teacher-parent partnerships