The Starfish project supports primary aged children with Special Educational Needs and Disability to enable them to develop their communication, narrative, social and self-advocacy skills in order to prepare for transitions and reach their full potential.
Children at risk of social exclusion have access to an enriching programme of support which enables them to practise and develop strategies in a small group environment. This leads to an improvement in emotional well-being, increased participation in school and the wider community and greater belief in their capacity to progress and do well both socially and academically.
Children are encouraged to speak up both in school and in their lives outside school; they learn how to present themselves positively and how to engage with other people as well as developing strategies they can use to progress and achieve.
Comments from pilot Starfish children Year 3, Fleecewood Schoold, Enfield (2016-17):-
“I am more confident about learning new things and I love my Starfish badge”
“I loved it when we told our stories”
"They help me with talking about myself”
Outcomes of the pilot project showed that children:
- Are more confident about expressing their ideas and opinions and can make their thinking clear to themselves and others.
- Report a positive view of themselves and improved emotional well-being.
- Have an increased capacity for involvement and participation in school activities (especially in review meetings concerning specific needs).
- All say they have found the project helpful and that they have enjoyed coming; the majority of the children (over 98%) say they feel more confident, find it easier to tell people about themselves, they are more able to ask for help when they need it, they can work better as part of a group and they speak up more in class.
What happens next?
Well, we would like more children to benefit from this amazing project!
The project will support a further 16 children to:-
- develop their basic oral narrative planning skills;
- develop oral narrative delivery skills;
- develop descriptive language, visualising and listening skills;
- develop feedback and questioning skills;
- develop a Teachers' pack for continued use in the classroom.