-It is becoming increasingly important for schools to help facilitate the development of the life skills necessary for children and young people to build self-esteem, self-efficacy and resilience to risk, enabling them to be better able to identify the resources they need to cope in an increasingly challenging world.
It is within this context that Mentor has been funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to lead a national randomised controlled trial of The Good Behaviour Game (GBG), an evidence-based primary school intervention with over 40 years of proven positive results in improving the immediate and long-term well-being of children.
Mentor is keen to see what difference the Good Behaviour Game can make to the lives of primary school children in the UK, in terms of both their immediate attainment and achievement with a focus on reading, and long-term benefits as they transition into adulthood.
Understanding the risk factors likely to impact on the well-being of children is central to the important part that school plays as a ‘protective’ counterbalance. Parental separation, illness or death, lowered socio-economic status, and poverty are interconnected, and contribute to a state of amplified exposure to both immediate and longer term risk. A healthy attachment to school results in a heightened sense of belonging through experiencing learning in a pro-social environment. This in turn provides increased protection against future problematic behaviours resulting from that exposure.
The Good Behaviour Game has an important function here: if the UK trial shows, as other trials have, that children who participate in the Game demonstrate improvements in behaviour and academic achievements, as well as reduced rates of substance abuse, diagnoses of mental ill health and reduced participation in criminal activity, then there is a strong basis for integrating the Game into classrooms nationwide.
“Our driving interest with this trial is finding out what works and how we can scale it to a national level,” says Simon Claridge, Director of Programmes at Mentor. “We want to see all children thrive and secure the brightest possible future.”
Primary schools from Northwest England are invited to register their interest in participating in the trial, which doesn’t use curriculum time as it is an integrated system of feedback and encouragement.
“GBG isn’t about behaviour management,” says Claridge. “We’re interested in seeing how the activities of the Game can enable young children to develop positive learning behaviours that will benefit them within, and beyond, the classroom.”