Taking place at Redlands Primary School in Tower Hamlets between March and July, Kineara practitioner Anja Lewin worked with five pupils referred by the school who were showing disengagement with their schooling, along with their families. Their concerns ranged from emotional instability to lack of motivation.
“All of the pupils already enjoyed many parts of their school experience”, Anja said. “For some though, they were struggling with their confidence and self-esteem, or were withdrawing from school tasks that they found difficult and lashing out in frustration”.
The greatest benefit of M2E stems from Kineara’s capacity to work both inside and outside the school walls to uncover deeper-rooted issues that may be troubling the child or affecting their ability to concentrate in school. “I conducted many home visits over the course of the 14-week programme”’, Anja continued, “and that way I was able to work closely with parents and offer support for their own needs, as well as provide learning about how to support their child through school. Because we became far more involved in the pupil’s home life than the school could, we were able to identify issues such as overcrowding, impending evictions or mental health issues among the family that were indirectly impacting the child. By offering support to resolve these issues, we are helping to provide a more stable foundation for the child and relieve other burdens for parents that are preventing them from being able to support their child in their education.”
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is also a crucial element in the programme for some of the children and is offered as part of the intervention. Anja and the dedicated CBT practitioner Marie were able to teach techniques to the pupils for coping with stressful moments and managing anger, providing intensive emotional support that the school did not have the capacity to offer.
“In all, the primary school pilot was a great success”, said Anja, “and I really enjoyed the work I was able to do with the pupils. I really believe, even in such a short period of time, we were able to make a real difference in the families’ lives”.