How and why our educational programme works

Our programme uses a solution-focused approach, founded in the following core principles:

  • Every individual has the resources necessary to find solutions to even the most challenging situations; therefore each has the ability to achieve desired outcome and fulfil their potential
  • Help people identify positive directions to transform their lives and construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves
  • Support people to attend to changes currently in process which they wish to continue and facilitate positive movement towards goals and preferred future they have identified

“It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” (Paul Arden)

This is achieved by drawing on the 3Ps concept:

  • Positive thinking:
    • Building positive expectations/positive forecast (beginning of session/round -up) and acknowledging past and current success (round-up)
    • Practicing creative visualisation before and during performance
    • Practicing relaxation at the end of each session
  • Positive action:
    • Taking part in sports and creative activities – actively following through positive thinking by working towards identified goals
  • Positive interaction:
    • Being part of a supportive and inclusive community, where diversity is respected and valued

The Four Stages – Outcomes and Monitoring

These courses are designed to take place over the course of a whole year. Activities are planned so that every three months participants will have reached an achievement stage with associated outcomes. At each stage, the role model coaches will assess and decide whether students are able to progress to the next level of higher difficulty. After completing the entire programme each student will be conferred a certificate of completion. Some will be invited to become assistant trainers and role models for the following year’s classes. They may also continue to study and refine their skills under the tutelage of our role model professionals.

Expected outcomes related to each of these stages are:

  • INTEGRATED PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENT
  • SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND RELATIONAL SKILLS
  • SELF-AWARENESS
  • HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

 STAGE 1 – DEVELOPING AWARENESS OF SELF AND OTHERS

  1. Integrated physical and mental development:
    • Learning how to move the body well
    • Exploring how to manage and control it
    • Finding out how to use and share space
  2. Social development and relational skills:
    • Being aware of one’s own and others’ needs and feelings – Especially when taking turns and sharing resources
    • Recognising the need to follow the rules
  3. Self-awareness:
    • Exploring and observing movement
    • Being able to describe what one has learned about it
  4. Healthy lifestyle:
    • Knowing that being active is a healthy way to be
    • Being aware of some of the changes that take place in the body after taking part in energetic activities

STAGE 2 – WORKING WELL WITH OTHERS

  1. Integrated physical and mental development:
    • Discovering ways to link actions and skills to create movement patterns and sequences
    • Developing control and flow
  2. Social development and relational skills:
    • Following and understanding rules and procedures
    • While working and learning with others,
      • recognising and adapting to different roles in a range of practical activities
      • developing the ability to achieve identified goals
  3. Self-awareness:
    • Recognising progress and achievement by
      • discussing thoughts and feelings
      • giving and accepting feedback
    • Discussing elements of personal and others’ work
      • recognising strengths
      • identifying areas where improvements can be made
  4. Healthy lifestyle:
    • Being aware of the role physical activity plays in keeping healthy
    • Recognising the need to look after one’s body:
      • knowing that sleep and rest are essential
      • understanding that our bodies need energy to function and that this comes from the foods eaten
    • Being aware of the negative repercussion that certain substances can have on performance

STAGE 3 – BUILDING TEAM AND LEADERSHIP

  1. Integrated physical and mental development:
    • Developing ability to select and apply a wide range of complex movement skills and strategies creatively, with accuracy, consistency and control
  2. Social development and relational skills:
    • Developing ability to fill different roles, and recognise own and other group members’ strengths
    • Developing skills to lead, taking responsibility in organising an event
    • Contributing to groups and teams through:
      • assessing strengths of individuals and group strategies
      • being supportive and inclusive of the community
  3. Self-awareness:
    • Being able to observe closely, reflect, describe and analyse key aspects of own and others’ performances
    • Building capacity to make informed judgements specific to an activity
    • Monitoring own performance and taking responsibility for improvement based on recognition of personal strengths and development needs
  4. Healthy lifestyle:
    • Ability to explain the need to be active and to achieve a good balance of sleep, rest, and physical activity in order to maintain good health
    • Ability to explain the links between the energy used while being physically active, food intake, and health and wellbeing

STAGE 4 – OVERALL OUTCOME

Demonstrate understanding that participation in sports and creative activities can:

  • Contribute to and promote learning
  • Develop fitness and physical and mental wellbeing
  • Develop social skills, positive attitudes and values
  • Make an important contribution to living a healthy lifestyle

At this stage the student should be able to acknowledge a capability to employ the knowledge acquired in this course and re-apply it to create and develop solutions in any situation.

Measurement of outcomes

The impact of our programme on participants’ overall well-being, and their progress towards achieving enhanced physical, cognitive and social skills, is measured using a number of instruments. These tools are set in place at different points during the course of the programme. This practice allows for an ongoing monitoring of outcomes. It also enables oversight of progress, acknowledgment of success as each milestone is accomplished and immediate intervention in any arising issues. Established mechanisms include:

  • Personal Development Monitoring Forms that are completed by participants at the end of each lesson. The forms consist of:
    • Rating scale from 1-10 to assess participants’ perception of their own well-being
    • Categories including personal thoughts; interaction; activity; confidence; strength and resources; achievement; happiness; physical health
  • Seasonal Feedback Forms to be completed by participants at the end of each three-months session. These forms are used for:
    • Measuring level of agreement on a number of statements which are directly related to step outcomes
  • Weekly Feedback Forms are completed by role models. The goal of using these forms is for role models to reflect on their teaching methods. We also capture tacit knowledge and feed-back practical input for analysis, programme adjustment and future practice use. They answer questions such as:
    • “What worked particularly well and why?” o “What could be improved and how?”
  • Weekly monitoring Forms filled in by role models are modelled on participants’ monitoring forms and asses the overall performance of the group they are coaching
  • Instant Report Forms are used by the role model coaches to report any incidental issue which may arise with participants
    • Specific issues may involve inappropriate individual behaviour or personal problems
    • In such cases, the person involved can be directed to the most appropriate person/service who will be able to provide him/her with guidance and/or assistance

The Badge system

Badges are there as acknowledgements of positive attitudes and commitment towards self-discipline. They are a way to motivate participants to constantly improve themselves in a way which is not competitive but meritocratic, and to reinforce in this way positive patterns of self-achievement through reward. “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.” (Paul Arden)

Badges will be awarded along three criteria, in line with the 3Ps concept:

  • Positive thinking – showing awareness of self and others
  • Positive action – street style performance
  • Positive interaction – contributing to a supportive and inclusive community

These can be achieved in the following ways:

  • Outstanding performance/behaviour during classes
  • Completing online learning material quizzes
  • Attending additional events & workshops

Community rules

The fundamental rules of participation by which everyone ought to abide will be set at the very beginning of the course. The rules may include:

  • “no put down of others”
  • “be supportive”
  • “have a good attitude”
  • “be brave enough to ask for help when you need it”

The setting of rules will be guided by the role models, but will be established and agreed to by the whole class with input from all participants. They are to be written down in a memorandum which serves as a reminder of appropriate behaviour. Transgressing these rules can lead to disciplinary measures like exclusion from the course.

As each circumstance is unique, each situation will be assessed and dealt with in a way that meets the needs and safety requirements of all involved. Decisions taken will depend on the considerations made by role models, community youth workers, and the rest of the class ‘community.’ The ideal outcome is the individual recognising his/her mistakes and, supported by the whole community, reintegrated into the ‘community.’

Classes structure and activities

All classes, independently from style taught and level, will follow the same structure comprising of introduction/warm up, core discipline activity, cool down/round-up. This is intended to provide a routine of core activities specifically designed to achieve our programme’s outcomes. Within this framework, exercises will then be calibrated to target and engage specific age groups (7>12; 13>17; 18+).

Classes will be structured as follows:

PART 1 – Introduction / warm up

  • “What’s been good” circle – This is simply done by asking the question when practitioners are arriving or when they have all arrived. The idea is to stimulate positive introspection in order to cultivate the ability to draw upon past experience.
  • Warm up pulse raising exercises (eg. running, trampoline)
  • Stretching
  • Discipline related mobility games (eg. musical skateboards, slack line last man standing) – A unique mobility warm up integrated in our classes is slacklining. This is a tuning tool that allows to prepare mentally and physically for the core lesson, and carries the following benefits:
    • Meditative benefits
    • Fitness and flexibility
    • Posture, balance, and coordination
    • Improves memory

Part 2 – Core discipline activity

  • With just a few words, talk about what the will be done within the core lesson. Make sure that elements of the core lessons are reflective of the objectives you have already mentioned.

Part 3 – Cool down / round-up

  • Cool down conditioning and stretching exercises
  • Gratitude circle – Led by example of the Role Model, the gratitude circle provides the group with the opportunity to give gratitude and thanks to fellow participants. The exercise is designed to cultivate gratitude and improve social relations and self-confidence within the group.
  • Guided visualisation / breathing exercise

 Online community with dedicated space for participants

We have created an online “global community” for uploading and sharing information and content relating to the six street disciplines. Participants in the programme will have their own dedicated space which includes:

  • Personal Profiles – acknowledging achievement through badging system
  • Secured Sign-in – to access to additional educational material
  • Community Forum – a space where participants can connect and discuss with each other

Workshops and pop-up events

In addition to classes, we will organise concentrated half-day workshops and pop-up events. While some of these will specifically focus on the six street disciplines, others will be aimed at providing participants with additional exciting skills and knowledge. These appendage activities, workshops, events, presentations and exhibits are related to our programme, but extend beyond the scope of the selected street disciplines. These surplus undertakings may include First Aid training, Self-hypnosis exercises, Mindfulness Meditation practice and Nutrition Awareness Talks. All workshops and pop-up events will be open to the public, so that even those who do not participate in the courses may get a taste of their content, experience the positive environment, learn useful skills and meet new friends.

Holiday courses

Holiday courses are created to take place during school holidays. They are designed for participants to have fun, learn new skills, and meet new friends in a safe and controlled space, followed by appropriately trained staff. These courses keep students engaged in the lessons they are learning in the standard programme and connected to the community they form during regular course work. Through more intensive ‘boot camp’-like courses students will have the opportunity to reinforce technique, skill and personal development while on school holiday.

Competitions

Competitions will be organised regularly as a way of celebrating creativity, drive, commitment and self-improvement. They are open to everyone who wishes to participate and represent an occasion for people who share the same passion to gather and be inspired by each other. Professional practitioners from each of our chosen disciplines will attend the competitions as guest stars and audience members. Each event is locally based. A single discipline event will take place once a month on weekends. Bigger national events involving all of the six disciplines will be organised twice a year, with a winter session in January and a summer session in July.

Competitions will run in the course of the afternoon, involving an open jam session and a dedicated slot of short demos for participants to show off their skills. Demos will be divided by age group (under 16 and over 16). In line with our philosophy, our voting system is aimed at celebrating diversity and promoting improvement rather than focusing on fostering a competitive attitude. Participants will nominate the person in their own age group who they think has fared best during the whole day. The guidelines and judging criteria are:

  • Positive Interaction – being supportive towards others, creating motivating environment
  • Positive Thinking – imagination, creativity, adaptation to environment and individual style
  • Positive Action – technical ability and correct execution

For each area, the winner is the person who has received the highest number of votes. Winners will get to enjoy a day out in a location selected by the role models, involving a special workshop which possibly incorporates other celebrities. Competitions will be filmed and shared online through our website. All participants will receive a badge for participation, to reward and celebrate their attendance, positive attitude and willingness to express themselves. Those who chosen by their peers as outstanding based on the previously mentioned criteria will also receive a “special badge” to acknowledge achievement in that specific area.

Additional learning material

The programme will give participants the opportunity to learn more about the following areas. A basic introduction will be given at the beginning of each classes. Class instruction provides practices of technique and key information. Further more extensive information, videos and content is available online. Participants may choose to go through the online material and take a brief quiz which will test their knowledge in the area, awarding them with an extra badge. Content available online covers:

  • Health & Safety / First Aid
  • Introduction to mindfulness, self-hypnosis and solution-focused therapy
    • To improve concentration and overcome anger, anxiety and depression
  • Laws and legal boundaries of disciplines – practical and ethical implications
  • Nutritional considerations and dietary awareness

As the project develops, and more resources become available, the aim is to include these topics in group workshops to be attended jointly by all participants.

AUTHORS: Berenice Scandone, Oliver Short, Garaen Flake and Issar Magid Motamedian

Copyright © 2015 Street is Culture

Street is Culture Community Interest Company, Country of Incorporation England and Wales, Registration No. 8266011