Closing the Year Five delivery and celebrating success

As the Year Five module of Choices draws to an end, we applaud the dedication of our colleagues in schools nationwide.

Closing the Year Five delivery and celebrating success

As the Year Five Choices Programme draws to a close, we are celebrating success and applaud the remarkable efforts of our dedicated colleagues in schools across the country. Thanks to their unwavering commitment, many young minds now have a profound understanding of the intricate processes underlying every decision they make. They grasp the potential risks of those choices and possess valuable tactics to navigate them successfully.

In Session Eleven, students embark on a reflective journey. They ponder the lessons learned and how they can positively influence others. Drawing on Marcus’ Story and their newfound knowledge of identity, influence, and basic needs, students construct a strategic blueprint, first for Marcus but ultimately for their future selves. The process begins with an engaging activity that emphasises the importance of thoughtful planning. Students then explore their comprehension through a letter-writing task, putting their knowledge to the test. Finally, the session culminates with a circle activity, encouraging students to articulate a pledge centred around taking positive actions. Evidence suggests that committing to specific actions, explicitly stating those commitments, and putting them into writing significantly influences future behaviour in a positive way.

Why do we go to such great lengths to help young people understand their decision-making?

We sincerely hope that the Choices Programme has challenged our students. We hope they have experienced moments of confusion and spirited disagreements with their peers. We hope they have engaged in heated debates that stretch their knowledge and understanding to their limits, occasionally leaving them frustrated. Above all, we hope this process has demanded much from them. It is precisely within these demands that we derive benefit. Countless studies have shown that setting high expectations for young people in a friendly and respectful manner yields many advantages. It fosters self-reliance, reduces anxiety, enhances academic performance, and mitigates disruptive behaviour. These benefits transcend ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, remaining consistent across nations and stages of child development. Independent evaluation of our own work also confirms this.

Most importantly, we hope that everyone who has participated in this year’s programme, students and practitioners, has relished this journey as they got to know Marcus, contemplated their unique circumstances and are celebrating success. As we wrap up the Year Five module, we extend our deepest gratitude to the teachers, educators, and mentors who have dedicated themselves to guiding our youth. Together, we continue to empower young minds, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to navigate life’s complexities and strive to help a generation of thoughtful decision-makers and compassionate individuals emerge, poised to shape a brighter future for themselves and those around them.

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