Brenna Bry's Mentoring for Achievement Programme (MAP) is a 2-year, school-based, early-intervention, transition programme based on social learning theory. It is designed to be delivered in both individual and small group formats and aims to support children identified by school personnel as being at risk of academic failure and early school-leaving. The programme builds upon existing school attendance, behaviour and academic records. The MAP programme is specifically designed to assist children to develop school continuance skills. Through the introduction of tailored behavioural processes, the programme seeks to dissipate these children's risk of school refusal and possible school failure, whilst also developing pupil efficacy and promoting a greater awareness of the benefits of the school and classroom environments.
The selected children are assigned a mentor specifically trained in behavioural change techniques. The mentoring of MAP is focussed, working specifically with attendance, punctuality, school engagement + motivation, task adherence and home-school collaboration.
Candidates for the Mentoring for Achievement Programme are selected by the schools. The programme is structured to assist children making the difficult transition from Primary to Secondary School.
Programme Procedure and Protocols
The Mentoring for Achievement Programme is designed to complement existing school systems and act as a structured behaviourally-based adjunct service to both the HSCL service and the SCP. The mentors work within the school setting and their practice is informed by key personnel within each school service. A Selection Process is designed to identify the target children based on academic and school performance measures. Once a child has been identified by the school as suitable for inclusion in the programme parental approval is sought, then groups of 4 children are set up and assigned to a mentor.
Collect Up-To-Date Information About How Each Child is Functioning in School
The mentor goes into the school at the end of each week to record daily attendance/ punctuality and complete individual Weekly Report Forms for each child based on information gained in teacher consultations. During these consultations teachers are asked to review the child's week and indicate how the child is functioning in school across the following areas: (a) brought materials needed for class work; (b) completed their class work; (c) exhibited satisfactory behaviour in class; (d) completed their homework, if assigned; (e) subject marks, in Secondary School; (f) what the teacher sees in the classroom that indicates achievement/lack of achievement; and (g) whether the child's goal for the week was achieved.
Provide Systematic Feedback
Following the meeting with the teacher the mentor meets the children in small groups of 4. The Weekly Report Forms are distributed and discussed individually within the group. Positive teacher ratings are acknowledged, praised and rewarded.
Negative ratings are explored so the child understands them. The mentor helps the children learn how to set a clear, precise and achievable goal for the following week. The children work as a group to help each other find appropriate goals. These goals are then communicated to the child's teacher.
Particular focus is placed on goals that practice behaviours designed to develop school continuance skills. Parents are contacted on a monthly basis (with HSCL guidance and support) to inform them about their child's progress and where necessary seek their support and involvement.
The purpose of this structured behavioural monitoring is to produce incremental change within the student. Small achievements developed in a structured system promote a greater sense of personal efficacy, motivation, and commitment to the school and education process. The Mentoring for Achievement Programme engenders these changes by monitoring and rewarding appropriate behaviour in a structured yet explorative fashion.
At the start of the week the mentor refocuses attention on the child's goal from the end of the previous week. Each child is met individually, which allows the child to start the week with a clear sense of his/her goal and offers space to practice necessary skills. This session is also important in developing the collaborative relationship between the mentor and the child.
Attach Value to the Students Actions
Children receive points for every day that they come to school, and arrive on time, and for each positive rating they receive on their Weekly Report Form. At the end of the group meetings the children are also given points for obeying specific meeting rules, such as not criticising other people, not touching other people or their possessions, and not talking while others are talking. The children accumulate their points to earn rewards at various times during the year.
The Mentoring for Achievement Programme takes a simple but systemic learning theory approach to behavioural management and improvement. The mentoring programme has, in a series of evaluations, also been proven to be effective in improving grades and attendance and, used in other contexts in the US, decreasing substance abuse and decreasing criminal behaviour.
Recent evaluations of MAP have shown:
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