Before West London Zone

Karim was first identified for the West London Zone programme aged 8 following teachers’ concerns about his behaviour and low academic achievement. He was often absent, significantly behind his peers and was spending a lot of time out of class for behavioural reasons.

Struggling with a family tragedy and having to move house frequently due to housing issues, Karim had low self-confidence and found it difficult to manage his emotions. His Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score, a wellbeing measurement tool, put Karim in the ‘at risk’ category. He was easily distracted and struggled to concentrate on school work. It was felt that support from WLZ and our partners could offer the guidance and consistency Karim needed, helping him to stabilise his emotions and set the foundations for a bright future.

Karim’s WLZ journey

Recognising Karim’s low emotional wellbeing and his struggles with peer relationships his Link Worker organised for his first specialist partner support to be 1:1 sessions with Place2Be, a counselling service for children and young people. Although Karim initially didn’t enjoy his sessions, his Link Worker provided a feedback link between the partner support and Karim’s parents to ensure he was encouraged and motivated to continue. Wth this encouragement, he attended therapy sessions for a year and really benefited from the consistent support he received.

Karim’s Link Worker also organised a range of other partner support to help him grow his confidence and build skills. He attended literacy tuition sessions in small groups with WLZ partners Real Action, 1:1 reading support twice weekly with Beanstalk and Maths tuition with Team Up. These partners really helped Karim’s overall academic confidence and ability.

After the WLZ Programme

By the end of his second year, Karim was more confident and had better tools for managing his behaviour and emotions. His improvements were reflected in his Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score, which measured him as no longer ‘at risk’. The area of this test which showed the most dramatic shift was emotional wellbeing – the aspect his teachers and family had been most concerned about previously.

His improved confidence and wellbeing also had a big impact on Karim’s progress at school. His attendance rose from 92% to 96%, placing him within the expected levels and his behaviour in class showed a marked change. Karim’s literacy levels also rose by 9%, putting him in a much stronger position to make the transition to secondary school. 

Karim’s Vice Principal sent an update in March 2020 capturing the change in Karim:

Karim has transformed.  He is closer to working at age related expectations now and he has had no further behaviour issues.  Karim is able to emotionally regulate himself and has built a really good friendship support network around himself – he is a model student within the school.

While Karim has completed his 2-year WLZ programme, his younger sister recently enrolled on the programme and is being supported by an Early Years Link Worker.  She is continuing to work closely with the family, providing practical support around housing issues and emotional support for their mother, as well as for the children. The family’s Link Worker also checked in with them regularly during lockdown, ensuring that they had vital learning resources while schools were closed.

"Karim has transformed. he is closer to working at age related expectations now and he has no further behaviour issues. Karim is able to emotionally regulate himself and has built a really good friendship network around himself- he is a model student within the school."            

Vice Principle

together, every child and young person can flourish.