Reclaiming her self-confidence – Rosie’s West London Zone journey

  • Rosie was identified as having low self-confidence, which was impacting her academic progress and emotional wellbeing
  • Her Link Worker, Joyce, knew that building her confidence would be key to unlocking her future potential
  • As Rosie became more confident in class her attendance improved as well and she now feels ready to take on new challenges in and outside the classroom

Low self-confidence can have a spiralling effect – especially for a young person starting out on their educational journey.  Too nervous to put a hand up in class means missing out on valuable learning and the pattern continues until school becomes an unhappy place. Rosie had almost been on such a journey. 

Rosie had been identified as ‘at-risk’ using a combination of teacher insights and a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire – one of the tools West London Zone uses to measure social and emotional wellbeing. Rosie’s low self-confidence was impacting her academic progress as her school attendance was at 90%, as well as her overall emotional wellbeing.

Laying the foundations

Rosie was linked with her West London Zone Link Worker, Joyce, who knew that in order to create a successful plan she had to build strong foundations. In Rosie’s case, this was to improve her self-confidence. 

Joyce initially focused on weekly support sessions in the classroom, specifically during the guided reading and maths lessons. Rosie found these classes particularly difficult but was struggling to ask for help from her teachers. By sitting with Rosie, Joyce became her mentor and champion, supporting her when she was faced with challenging tasks and encouraging her to put her hand up confidently when she knew the answer.

A tightrope walk towards confidence

As Rosie began to relax into the programme, and her self-confidence grew, Joyce started to look at other resources. Many of these are coordinated alongside our Delivery Partners, organisations and charities working locally to provide additional experiences and opportunities to support children, young people and families in the area. 

And Circus helps children to develop their confidence and creativity 

Joyce organised for Rosie to take part in And Circus, a charity that provides circus skills training to young people to develop their motor reflexes, creativity, and social and emotional skills. Rosie thrived as she developed her passion for gymnastics. She was encouraged to learn new skills, like tightrope walking and balancing on a large ball. Being able to then perform what she had learned to her parents and staff members pushed her out of her comfort zone; Rosie felt proud of her new skills. And of course, as each session grew her confidence, there was a direct impact on her behaviour in the classroom. 

Out of her comfort zone and into her confidence zone 

When she started Year 3, Rosie was given the opportunity to have weekly maths tutoring sessions with Number Champions, where trained volunteers help young people in schools who struggle with numeracy. Rosie’s teacher soon noticed a big improvement, particularly in her ability to confidently recognise number bonds and times tables. Having this one-to-one specialist support empowered Rosie to feel more independent in the classroom.

Joyce felt Rosie was now ready to take on even more activities. She encouraged her to engage in The Reclaimed Project, which supports children and young people to develop their confidence through craft and woodwork. Rosie was the youngest in the group, but she worked incredibly hard to make creations she felt proud of, happy to share with her Reclaimed Project peers and then take home for her family. The mission of this organisation is to empower young people to find their purpose and to reclaim their worth, perfectly embodied by the perseverance and resilience Rosie developed during her time there. 

The work doesn’t stop when term ends

A child’s development doesn’t begin and end in the classroom, or adhere to school term times. Part of the West London Zone programme includes arranging school holiday activities – additional experiences where young people can keep active and socialise in a fun and informal setting. They are a mix of activity-based sessions coordinated with Delivery Partners, or visits to museums and gardens with groups of Link Workers – Rosie herself visited the Science Museum and Hyde Park. Being able to mix with children from other schools developed her social skills, and although the ostensible purpose of the trips is to have fun, they will inevitably have a lasting impression on her overall wellbeing.

A more confident and positive Rosie

By the end of the two-year programme, Rosie’s confidence had significantly improved – in the classroom and beyond. Her academic progress was visible by the end of Year 3, her teachers had noticed a visible shift in mindset, and her attendance had also improved greatly to above 95%. Importantly, Rosie’s mother had seen this marked change too, and was impressed with how positive Rosie now felt about going into school and taking on new challenges. 

As Joyce and Rosie’s time together on the programme drew to a close, Joyce knew it was important to keep that momentum going – part of the strength of the West London Zone programme is its longevity, of not ‘parachuting’ in and out of children’s lives. Joyce therefore linked the family to another delivery partner, The Clement James Centre, a local community centre offering one-to-one tuition and academic support sessions, both at the centre and in school. Rosie could continue on her important journey, moving firmly and with confidence out of ‘at risk’ and into renewed engagement at school.

*Name changed and image unrelated

together, every child and young person can flourish.