The Christopher Winter Project

Hackney and the City Teenage Pregnancy Partnership have commissioned the Christopher Winter Project (CWP), FPA  Pamela Sheridan Award winners, to raise the profile and improve the delivery of SRE in Hackney schools since 2001. CWP worked with the local Healthy Schools Co-ordinator to devise a programme of support which included a comprehensive PSHE scheme of work with units on SRE.   The CWP training programme offers teachers three lessons of professional support in the classroom.  The training is devised to increase teacher confidence in the delivery of SRE.

Over 90% of Hackney schools have chosen to participate in the programme which provides them with:


• skilled professional support, including team teaching;
• model SRE lessons based on the national curriculum framework;
• innovative resources.

Impact
In 2008 Hackney and the City's Teenage Pregnancy Partnership was awarded the National Health and Social Care Award for reducing health inequalities. The award acknowledges the 27% drop in teenage pregnancy rates in Hackney over the past 10 years.

Extensive evaluation of the work of CWP repeatedly shows most teachers feel their confidence has improved as a result of working with CWP.

Some general feedback from teachers included:


• The team teaching was very useful and provided invaluable support
• The methods of delivery used for SRE were interesting and varied and would definitely be used in future teaching
• The programme helped to answer children's questions without embarrassment and linked well with the science curriculum
• The lessons plans and the variety of resources used provide good learning opportunities
• Lessons are pitched appropriately to different ages and the delivery is sensitive to the children's needs
• The interactive group work with the children was especially valuable in terms of drawing on the children's ideas and experiences and getting them involved. Teaching through discussion was very useful and fun!
• The children accessed a lot of learning in the three sessions

Teachers' Comments

"I'm much clearer and confident now in the approach I would have with the children"

(Year 6 teacher, Northwold Primary School)

"I found the project extremely useful. The CWP workers were very clear and concise with their delivery, able to pitch the lessons to the appropriate ages"
(Year 6 teacher, Millfields Primary School)

"I have gained the experience of how to deliver the sessions without being embarrassed"

(Year 5 teacher, Holmleigh Primary School)

"Terrific. The CWP trainer was wonderfully open and understanding with children, discussing their questions with calm and a deep respect for their opinions" (Year 5 teacher, Shacklewell School)

"The project was set up and run very professionally. The support given through demonstration and team teaching was excellent."   (Year 6 teacher, Rushmore School)

For further information contact: paulapower@tcwp.co.uk or visit www.tcwp.co.uk  

 

This case-study was first published in the Government Office for London SRE core curriculum for London in 2009 and has been updated for publication by the  Sex Education Forum in 2010.

 

30ds assessment is also built into the programme so that the three training lessons are responsive to the class. Evaluation from children and young people has found that following the lessons, many pupils feel more able to discuss sex and relationships and to ask questions without embarrassment.

 

Teacher evaluation has been extremely positive, with 95% of participants saying that they have more confidence and ability to teach SRE after the programme. As few as 2% of teachers feel they need further training the following year and this is usually because they go on to teach a very different age group from the group they had their training with. The in-class training is based on the CWP schemes of work and lesson plans included in the Teaching SRE with Confidence series.  Schools are encouraged to adapt these to meet local need.

When recruiting teachers to take part CWP explains to schools how important it is that teachers are willing to participate. Often, a teacher who was initially reluctant to take part has come on board later when they have seen the benefits for colleagues.

In some areas, for example Cornwall, local authority SRE advisors who have received CWP training have rolled out the teacher training model themselves. This ensures that after the duration of the CWP input schools can go on increasing the number of teachers who are confident and capable to teach SRE. However in some cases local authority cuts have resulted in schools approaching CWP directly where local authority SRE advisors are no longer in post.

The CWP project began as a small project working in Hackney in 2001. The training model has since evolved with the development of resources for Years 1 to 13, including evaluation tools. A  CWP Trainers' Handbook ensures consistency across the service and trainers have the skills to now offer 'training the trainers' as well as in-class training.  The model has now been used in 27 local authority areas across England. The team of CWP trainers has grown by 50%. In 2010-11 487 teachers received in-class training, including 16 teachers in the Falkland Islands. Despite current financial challenges some schools that had previously been given funding for CWP training are now prepared to self-fund.

CWP have a team of specialist SRE trainers who are supported with mentoring, in-house training, classroom observation and opportunities to meet regularly with other trainers. Individual schools can contract CWP services but more often a more substantial collaboration is made with the local authority.

Paula Power, Director of CWP says "Our belief in the value of school-based SRE, delivered by confident teachers, has proven contagious. Schools appreciate the support CWP gives them and are using our training as part of school continuing professional development, recognizing that the CWP approach improves teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum".

In conclusion, the CWP model is practical and convenient for schools to manage and offers a sustainable model to increase the number of teachers who are competent and confident to teacher SRE. 

 

For further information contact:Paula Power, Director, The Christopher Winter Project. Email: paulapower@tcwp.co.uk

 

Published on the Sex Education Forum web-site June 2011