Evaluating life skills education is at the core of everything that we do; ensuring that our courses are as effective as they can be is paramount. As well as having a fully independent randomised control sample evaluation we get thousands of feedback forms from children and parents/carers annually. We also ask all teachers that undertake the DARE Primary programme to assess it against The Mentor-ADEPIS Quality Standards – ‘Delivering effective alcohol and drug education in the classroom as part of a planned programme of PSHE.’
Here are the live, unedited results of that online survey that help us in evaluating life skills education courses:
Quality Standard 1: Clear and relevant learning objectives and learning outcomes are set and assessed
a) Earlier learning is built on and links made between different statutory subjects, ensuring continuity.
b) Learning objectives are shaped by needs assessment.
c) Learning objectives encompass pupils’ understanding, attitudes, communication, skills and confidence as well as their knowledge.
d) Pupils’ learning is assessed against the objectives and outcomes.
Quality Standard 2: Learning is interactive
a) Active learning strategies are used such as group discussions, problem solving, and pupil led research.
b) Pupils develop and practise personal and social skills.
c) Pupils have the opportunity to think about their feelings, beliefs and values.
d) Pupils have the opportunity to reflect on their learning.
e) Each session is delivered to a small group of pupils, and annual events or class assemblies are used only to enhance the regular timetable.
Quality Standard 3: Positive social norms are reinforced.
a) Misconceptions about how widespread and acceptable risky behaviours are among peers or older young people are identified and corrected.
b) Pupils have the opportunity to compare their feelings, beliefs and values with those of their peers.
Quality Standard 4: Resources are appropriate for their audience, providing accurate and relevant information.
a) Information given is factually accurate.
b) The main emphasis is on truth and not fear arousal.
c) The situations, language and images are appropriate for pupils’ maturity, understanding and knowledge.
d) The situations, language and images are up-to-date and relevant to pupils, including consideration of cultural and religious diversity.
e) Special educational needs are taken into account.
Quality Standard 5: Clear strategies are in place to ensure a safe classroom environment.
a) Ground rules are set out covering issues such as teachers’ and pupils’ right to privacy and respect, and the boundaries of discussion.
b) Pupils are made aware of the school’s confidentiality policy, and ways they can seek support.
c) Distancing techniques are employed when engaging pupils on sensitive issues.
d) Staff are confident in discussing sensitive issues and dealing with difficult questions appropriately.
e) Clear policies are available to safely introduce relevant external specialists or experienced contributors to the classroom.
Quality Standard 6: Approaches are evaluated for effectiveness.
a) Data from initial needs assessment and assessment of learning are analysed to help understand which approaches are effective.
b) Delivery is monitored to assure teaching quality.
c) Delivery is ideally based on a programme which has been formally evaluated, either for impact on behaviour or for intermediate outcomes such as skills or resilience. (NB fidelity to the original programme is important).
If you have any queries about how we are evaluating life skills education programmes that we deliver please feel free to get in touch on 0300 111 3273.