What is Rising Stars?
Rising Stars is a ten-week outreach programme which aims to support primary-aged children to remain within mainstream provision through developing their ability to manage emotions whilst raising their academic attainment. It involves providing support for children, their schools and their families. The Rising Stars programme began in January 2019 and has thus far completed three cycles.
Rising Stars was developed by Rise Academy (The Constellation Trust) in consultation with our Educational Psychologist. Its purpose is to provide early intervention support for primary-aged children presenting with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs with the aim of reducing the likelihood of a referral to a Pupil Referral Unit such as Rise Academy upon transitioning to Key Stage 3.
Currently, the Rising Stars programme is available to children attending primary schools within the Constellation Trust: Appleton Primary School, Bricknell Primary School, Francis Askew Primary School, Paisley Primary School, Rokeby Park Primary School, Stoneferry Primary School and Victoria Dock Primary School. Although from the Summer Term 2020 referrals to Rising Stars are open to all schools and referring authorities.
Rising Stars is located within a recently renovated building on the site of Francis Askew Primary School. The walls of the building are decorated with interactive displays which reflect the psychology underpinning the programme’s ethos and demonstrates awareness of the children’s needs, for example by providing individual visual timetables and bespoke feelings fans.
The programme is delivered by four members of staff, including a primary trained teacher and led by an Assistant SENCo. Approaches used by staff are informed by their individual past training experiences across a range of areas, including: Personal Construct Psychology, Nurture Groups, the Boxall Profile, attachment, ASD, ADHD, creative communication, therapeutic stories and bereavement.
Children are referred to the programme by their school with parent/carer permission. The Rising Stars programme begins with a two-week period of consultation wherein pre-intervention data is gathered, including assessments of cognition, speech and language and SEMH e.g. the Boxall Profile, ELSA. In addition, further information is gathered from families, school staff and observations are undertaken of the children with their schools.
During the ten-week programme, a typical day balances curriculum-based learning such as English, maths, with therapeutic activities such as yoga and mindfulness. Two cohorts of children attend the programme for two days each week: Cohort 1 on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Cohort 2 on Thursdays and Fridays. Children are collected and returned via school minibus. Children return to their schools for the remainder of the week where they continue to remain on roll. Each Rising Star cohort is comprised of a maximum of six mixed or same-aged children.