“Some children discuss their situations in an ‘I don’t care way’ or in a boisterous manner but I feel that I can’t push for more information from such children if they do not want to share.”
Ensure the DSL is contacted if necessary. Otherwise, give children time and space to open up with you and don’t worry if this doesn’t happen straightaway. We can only work with the information that we have and should not ask too many leading questions.
“Some children finish quicker than others, it is ok if they do silent reading?”
This would depend on how quickly they finish. For about 10 minutes, I would say yes. Any longer, I would suggest giving them an extension question/activity to do on a whiteboard/paper, which they might share at the end of the lesson.
“How much should they write/how extensive should their answer be?”
Children need to ensure that they have answered the question. They don’t have to write lots and drawings work perfectly fine too, though they sometimes need labelling! The most important thing is that any writing is of a high standard especially in terms of accuracy.
- Gives children space to talk about their experiences.
- Children bring up issues they’re facing.
- Like the opportunity to talk about topics.
- Children have enjoyed it.
- A great way to find out how children are feeling/what is going on in their personal life.
- Helps with changing children’s mindset and motivation.
- Covers topics that may not be covered at another time.
- Helps you get to know the children.
- Covers a large range of issues.
- Children enjoy it.
- Children who are not confident find Dot Com a safe place to share their personal opinions.
- Children feel comfortable talking.
- Children look forward to the lessons.
- The fact that the children don’t have to write a lot.
- All items are in the same book.
- Good to have a work book.
- Book is really good.
- The bulk of the planning is done.
- I like the teacher guide.
- Little pre-planning needed.
- Easy to use.
- No need for lots of extra resources – saving time and limited school resources such as paper.
- Stamps make it easy to mark/look at children’s answers.
- Stamp is great.
- Easy to mark – the stamp is great.
- Easy to mark – love the stamp.
For one pupil, Myles, the Dot Com programme helped him turn his life around following his dad’s death. Myles believes the programme stopped him from being lured into gang culture
When the programme was introduced, Myles was at risk of permanent exclusion and – in his own words – was angry and behaving badly. The programme was used with Myles and his mum at home, helping Myles develop the tools, resilience and life skills he needed to deal with the shock and trauma of bereavement.
Within a year, Myles was on the school council and he now says that he doesn’t see the point of gangs and that ‘people should be able to live in their own area peacefully and calmly and not worry about the threat of violence from gangs’.
Myles has now successfully made the transition to secondary school and continues to be an ambassador for the Dot Com programme. His mum, who gave permission for her family’s story to be told, says ‘Dot Com saved my son’.
Theo was having trouble at school with anger management issues. Theo’s mum explained to us how difficult things can be for Theo at home, as he has a younger brother who is autistic.
Teachers found that, after he started the Dot Com programme, he was able to tell them about his feelings and his behaviour improved significantly.
Theo said ‘the programme is a really good thing and I think lots of other children should do it because before that nobody really knew why I got angry and lost my temper. But then I got the confidence to speak up when I did the journal, which I found really helpful. The most important thing I have learned is to treat others as you would like to be treated’.