Centre for Confidence and Well-being

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The Centre's course for young people

As a result of two pilot courses, the Centre has now put together a course called Communicate with Confidence to help build positive assertive behaviour in young people. Below is an outline of the course. It lists each module and corresponding aims and activities. The teacher resources can be downloaded later in this section.

Course aims

The course aims to help young people to:

  • learn through structured group activities in a supportive atmosphere
  • develop understanding of human rights and responsibilities
  • practice stances which are respectful of self and others
  • learn how to build good relationships learn and to practice assertive skills
  • develop as confident individuals.                                                                        

Early in the course, students will be introduced to the following Learning Intention and Success Criteria:

Learning intention

We are learning to communicate with greater confidence.

Success criteria

We will know that we have succeeded when:

  •  We can explain to someone else the difference between confident and non-confident communication.
  • We show that we can communicate in a calm and relaxed way in a situation which we find difficult.

Module outline

Below is a breakdown of each module. It lists what the students will learn during each module and a list of each aim along with corresponding activities and resources to use. The teacher resources can be found later in this section.

Part 1: Developing home groups; developing trust; exploring rights and responsibilities

  •  Whole group and small group activities to build trust
  •  Small group activities to develop positive interdependence
  •  Creating ground rules
  •  Introduction to concept of 'open honest and clear' communication and rights  and responsibilities through early activities

Aims and activities

1. To introduce Confident Communication
Teacher introduces herself and the subject. Sometimes Confident Communication is called Assertive communication

2. To 'warm up' the class
Whole class ice breaker activity Choice of teacher. An example would be: Spot the lie. Students write three truths and one lie about themselves. Others have to guess what is the lie.
A4 sheet per head if this ice breaker used.

3.  Allocation of groups - four in a group
Any activity can be used e.g. line ups by birthdays and count off; jigsaw pieces - participants find those who make up rest of jigsaw. Groups can be random or chosen beforehand. If using jigsaw: pictures cut up into four.

4. To develop co-operative learning
Interview partner and introduce your partner to the group. A number of other exercises may also be used after this to encourage students to get to know one another. E.g. Finishing sentence stems, telling about primary school, finding what they have in common.
Make explicit need for groups to work well together, they need to be trusting. Use resource: 'Tell me about yourself'' CWC R1 or as appropriate.

5. Create home group banners
Groups agree a name and a logo for their group and create a poster. The names of each of the participants should be placed in the four corners. Poster should be placed on wall.
Encourage groups to take pride in their poster. Allocate roles, i.e. time keeper, resource manager. Flip chart or similar paper for each group. Felt tip pens and decorative stuff if liked.

6. To introduce social skill: listening
As a whole class: students brainstorm what good listening looks like and sounds like. Can include 'feels like'. Groups will be told that they will be working on listening skills for the next few sessions. Use board or flip chart with T graph to record listening skills.

7. To develop ground rules
Each group issues with question 1, following discussion question 2 is issued.  Groups should agree the ground rules which they would like to propose. It is useful if there are a few silent minutes when individuals note their own ideas before sharing their ideas with the group. Groups submit their rules and a full list is drawn up. Pupils should be reminded that teacher will be looking for good listening skills. Teacher extends discussion into rights and responsibilities.
Use copy of 'Ground rules questions' for each group, paper to record and board or flip for drawing up agreed ground rules.

8. Wrap up and de-brief of social skills
De-brief of social skills either by worksheet or as discussion. Use 'How well did I listen?' CWC R2.

Part 2: Understanding the model of behaviour

  • Variety of activities to develop understanding of:  passive, aggressive, manipulative and confident/assertive behaviour.
  •  Scenarios, sort cards, DVD with examples: students will use these as the focus for discussion.

1. To re-connect with home groups
Game as appropriate or sharing information or recalling previous content.
This assumes that this part of the course begins with a new period. Every new period there should be some re-connection with groups. Remind of ground rules and social skill. Group themselves and use anything pertinent to any game used.

2. To introduce the concept of the four behaviours
Teacher led. Use an example such as being asked to baby-sit and demonstrate the four behaviours. The four behaviours are described in depth in Assertive sheets in Teachers' Materials folder.

3. To explore and understand four behaviours
Three activities are offered for discussion by groups:
a) Card sort - students decide into which of the four behaviours each card should go. Use card sort and flip chart divided into four behaviours or separate cards with the four behaviours. CWC R3 gives instructions.
b) DVD - Students view all or a selection of the scenes presented on the DVD. Use CWC R5 if it is required that students note responses
c) Scenarios - Group decides what behaviour is demonstrated by each of the responses. Use the Scenario cards for each group. 'What kind of behaviour 1' CWC R4.

4. To discuss merits of various behaviours and wrap up
Plenary discussion. What should be drawn out here is why people choose some types of behaviour.

Part 3 :  Becoming more confident communicators

  • Students will identify and area of their lives where they could communicate more confidently.
  • Students will identify and area of their lives where they could communicate more confidently.
  • Students will practice the skills of confident/assertive communication.

1. To reconnect with group and to establish new social skill
Have a game and/or sharing and/or recalling work from last part. Introducing social skill: to be supportive of one another.
The new skill - to be supportive of one another - is introduced here. The T-chart can be used again - or a whole class/group brainstorm of what would NOT be supportive behaviour could be undertaken (Depends on class/group). Questions could also be asked: what will it be like if the groups are very supported?

2.  To consider rights
Card sort: do the group agree that every person has the rights on the cards? Rights are discussed one by one and put in two piles: agree totally/ not sure. Have a set of 'rights cards' per group.

3. To identify situations where each participant would like to be more assertive
Individual work - students note down some real life situations. Use with -Communicate with Confidence - My choices? CWC R6.

4. To teach assertive skills
Teacher input. A more detailed list of skills is given in the teacher's notes on Assertive behaviour. Each student has a copy of: 'How to communicate with confidence' CWC R7 and 'To communicate Assertively' CWC R 8.

5. Demonstration role play
Two students from the class demonstrate role play with teacher taking role of observer/coach. Before groups begin their own role plays, each individual should read the resource sheets. There should be a 'check for understanding' and questions from groups. Each student has a copy of: 'Learning to communicate with confidence' and 'Coaching other to communicate with confidence' (Both CWC R9).

6. Group role plays
Students either select their own scenarios or use those offered. Use 'Spare scenario' cards.

7. Wrap up
Plenary - what have people learned? Groups debrief on social skill and each person completes the sentence stem: 'One type of behaviour which I found supportive was...'
The final wrap up will very often depend on teacher and class. Alternatives to 'What have people learned' is to review all that has happened over the course.








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