Story Links is a parent-partnership intervention to support pupils with emotional difficulties that are getting in the way of their learning. It uses therapeutic storywriting to support pupils’ emotional well-being and reading skills. The intervention involves pupils, parents and teachers in the co-creation of stories that address the pupils’ behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
For some pupil’s it may be their behaviour that gives rise to concern in school. However, these pupils may also have underlying emotional difficulties that can be related to attachment difficulties with their parents or carers. It is for this reason that the involvement of parents is a central aspect of the intervention.
The intervention targets pupils 6-11 years and runs over 10-weeks. It uses joint storywriting, and the metaphors it generates, to encourage the parent/carer to think about their child’s emotional and social well-being . It also aims to involve parents in their child’s learning by encouraging them to regularly hear their child read their co-created stories at home.
The Story Links project evaluation shows that the intervention:
- Supports pupils’ emotional and social well-being
- Improves home/school relationship
- Improves involvement of parent in their child’s learning
- Improves pupil behaviour and attitude to learning.
What People Say about Story Links
Story Links has been very effective here – it’s a valuable vehicle for working with parents of pupils at risk of exclusion.Headteacher, Brighton
Brilliant, I really enjoyed the sessions – they used to brighten me up on a Tuesday… We had laughs and giggled.Beth’s mum
John’s got behaviour problems so my interaction with the school was horrible all the time – the only interaction was ‘B’s been bad, this has happened, that’s happened’… now, it’s nice to look forward to coming in.John’s mum
[He] trusts me now not to get angry with him. I’m a lot more patient with his reading now because I understand the level he’s at.Ian’s Mum
I was amazed, I was really amazed… it was just like seeing him sitting, it must have been quite daunting for him… and you know even S (SL teacher) was amazed.Pete’s mum
Story Links uses a parent partnership approach to target both emotional learning and literacy (reading) skills.
In a particular it:
- Supports the emotional and social well-being of vulnerable pupils
- Improves the behaviour of pupils at risk of exclusion
- Improves pupils’ reading skills
- Engages parents, from what is often a hard-to-access parental group, in their child’s learning.
The intervention particularly targets primary age pupils at risk of exclusion because behaviours associated with attachment anxiety and who also have below average reading skills.
Story Links is designed to be implemented by SEN teachers, Educational Psychologists, SENCOs and school counsellors supporting parents and pupils at risk of exclusion.