Essential Life Skills programme transforms lives in Doncaster

07 December 2018

School teachers in Doncaster have seen the transformation of their students thanks to the DCLT Essential Life Skills programme.

Through the Opportunity Area funding Doncaster has received, EXPECT Youth are excited to be able to offer a range of extra-curricular activities that look to develop essential life skills in children and young people aged 5-18 across Doncaster.

A recent visit to Hatfield Water Park has allowed children in Doncaster the opportunity to learn skills such as confience, motivation, resillience and communication, and teachers have been amazed by the impact it has had.

"The impact that it has had within my Year 5 class has been amazing." Commented a Doncaster teacher following the visit to Hatfeld Water Park." Being able to spend time with some of my more challenging boys, who have displayed extremely challenging behaviours throughout the year so far, in a role where I could drop my teacher mask for a day has worked wonders."

She told the story of how the exciting opportunity allowed the children to be themselves and come out of their shell, whilst teaching them vital skills to take forward in life She said: "I was able to join them in problem solving challenges, getting to know them outside the classroom environment and let them see me in a more ‘relaxed’ and non-teaching role - all of which has had a really powerful impact already.

"One boy in particular, who has already been excluded and often refuses to work, came in the next day, made a joke about an obstacle course incident that happened between us the previous day, then immediately sat down and followed my instructions: something that he has not done all year and which has continued to date so far. Another low attaining boy, who again has been very disruptive and shown little interest in his work, actually took a lead role in his group and showed his team how to solve problems throughout the day, working on his teamwork and working very closely with members of the class that would usually avoid him.

"The impacts of this again has been huge, with the child mentioned not only coming in the next day and really applying himself in class, but to the point where he was also taking it upon himself to help another vulnerable child in our class complete tasks that he doesn’t normally complete himself. Additionally, a girl who he worked with on the trip, has also asked to move to support him in class - which again has had a truly amazing impact on his concentration and has significantly reduced the disruptions he is causing in class. These are just two examples, but the impact on helping the children see themselves as a real team, and in building the self-esteem for some of my children really has been amazing. I’d really like to reccommend that all classes have the chance to have some team building/problem solving activities such as this throughout the year.

"Days like that are the reason I got into teaching and make it all worth while!"

The Essential Life Skills programme allows children to learn skills such as confidence, motivation, resilience and communication, which are crucial for people acheiving their potential. Giving young people from all backgrounds a greater opportunity to develop these skills can therefore be an engine for opportunity and social mobility. 

For more information about the activities available in the Essential Life Skills Programme, visit: