The objectives of the Year 8 programme are three fold:

  • To improve social and health outcomes for vulnerable young people through helping them develop the desire and the belief to succeed in both school and in life;
  • To support wider school efforts (St Brigid’s College School Development Plan) to build foundation literacy and numeracy skills in a fun way that is integrated into co-curricular activities and will impact outcomes at the end of year 8;
  • To enable pupils to build relationships with a range of providers and role models which will raise motivation, self confidence and the ability to achieve

The ASPIRE NI mandatory programme (with opt out clause) targets all Year 8 first form pupils attending St Brigid’s College each year are offered Clubs Monday – Thursday from 3.05pm-4.05 pm with a choice between a range of social, physical and wellbeing programmes that will last the full academic year.

A full time Programme Co-ordinator "Cathy Malcom" employed by the GSAP is based within the school to develop and co-ordinate this programme of work. A range of partners contribute to this initiative, such as WELB Youth Service, Service Level Providers such as S.T.E.M. Aware, Leafair Community Association, GSCA, Goals4Youth etc… Additional Funding secured from the Extended Schools Outer North Cluster and St Brigid’s Extended Schools fund support the delivery of a range of programmes.

The content of the annual programme is developed in response to an analysis of the concerns raised by the pupils from a short pupil questionnaire completed by the pupils each September and from consultations with the pupils, the school staff and members of the steering group.

During the summer period, the ASPIRE  project, delivers a Transition programme for the new intake year 8 students, to help make the move from Primary to Post Primary school easier.

Transition Programmes included: Teambuilding, Literacy, STEMnasium, Art, School orienteering, Games and sport. 

Example of Some Aspire Clubs Since Commencement

Netball

Basketball

Rugby

Gaelic

Camogie

Personal development ( EA Youth Services)

Comic making

Soccer

Dance

Drama

Circus Skills (Personal Development)

Archery

Art

Digital Fabrication

Digital Comic Environment Characters

Guitar

Image

Hydroponics

Literacy Games

Numeracy Games

Tin Whistle

Pipe Band (Chanters)

Kickboxing

Boxing

Personal Development (EA Staff)

Gymnastics

Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths

Netball,

Basketball,

During the summer period , the ASPIRE (NI) project, with the support of Friends of St. Brigid’s is able to secure additional funding to deliver a 2-day long programme of activities in August for the new intake of pupils and their families. 

Programmes included: Teambuilding, Literacy, STEMnasium, Art, a Leadership Programme, and various games.

Following an end of programme outturn evaluation of the annual cohort of participants (including feedback from parents) is carried out by the GSAP in conjunction with St. Brigid’s College and the ASPIRE (NI) Steering Committee a number of resultant achievements have been noticed, including for example in 2015/16:

All parental questionnaires which were returned indicated that 100% believed their children benefitted from participation in the Aspire Project. 

87.5% of parents stated that they have seen a positive change in their child’s behaviour at home since attending the ASPIRE programme

87.5% of parents stated that they have seen a positive change in their child’s attitude to school since attending the ASPIRE programme

Academic Year 2016-2017

All parental questionnaires which were returned indicated that 100% believed their children benefitted from participation in the Aspire Project.

100% of parents stated that they have seen a positive change in their child’s behaviour at home since attending the ASPIRE programme

100 % of parents stated that they have seen a positive change in their child’s attitude to school since attending the ASPIRE programme

Prior to commencement of the ASPIRE programme in September 2015, 66.27% of the pupils reported spending their time after school at Sports activities and in June 2016, 70.24% reported participating in Sports activities after school an increase of 3.97%. At the start of the Aspire programme in September 2015, 19.28% of pupils reported no participation in activities after school and in June 2016, 9.52% reported no participation after school, an improvement of 9.76 % participation.

Prior to commencement of the ASPIRE programme in September 2016, 14.47 %of the pupils reported spending no  time after school at activities and in June 2017, 1 % reported spending no time after school at activities, an improvement of  13.47% in after school participation. At the start of the Aspire programme in September 2016, 7.89% of pupils reported participation in activities at  youth clubs and  support organisations and in June 2017, this figure was increased  to 11%  an 3.11%improvement .

Prior to commencement of the ASPIRE programme in September 2015, 27.71% of pupils reported spending no time at the weekends participating in activities. At the end of the Aspire programme in June 2016, 21.43% reported spending no time at the weekends participating in activities, an improvement in weekend participation. of 6.28%.

Prior to commencement of the ASPIRE programme in September 2016, 14.47% of pupils  reported spending time at the weekends participating on computer games. At the end of the Aspire programme in June 2017, 13% reported spending time at the weekends participating on computer games, a  1.47% reduction in time spent on computer games.

From an analysis of the results in 2015/16, there has been an overall positive progression by pupils in 7 of the 14 resiliency categories. In particular, significant progress was made in relation to, I am aware my behaviour has a positive effect on others, I am aware how my classmates are feeling, I am able to accept that others may have different opinions from myself, I am good at mixing with others and I am able to control my feelings.

From an analysis of the results in 2016/17, there has been an overall positive progression by pupils in 11 of the 14 resiliency categories. In particular, significant progress was made in relation to, I am aware my behaviour has a positive effect on my family, I am good at mixing with others and I am able to control my feelings

Feedback from participants

Pupils

“It helped myself focus. I learnt new skills and met new people. I feel more confident. It learnt me to keep safe. I now do feel confident”

I learned that you don’t bully or Cyber Bullying. The Club helped me by being more confident inside and outside of school. About bullying”

 “It helped me learn to work in a team. To listen to Instruction. I learned new ways to keep fit”

 “It made me smarter. I learned how to use I-Motion and I-Movies. I know how to use the I-Pad properly now. It helped me more with Science. I learned how to make a film. I learned how to go on new Apps”

 “It helped me a lot. I met new people. I learnt how to play notes, and new songs and to be more confident”

"It got me more interested in using technology to customize and make things.This course is helping in modern technology and I am getting a qualification and I get to make new things every week using big machines".

"It helped me with different types of computer software".

"This helped me with my hurling skills and got me into this sport".

"It helped me to boost my skills as a hurler and to get fitter".

"It helped me to be confident to speak out, like read out without people making fun or mocking my voice".

"It got me more interested in using technology to customize and make things".

"This course is helping in modern technology and I am getting a qualification and I get to make new things every week using big machines".

"It helped me with different types of computer software".

"This helped me with my hurling skills and got me into this sport".

Bullying, Fitting in and ‘What others think’ all had significant reductions in number of pupils who highlighted these as their top issues, for the second year in a row , prior to the commencement of Aspire.

Volunteers

“I attended First Aid Training which I now feel confident that I would be able to use it if ever needed”

“The training helped me gain confidence. It also helped me realise that I can help. It took the fear away”

“This training helped me to build on my confidence and approach to offering First Aid to others"

Parents Internet Safety Event

“It helped me to focus on the fact I need to keep myself update me on a regular basis on how the internet is changing and keep up with the youth and be “internet-smart”. I have seen different ways to help my child and myself navigate the internet in a safer way”

You and Your Child Parenting Programme

“I rate this course as it was good to meet other parents and gave me a lot of help to understand my child better. How to communicate better and understand my child. Learned to listen better, and understand his feelings about the world at large. It helped me to be more patient with my child. It helped me to know that other parents were in the same position as me in bringing up their children. I feel very much more confident in dealing with my child and has given me reassurance that I have learned to understand his feelings better”

Learned how to deal a lot better with children’s problems. I am more ware of dealing with and staying calm with my child”

“Helped me to realise and look out for situations, be more confident in parenting and to know and reaffirm my existing skills”

“I listen more. I am more aware of my child’s needs. I feel more confident. I can talk to him more”

Staff Contact

Position

Telephone

Email

Cathy Malcom Project Co-ordinator 'ASPIRE NI' 028 71358787 [email protected]