Seasons for Growth – Children & Young People’s Programme
The Children and Young People’s Programme has a safe and engaging curriculum structure that incorporates a wide range of age-appropriate activities involving drawing, role-play, stories, discussion, playdough, music and journal activities.
There are four levels available:
Level 1: 6-8 years
Level 2: 9-10 years
Level 3: 11-12 years
Level 4: 12 – 18yrs
Each level includes eight weekly sessions, a final celebration session and two subsequent reconnector sessions (that range from 40 minutes to an hour depending on age). Each weekly session explores a concept theme such as, Life is like the Seasons, Change is Part of Life, Valuing My Story, Caring for my Feelings, Making Good Choices.
All four levels of the programme have flexibility to cater for participants with different learning needs or preferences. The learning processes reflect a deep respect for children’s capacity to cope, problem-solve, make good choices, set realistic goals and connect with others. Such learning develops best in supportive social contexts with peers and a caring, skilled adult ‘Companion’. Children’s learning is documented in a personal ‘Seasons for Growth’ journal so that participants can re-visit their insights in the future.
Psychoeducation is not a type of therapy, but rather a specific form of education which helps people learn more about specific events and circumstances that may have occurred in their lives, and the potential range of ways that people respond to them. Seasons for Growth programmes help people understand the experiences of change, loss and grief and how these can impact on a person’s life. The programmes also support the development of communication, decision making and problem solving skills.
The Seasons for Growth programmes are peer based. Peer support is the social, instrumental or emotional support that those sharing life challenges or circumstances can provide to each other in reciprocal fashion. This support can be provided in formal or informal contexts.
Why peer support?
People can be healed by finding affiliation within an equal relationship with someone who has had a similar life experience Helping someone can be self-healing People can gain hope that change is possible through a process underscored by mutual sharing of their lived experience.
Person centred learning approach
Seasons for Growth programmes use a person centred learning approach. This approach doesn’t use specific group processes or position the facilitator (Companion) as the expert, but instead aims to create an environment where participants become aware of their own strengths and resources, and decide on their own solutions.
Companions model empathy, understanding and acceptance in the group in order to empower participants to be true partners in learning.
Developmentally appropriate activities
The Seasons for Growth Children and Young People’s Programme offers four age appropriate levels for children and young people. This ensures that participants are taking part in a tailored, developmentally appropriate sequence of activities and discussions and wellbeing in children and adults.
Seasons for Growth programmes help strengthen the building of personal resilience, coping and social skills, and increasing participants’ sense of belonging; while also working to minimise risk factors including social isolation and lack of support networks.
Seasons for Growth programmes are recognised as mental health promotion and prevention initiatives, and any participants requiring further support or intervention are referred by the facilitator to an appropriate source of assistance.
Seasons for Growth was developed in collaboration with education, healthcare and welfare professionals. It is recognised within government initiatives to promote mental health and wellbeing in Scottish schools. All the individuals that facilitate Seasons for Growth have been specifically trained and as Companions and must follow a Code of Ethics to become, and remain, accredited.
“I feel stronger and I can achieve anything I want to do. I will be the same person when I get home but I will be… refreshed and trying to be always positive.” 15 yr old girl
“Bad things won’t last forever” 8 year old boy
“I can make choices and decisions” 11 year old girl
“I learned) how to cope with feelings and not to bottle my anger up” 14 year old boy
A big thank you goes to www.seasonsforgrowth.org.uk for allowing us to use the information on their site about Seasons. The Notre Dame Centre hold the licence for Seasons for Growth in Scotland. For further information please visit their website.