The Confident Resilient Children (CRC) Project Feasibility and Pilot Studies
The Confident Resilient Children Project
The Confident Resilient Children (CRC) Project aims to support Year 5-6 (age 9-11) children to build resilience and confidence and keep them safe from exploitation and criminality. Delivered by the Titan Partnership, together with Lime and Emerge Leadership, the programme combines universal and targeted elements.
About the studies
In 2020, the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) funded an evaluation to assess the feasibility of the project from the perspectives of the CRC Champions, teachers, mentors who delivered the programme. It also explored what changes were required to refine the programme and considered what a suitable research design for a larger scale evaluation may be.
Following this, NatCen was commissioned to conduct a further pilot evaluation to assess whether the programme was being delivered as intended, whether it achieved desired outcomes and whether the programme could be scaled. Data was collected from pre- and post-intervention pupil surveys and interviews with pupils, teachers, CRC champions and mentors.
- The CRC project was largely delivered as intended. Minor adaptations included reducing content to fit teacher-led sessions and dividing children into smaller mentoring groups.
- Teachers, CRC Champions and mentors had largely positive perceptions of CRC. They liked the appropriately-pitched content, despite suggesting that some topics were challenging for pupils to understand (such as ‘grooming’ or ‘British values’).
- Teachers and CRC Champions perceived that the programme supported pupils to self-reflect and self-regulate, show empathy for others, resolve conflicts and develop confidence. Mentors suggested that CRC supported better decision making, confidence, co-operation and listening among children.
- Teachers and mentors reported that pupils were engaged in CRC. The content and activities used (such as iPad activities, graphic novels, role plays and scenario-based games) were perceived to facilitate good engagement.
- Teachers and CRC Champions perceived that the training comprehensively covered the content and resources. Mentors liked how training content was tailored to the local context and enjoyed the peer learning approach.
The feasibility study used in-depth interviews with CRC Champions, teachers and mentors. Twelve interviewees across three Birmingham schools participated. The study was undertaken from January-September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The pilot study found that both the universal and targeted elements of the CRC project were generally delivered as intended. Teachers and mentors were able to make adaptations to the content to suit the pupils and the school context, although some teachers felt pressure to cover all planned elements of the sessions.
- School staff and pupils found the content of the sessions engaging and interactive. The use of technology and discursive elements of the programme were mentioned as particular highlights. Mentors were able to build positive relationships with pupils and tailor the sessions to their individual needs.
- School staff reported being well supported in selecting pupils to take part in mentoring, however they sometimes felt more pupils would benefit than there were mentoring spaces. Mentors thought the ‘right’ pupils had been selected.
- Training and support from the CRC Project team was received well and staff and mentors reflected that it had prepared them for delivering the programme. However, some staff found the volume of ongoing communication and administrative tasks challenging.
- The quantitative analysis showed limited changes in pupil pre-post survey data. However, findings from mentor and school staff interviews identified a number of positive outcomes for pupils, including increased confidence, greater resilience and improved relationships with others.
- The report details the changes that would help to optimise delivery of the programme and outlines evidence of scalability.
The pilot study involved in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations with CRC Champions, teachers, mentors and pupils. 50 interviewees participated across 10 Birmingham schools. Quantitative analysis was conducted on three main survey-collected outcome measures: the Stirling Children's Wellbeing Scale (SCWBS), The Me and My Feelings (MAMF) scale, and the Student Resilience Survey (SRS). The pilot study ran from June 2021 to September 2022.
Feasibility study: Jonah Bury, Valdeep Gill, Rebekka Hammelsbeck, Molly Mayer, Arjun Liddar
Pilot study: Eliza Garwood, Nicky McGuinness, Kostas Papaioannou, Miranda Phillips, Natasha Phillips, Julia Ruddick-Trentmann, Isaac Thornton and Hannah Woodbridge