[Coaching Students Mental Health & Wellbeing] Coaching Stops Year 11 Pupil Cracking Under Pressure

[Coaching Students Mental Health & Wellbeing] Coaching Stops Year 11 Pupil Cracking Under Pressure


– I’m Danni, or Danielle John, and I go to Ashcroft High School. – [Interviewer] Okay and
what year are you in? – I’m in year 11, well I’ve
just left year 11, so yeah. I’m kind of mid-year 11, mid-year 12. – [Interviewer] Okay, brilliant. So, I understand you’ve
been coached recently, so how did you feel when
your coach approached you? Because your coach was the Headteacher, yeah?
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] So how did you feel? – Nervous. At first I actually
thought I was in trouble, at first, because when she came up to me. And then she was like,
“You’re being coached,” “We’ve got you to do coaching.” I was thinking, “Did
I do something wrong?” I thought that I was
kind of doing something that needed to be ‘fixed’, something that was not right. But after she’d explained that it was just to make sure I knew what I was doing and when I was doing it, I kind of felt a bit more calm, Because I was thinking “okay,
we’ll just plan this out, “And then we’ll know what we’re doing.” – [Interviewer] Okay, good. So a little bit worried at
first, but then calm, yeah? Brilliant. So what was the coaching like compared with what you
thought it would be like? – It was a lot more, not informal, but I thought it was gonna be, you know, “Dragon’s Den” – kind of… one person at one end of the table and one at the other end of the table. But it wasn’t, it was chilled, it was sat down, having a
nice chilled conversation, writing stuff down. It wasn’t too harsh, it wasn’t too forced, it was just questions answered. Simple. It wasn’t hard at all. – [Interviewer] That sounds good. Okay, so what was your situation
like before the coaching? – “Stressed” is one word! I was absolutely terrified
to even walk in an exam hall. I had to do my exam in a different room. But I was so scared to
go in the exam hall, so I had to move it. I was overwhelmed,
there was so much to do. There was so much work
in each subject to do, and all the teachers were
kind of expecting me to know everything on each subject
and that was too many subjects to know. So I felt like I was just overwhelmed, it was too much to do, and I was, you know when you kind
of look at a problem, and you think, “Oh, that’s too big, “I’m not even gonna bother with it.” That was what I was kind of like. That’s what, I’m not gonna
lie, it was like that. So I thought, “Okay, well,
this coaching is going to help me to kind of break that up and just look at the things I do need to do instead of just one big lump of work. – [Interviewer] Wow! Okay. So that was how you felt
before the coaching, right? So you then met up and had
a few coaching sessions. How many sessions did you have? – Six, I believe. Six. – [Interviewer] Okay, okay. – So yeah, we did that, and
then we had ’til Friday, and I’d have to check in with Miss, to tell her that I’d done each of my steps for the coaching. And I think every single
one of them I checked in, and I had done it, and
that’s why it was so easy. Because it was such an easy step. Like it would be go to the teacher and get a pass paper for English. That’s one of the steps. And then go tell her I did it. It’s so simple and easy just
to get each of the steps done, and that’s just what
made it so much easier. – [Interviewer] Wow, and
you obviously came up with the action steps yourself,
didn’t you, rather than being told what to do?
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] So what
difference did that make for you? – I kind of felt like
I was in control of it. ‘Cause obviously teachers are saying, “You do this, “you do that, you do this.” But it was kind of the feeling of I get to choose how I do this, and I get to be in control of my learning. Which doesn’t really happen very often, considering we have teachers to teach us. But we kind of taught ourself, but we were taught how to
teach ourself, and I love that. – [Interviewer] What
difference did that make? – A world of a difference, definitely. And I could not teach my friends, but kind of give them
tips on how to, kind of, work through their stress and work through the steps that they need to do, to take to do the things
that they need to do. – [Interviewer] Wow so you
helped your friends as well, as helping yourself?
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] Gosh, get you! So, okay, before the
coaching you felt stressed and overwhelmed, you said. Okay. So after the coaching,
how did you feel then? – Like a weight has been
lifted off my shoulders. It sounds so cliché, I
know, but it really does. It’s crazy how weird it feels, like the fact that before,
you have the stress, and it’s like this, it feels like a literal
weight on your shoulders. And then afterwards it’s like woah, okay. Wow…I’ve just finished
that whole chunk of stuff that I needed to do, and now I feel like a
whole space in my brain has been cleared for new information. It’s actually so great. And it made me happier as a person, and it made me a kinder person ’cause I was kind of moody
all the time when I was, ’cause I was just stressed. So afterwards it made me kinder, it made me think about more things, like it made me think about empathy and stuff with other people and how
they might be feeling, because obviously I know
how it feels and stuff. So it was, it was so weird.
It’s like an unexplainable feeling. It really is. – [Interviewer] Wow! So
what do you think would have happened if you hadn’t had the coaching? – I probably would have
had a mental breakdown. I’m being serious. It was getting to that
stage, like it was crazy. But, I dunno. Yeah, definitely something
crazy would have happened, and I wouldn’t have been able to obtain the information
that I did before my exams if I hadn’t done the coaching. – [Interviewer] Wow. So how did you feel when you went into your exams? – I felt like, I felt like
because we’d done the coaching and the steps just the few weeks before, I felt like all the information was right at the front of my head. So I just, if they asked
me question about it, straightaway I could answer it. It was so easy. Not, I don’t wanna say easy, (touch wood!) like that, I’m not going to fail or anything, but it was easy just to
remember the things I knew. Easier than it would be if
I didn’t have the coaching. – [Interviewer] Wow. So if
you hadn’t had the coaching, how would you have felt
going into the exam? – Probably like I’m winging it. Like (groans) kind of on the fence about whether I would fail
or whether I would pass. But right now I’m
probably on the pass side for most of my subjects. Geography, probably not so much, but the other ones definitely
have a chance, I believe. – [Interviewer] Wow, that’s brilliant. And before you did the coaching, had you had any other
support or anything before? – I don’t believe, not
with work and stuff. Just kind of after-school interventions. But I’m kind of slow…I don’t
know if that’s the right word, but I don’t pick up information as quickly as other people, which means that when
we’re going through things in intervention and in the lessons, I’m kind of lagging
behind, and then I’m like, “I missed the work they just did,” and then I’m like, “Oh,
I just missed everything, “now I’m just gonna give up.” – [Interviewer] Wow. – Yeah, and I really didn’t with this. I think the fact that the school is such a “growth mindset”
school has helped as well, ’cause it just makes me think, “Okay. “Just focus on just improving.” ‘Cause I’m going to improve, there’s no ands, ifs or buts, I’m going to improve. So, yeah.
– [Interviewer] Wow. That’s a really good, positive attitude, isn’t it?
– Thank you. – [Interviewer] Did you have
some counselling as well, before,
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] ’cause
I know you said about feeling stressed and not yourself? – I did that for a while. – [Interviewer] What was the difference, because sometimes people get confused between ‘counselling’ and ‘coaching’, so what was the difference
that the coaching made compared with the counselling? – The coaching was more focused on what do I do and how do I do it, and how am I going to get there. And the counselling was
more “How do you feel about going through these stages?” Yeah. – [Interviewer] Interesting. So what other sorts of
challenges do you think that the coaching could help you with? – Probably emotional challenges. I dunno, I don’t have the
best relationship with my mum, and I was talking to
Miss about that as well. About how like I’ll
talk to her in one way, and then she won’t like
the way I talk to her, so then I’ll just think, “Okay. “What can I do differently next time “so that she won’t get annoyed with me?” And then I would just
think of it in that way, and then kind of change it, and how adamant am I not to
make her annoyed this time. Like, don’t go out of your way to
make her annoyed this time, not that I did before, but… Kind of, it does help me in real life with relationships and
communication skills ’cause obviously, you
can’t have relationships without communication skills. So I feel like it really does help in the real world as well, like, not just with school work and stuff, but in life in general. – [Interviewer] That’s really interesting. So when you leave school,
what are your next steps? – Musical theatre college.
– [Interviewer] Wow! – Not musical theatre college, but going to college
to do musical theatre. And dance and music. – [Interviewer] Excellent. And how are you feeling
about that at the moment? – Excited. I’m excited, however, the fact that I have to
leave my Ashcroft family is not the best thing ever, because obviously I love it here. This is my home, I stay
here ’til late every day. So I feel like I’ve got a
connection with the school, but the fact that I’m
doing work experience now is really helping because I feel like it’s just making me…it’s that final bit. The little add-on until I’m like, “Okay, I’m ready to leave now.” So yeah. – [Interviewer] Okay,
so are you going to have some more coaching around that? – Yeah, Miss said that
we’re going to do coaching up until I leave. So I believe, what day
is it today? Monday. – [Interviewer] Yeah, Monday.
Yeah, Monday. Tomorrow we have another session. So yeah, that should be fun. – [Interviewer] So hopefully
you’ll be more prepared – Yes, definitely. – [Interviewer] to leave and
start flying on your own. Fantastic. So what you would say the three biggest differences are
that coaching’s made to you? – Emotional, like I’m
definitely happier myself. Obviously like the working, I have a clearer mind
so I know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. And, hmm. Relationships with friends
and family and stuff. I feel like they’ve improved because I know how to work through them. I know how to do step by step now, how to improve. Before I would just look at it and think, “Oh, is she trying to get at me?” But now I can just think, “Okay. “Let me look at it from her point of view, “and now what can I change next time “so that that doesn’t happen?” So yeah, it’s not just work-related. It’s everything related. – [Interviewer] That’s fantastic. So how did the outcomes that you achieved differ from what you expected? – Well, ’cause obviously at the end of the coaching sessions,
I’d have to, kind of, I’d have a target by the end of the week. For example, I had to do an English paper. Now, I wasn’t the best at English before. I mean, I did a English
paper and I think I got 36 out of 80 which is really not good. So I thought, “Okay. Let me go to Sir, “look at the steps I need to do.” Did that. And I went
home and did the test. And I came back and I got something like sixty-something out of eighty. So and this is the language paper, so I was thinking, “Oh, okay. “Well just going through that step by step “is improve my grade immensely.” Like, it’s crazy. So, I dunno, it’s so
weird just to think that that little thing has made such an impact. Like how had this not happened before? I don’t understand! It’s such a big thing, to have happened, that I think it would
help a lot of people. – [Interviewer] Brilliant. So how valuable would you say that
investment of your time was? – Incredibly valuable. It’s crazy, it’s weird to think that that’s happened in such a short time… …It’s weird. – [Interviewer] So you sound
like you’re quite pleased with your progress!
– Definitely. Time will tell on Results
Day though, won’t it? – [Interviewer] Well, I’m
going to keep my fingers crossed for you, definitely!
– Me too! Thank you. – [Interviewer] So, if another student were thinking of being coached, what would you say to them? – 100% do it. 100% do it. You’ll feel better in yourself, you’ll feel, other people will know, like people will come (not
come up to me in the corridors), but people have said to
me, “You seem different. “You seem happier. You
seem nicer in yourself.” And I say, “Oh thank you.” ‘Cause it really does make an impact on your personality, not personality, your persona and your character. It just makes you a
better person, I think. It does, definitely. So I really think that they should do it, if they were to consider that. – [Interviewer] Wow. And
what kind of differences did they notice? – They said that I seem brighter, when I’m in the corridors. I tend to say “hi” to people
in the corridors anyway, but I seem happier. My tone of voice is happier, ’cause obviously body
language and posture, and I seem a lot, not… They said I seemed tired before. And I think that’s ’cause
of the weights and stuff that was like dragging me down. But now I’m kind of… …Free like a bird. – [Interviewer] That’s
wonderful! That’s so good. So what do you think
would have happened, then, if you hadn’t had that
coaching experience? – I think I just would have
cracked under pressure, and I really wouldn’t
have felt the way I do about the exams now. So, I would have been sad. Definitely. I would have felt like “I tried my best and my best wasn’t good enough.” And yeah, that wouldn’t have been good. But, it was good, ’cause
that didn’t happen. – [Interviewer] Absolutely. So imagine you are talking
to head teachers from schools around the world, alright, about coaching from the student perspective. What would you say to them? – You need to learn how to do that. Because having that skill
and being able to change, Because Ms Austin’s changed my life. That sounds so cliché again, but honestly she has. And I feel like if more
people had the training and the expertise to do
that to other people, it would just be so fantastic because I’m just one
person that she’s helped. There could be so many more people that could feel the way that I feel now. And that would just be like a magic power. Honestly, it would be like a superpower. – [Interviewer] So you think
that schools should do it? – Definitely. 100%.
110%. They really should. – [Interviewer] Wow. – Yeah. – [Interviewer] That is
fantastic, thank you.

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