These are all actual case studies, but all names have been changed

Julie – Year 9 girl

Julie lived with her Mum and brother. Mum’s attitude had been to put a lot of pressure on Julie to succeed and, if she didn’t, to encourage Julie to believe that it was the teachers who were letting her down. Mum therefore encouraged Julie to be confrontational with the teachers. Julie was referred to SEED because of continual conflict with teachers and with her peers. SEED placed Julie on our Self-esteem course, which she successfully completed.

In school, subsequent to attending the course, the number of incidents involving confrontation with teachers and peers reduced and had, in Julie’s words, “been minimised.” Julie herself expressed how her confidence had increased and Julie’s Head of Year said that Julie had developed a far more positive attitude towards her teachers.

At home there were also big changes. Julie’s Mum saw the material that Julie was using for the Self-esteem course and was sufficiently impressed that she asked Julie to get extra worksheets. Julie’s Mum then completed the course herself at home. As a result, the relationship between Julie and her Mum became a lot calmer and less pressured. Mum started allowing Julie time off from her studies to go out with her friends. Mum researched, through her local library, other information on relationship building having accepted that she, and not just Julie, had issues that need to be worked through. A very practical result was that Julie’s Mum became able to say “Sorry” when she got stressed and made a bad judgement involving Julie.

Both at school and at home, life has greatly improved for Julie as a result of completing the SEED Raising Self-esteem course.

Robert – Year 9 boy

Robert’s home life was fine but he had learning difficulties and weak literacy skills. Robert had a very low opinion of himself because of previous lack of achievement in school. This low opinion led to him having very few friends and experiencing major difficulties in relating to and interacting with his peers.

Robert was referred to SEED because of his low self-esteem and lack of confidence. He was placed on the SEED Self-esteem course and successfully completed the course.

Early in the course Robert grasped the importance of self-esteem and so was very keen to do well on the course. His confidence increased noticeably, first within the SEED group sessions and, subsequently, within the wider school community. He reached a point where he had the confidence to argue his point with his peers in a very structured way. As a result of his increased confidence, and his improved ability to interact with peers, Robert’s circle of friends began to widen. Robert also became more focused and motivated about his academic career as he realised that he could achieve, and his improved effort was noted both by subject teachers and by the SENCO.

Robert became a much happier, confident and socially integrated boy whose academic potential is being better realised.

Karen – Year 9 girl

When her Dad became seriously ill and almost died Karen’s attendance in school dropped to 54% and she was placed on a part-time timetable, only attending lessons of her choice. Karen’s Mum did not encourage her to attend school and the whole family was under great stress. When Karen did attend school she showed signs of neglect, her clothes were often dirty and smelling and her general fitness was obviously in decline. This led to problems with her peers and increasing isolation. Karen was referred to SEED because of the truanting, lack of confidence and lack of personal care. She was placed on the SEED self-esteem course and successfully completed the course.

As a result of attending the course Karen’s attendance increased to the point where she was placed back on a full time timetable and began attending all lessons and not just those of her choice. She began to take care of herself and her clothes and personal hygiene improved. Karen’s confidence increased and she began to re-establish relationships with her peers. Attending all her lessons meant that Karen attended PE and this gradually improved her fitness levels.

Paul – Year 10 boy

Paul’s school career was advancing normally until he was involved in a very serious car crash. He missed out on a year of school and when he re-entered, at the start of Year 10, the friendship groups were well established and he found himself in the situation of only having one friend in school. He felt very unhappy and isolated and, being aware of this isolation made him withdraw even more until he felt like a complete outsider. Paul was referred to SEED because of his low self-esteem and social isolation. He was placed on the SEED Self-esteem course and successfully completed the course.

The first noticeable effect was that the course gave Paul the ideal that he was worth making an effort for, even if no-one else appeared to think he was. The course also provided Paul with a natural environment within which he was able to interact with a group of peers about personal, rather than academic, issues. Paul was accepted by the other boys in the group who learnt to appreciate his contributions and who gained a better understanding of Paul's situation. This spilled over into his normal classes and school routine, and he soon had several friends who began to look after him – making sure that he had someone to sit next to in class and someone to sit with at lunchtime (he had previously always eaten lunch alone). Pupils made the effort to greet him in school corridors and involve him in their break and lunchtime activities. This ”looking after” quickly evolved into natural friendships and relationships.

SEED became aware of all these changes through Paul himself explaining how his life had changed as a result of the SEED Self-esteem course and how he became an “infinitely happier” boy.

Helen – Year 7 girl

Helen lived with Mum, Dad and sister. Mum and Dad’s relationship had broken down and this led to lots of arguments, especially during the evenings and into the night. Helen was finding it difficult to sleep through fear of the arguments escalating into violence. Helen was referred to SEED because of her lack of confidence and low self-esteem. She was placed on the SEED Self-esteem course and successfully completed it.

As a result of what she learnt through the course, Helen gained the confidence to speak to her Mum and express her emotions about the arguments and her fears. Helen’s Mum, caught up in the relationship difficulties with her husband, had not realised the effect it was having and was sufficiently upset by the distress being caused to Helen that she spoke with her husband and they agreed the need to work out their differences in a more positive manner. This has led to a great improvement in the atmosphere at home as well as a deeper relationship between Helen and her Mum.

Helen was also having problems at school. Her lack of confidence was causing her to become isolated from her peers. Through the SEED Self-esteem course, her increased confidence has led to an increase in popularity and she became far more settled and happy in school as a result. Helen’s Head of Year confirmed that she became a far more confident and happy pupil.