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Understanding myself

Pupils may benefit from this small focus group topic if they appear to have a negative or unrealistic sense of identity in areas that are impacting on their learning and/or relationships with peers or adults (such as poor body image, view of self as a learner, poor view of self in relation to peers) or negative feelings of self-worth. They may find it difficult to accept praise or feedback and respond unpredictably to criticism. They may be unwilling to take a risk in their learning and find decision making difficult.

Pupils might present as withdrawn and have a record of attendance difficulties or display a lack of engagement. Alternatively, they might present as disorganised and unpredictable, apparently unable to think through the consequences of their actions for themselves or other people.

Focus group work in this area will seek to provide a sense of belonging, increase feelings of self-efficacy, identify and celebrate individual strengths and talents, consider issues of peer pressure and develop confidence and assertiveness. Single-sex groups are often particularly effective for working in this area.

This topic is designed to help young people to:

  • become aware of and build on their strengths
  • accept feedback from others and use it in a positive way
  • consider ways of helping others to build on their strengths.