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Wiltshire Youth Development Service’s

Learning for Life a youth work curriculum framework January 2008



1. Introduction


2. Purpose


3. Principles & Values


4. Young Person’s Charter


5. Approach to Learning and Development


6. Curriculum Content


7. Means of Assessment


8. Methods and Settings


9. Approach to Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation


10. Voice and Influence: The Wiltshire Model


11. Relevant Books and Resources


12. Policies and Guidelines for Youth Work


13. Appendices


Foreword Young people repeatedly tell us they want to be taken seriously, to be empowered, consulted and engaged in decision-making. Young people are demonstrating commitment to being involved in their communities, influencing decision making and developing provision through a range of opportunities. The Wiltshire Assembly of Youth has 22 young people sitting on it who are elected annually to represent young people from across the whole county. There are also representative youth councils within every community area in youth centres and schools. Young Assessors are actively involved in checking out the quality of services delivered for young people and most young people have involvement in gaining and sharing skills which ‘make a difference’ in their communities through volunteering as a part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Millennium Volunteers, a youth group or other organisation. Over 15,600 young people engage annually in youth work opportunities offered directly through Wiltshire County Council and there are additional activities and experiences offered through voluntary organisations such as the Scout Association, religious groups, sports clubs and arts organisations. Locality Young Peoples Issues Groups (LYPIGs) were established to bring young people, using local youth service provision, together with Town & Parish, District and County Councillors. They are not only increasing young people’s access to decision-making, but also improving inter-generational dialogue and cohesion. One of the specific contributions they have made has been to evaluate applications to the Wiltshire Young People’s Opportunity Fund (WYPOF). During 2006-07 funding applications to WYPOF were made by 1305 young people and these have provided over 100 new and challenging opportunities for more than 10,000 young people in Wiltshire, determined by the young people of Wiltshire. Today’s young people will be members of local communities beyond the middle of the twenty-first century and their futures will include major life-changes in employment, health, leisure and relationships. They will be most likely to thrive if they have become effective and enthusiastic learners, with high self-esteem, able to develop and maintain supportive relationships. The youth work curriculum is fun and enriching. Youth workers engage young people in planning and organising experiential learning opportunities, determined by their needs and interests, this leads to them developing new skills and recognizing their achievements. The Youth Development Service is concerned with the skilful and subtle art of informal education and this Curriculum Document provides a framework for all youth work delivery funded by the Wiltshire County Council. All voluntary youth groups working within the County are encouraged to access this framework and use those elements that they consider would be beneficial to their work with the young people of Wiltshire.

Carolyn Godfrey Director, Department for Children & Education

1. Introduction Wiltshire County Council’s youth development work provision is ‘needs led’, developmental and community-based. It is built on a youth work curriculum. This means: that we keep the needs of young people central to our practice at all times; that we work with them in the context of their own communities; and that we help them to develop the wide range of skills, knowledge and understandings they need to make a success of their transition from ‘child’ to ‘independent adult and active citizen’. Clearly, this indicates that there is far more to youth work than the stereotype of supervising young people playing pool and table tennis in youth clubs. The latter bears little relation to the reality and breadth of the work, which – when accurately described – is all about the skilful and subtle art of informal education. Within this, the Curriculum Framework is the umbrella term used to describe all those key elements of practice that need to be in place if young people’s experience of youth work – besides being enjoyable and fun – is also to be of educational value. It is this presence of a curriculum that distinguishes the delivery of youth work from, apparently, similar leisure or recreational provision; and it is this that enables youth work to so ably complement the more formal educational function of schools and colleges.


Developing curriculum-led youth work essentially involves all staff sharing a common understanding of, and commitment to, the Service’s • Purpose • Curriculum Content • Principles and Values • Means of Assessment • Young Person’s Charter • Methods and Settings • Approach to Learning and Development • Approach to Planning Monitoring & Evaluation This document seeks to increase understanding of the youth work curriculum by taking the reader through the above elements in a clear and concise manner – with examples where necessary. It has been produced by Service staff in consultation with users of the service including members of the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth, Young Assessors and representatives of the Wiltshire Youth Services Council, with a view to enabling a consistency of approach across the County. As such it represents the Services continued commitment to developing and evolving its practices in line with the Government’s ‘Transforming Youth Work’ and ‘Every Child Matters’ agendas; and staff’s own aspirations to provide the young people of Wiltshire with the highest possible, quality of informal learning experience.


2. Purpose

3. Principles & Values

To design and deliver, with young people, programmes of informal educational activity that, whilst often enjoyable and fun, provide opportunities for them to:

In principle and in practice, all youth work teams are able to demonstrate how their delivery is:

• develop their capabilities – physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, social and emotional • Identify and accept their responsibilities as individuals, group members and citizens • Understand and act upon the personal and social issues which affect their lives – those of others and the communities of which they are a part. Anticipated outcome: That young people make a successful transition from child to independent adult. In doing so, they develop an understanding and enthusiasm for learning and use this to realise their full potential as both individuals and members of their wider communities - locally, nationally and globally.

Needs led… designed in response to the developmental needs and interests of the young people in their locality.

Participative… designed to encourage and sustain young people’s active voluntary participation.

Developmental… designed for learning, to result in the incremental acquisition of skills, knowledge and understandings associated with young people’s personal and social development. (i.e. step by step learning and progression.)

Inclusive… pro-actively promoting equality of opportunity, enabling access and valuing diversity. Challenging attitudes and behaviours that result in discrimination or harassment on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, age, religion or belief, disability or sexuality.

Empowering… designed to result in young people developing a sense of ownership; acquiring an understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and being enabled to exercise their voice and influence within groups and wider communities.

Planned… designed with young people to achieve agreed aims, objectives and anticipated learning outcomes.

Reflective… and evaluated thinking back on youth work practice; identifying strengths and weaknesses; learning and improving from experience, through an ongoing process of review, reflection and evaluation.


4. Young People’s Charter As part of the Services commitment to engaging young people in decision-making around service delivery, young people were invited to develop a ‘Charter’. This sets out their expectations of the Service. All workers and managers have agreed to work towards achieving its criteria in full. • Provide local, clean, warm and wellequipped centres, with trained staff who are welcoming to young people • Ensure that every activity, event or centre is safe for young people and if issues such as bullying arise, they will be dealt with quickly and thoughtfully • Make sure all projects and centres offer young people a range of learning experiences and opportunities using skills such as arts, drama, music, sport, youth exchanges and volunteering

• Ensure all projects and activities are well planned, low cost or free and accessible for young people no matter what their background or ability • Recognise young people’s achievements and involvement through awards or certificates • Ensure all staff listen to young people and offer them good quality information and support • Take young people seriously and regularly ask them what they think about the Service and their Centre • Explore with young people their role in the Youth Development Service and what they can offer. • Make sure the Service keeps to the Charter through regular inspections and a young people’s award for the best Centres/ activities.


5. Approach to Learning and Development • Experiential Learning • Progression & Differentiation Experiential Learning Effective developmental youth work is based on the concept of experiential learning as is illustrated by Kolb’s Learning Cycle. This recognises that we learn more easily about things that relate to our own life experience, rather than things that we are simply told about.

Action Plan

Youth work is about enabling young people to learn by reflecting on their own past experiences whilst also becoming involved in designing new ones. This is a simple active learning process based on the logical sequence of plan… do... review. Once understood, it is seen to be applicable to almost any issue or situation in life.

Relating this to a youth work situation, Jo (17) tells a youth worker about difficulties at home. Jo is constantly ending up in arguments with mum and is thinking about running away. Whilst many adults may be tempted to simply offer the young person advice (which Jo may or may not take) the good youth worker seizes an opportunity to help the young person learn. He or she understands the importance of enabling this young person to work through the problem from their own perspective – building on what they have already learnt about life rather than simply taking on board what somebody else has learnt.


• What feelings are you left with after the arguments; and what feelings do you think your mum is left with?

• If they ran away, how would it make you feel?


• what sort of things do you and your mum argue about… and what are the things you don’t argue about?

• If you were a parent/adult responsible for a young person, and that young person was you – how would you deal with them differently?

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Kolb’s Learning Cycle g Doin Experience of ‘doing’ followed by reflection and analysis of the experience; this can inform action planning for further ‘doing’ experiences that enable learning to be built upon.

In this situation, the youth worker would probably respond to Jo by asking a number of pertinent but open questions that only Jo knows the answers to. For example:

• In your case, if you did run away, what do you expect would happen… which bits of your problem might get better… what bits might get worse? • If you decide not to run away, what other ways might you be able to change things? etc. The youth worker would not put these to Jo as a stark list of questions, but would skilfully weave them into a relaxed and friendly conversation – maybe over a cup of coffee or whilst involved in some other activity. This places the young person at the centre of the learning process. It makes the discussion instantly relevant to them; and therefore something they are more likely to want to remain involved. The youth worker will be aware that in the process of this reflective discussion, they are potentially enabling the young person to learn about them self. They are enabling the young person to become more conscious of their own feelings – alongside thinking about the feelings of others. They are encouraging the young person to explore the notion of responsibility; to anticipate the consequences of their actions and to make links between different experiences. Finally, they are also encouraging the young person to imagine, and reason through, other possible solutions and courses of action.

Arguably, this process is even more powerful when used with young people in a group situation. Imagine if – a few days later – Jo approached the youth worker again, this time with a group of friends, to talk through the situation some more. On this occasion, the youth worker would probably encourage the group to share and contrast their different views and experiences on the subject in what would then be a group learning process. In this way the young people would not only be learning more about the issue of family relationships from one another’s perspectives, but would also be learning about themselves, each other; and about their group as a whole. When Youth Workers conduct this thoughtful type of educative discussion work with individual young people it is usually called ‘one to one’ work. When it is carried out with groups, it is referred to as ‘group work’ or developmental group work if planned and sustained with the same group over an agreed number of sessions. Developmental group work usually includes planned use of games or exercises, designed to provide shared experiences which the group can then discuss and reflect on, to provide planned learning relevant to their lives. This process needs to take place with a consistent group of young people who have agreed a group contract or code of behaviour which enables sufficient trust and confidence to be developed, so as to enable experiences to be shared and used as learning opportunities. Experiential learning could therefore be viewed as: ‘learning to learn… about life… through life, and for life’.

It is this concept that is at the heart of the youth work process. Good youth work practice occurs when youth workers are found to be continuously using this process, openly and confidently, with both individuals and groups – whatever the subject matter, and whatever the activity or focus.

Progression and Differentiation Progression is the term used by youth workers to describe how – over time and through careful programme planning – they enable young people to develop incrementally increasing levels of skills, knowledge and understanding. Differentiation is the skill of fine-tuning this to take into account young people’s different starting points. Both concepts are inter-linked. What may be an everyday occurrence for a confident young person (such as talking openly about their concerns and problems, or taking part in group activities) may be an achievement for another (who normally lacks the confidence to trust, is desperately shy and used to being bullied.)

Wiltshire Steps Model of Development Wiltshire Youth Development Service uses the ‘Steps Model’ to describe the progression that the youth work curriculum promotes through appropriately designed programmes and projects. This process of gradually encouraging young people to accept and exercise greater levels of responsibility and autonomy, is clearly in keeping with the Service’s purpose of equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding to journey


successfully from child to independent adult , enthused to be a lifelong learner. Reflecting on the example of Jo as a young person engaging with youth work, simplistically the following progression up the Steps Model could be perceived to have taken place. It must be recognised however that progression may not always be consistently upwards; difficulties and challenges could impact to result in a young person stepping down for a while.

Step 1 Contact. One evening with friends, Jo met two youth workers who greeted everyone else by name, then introduced themselves to Jo who noticed that they seemed genuinely interested in everyone and that they seemed comfortable talking with young people about lots of different issues.

Step 2. Jo met these youth workers on several more occasions with friends and found them to be approachable. One youth worker, Chris, took time regularly to talk with Jo, they discussed many things including music, Jo’s likes and dislikes. Chris showed Jo the Youth Charter and the Youth Development Centre programme of activities. Jo started to attend the Centre.

Step 3. Jo felt more confident in the centre, understood the code of behaviour and took part in some of the activities. Jo continued to build up trust with the youth workers who worked to ensure that the centre was safe, that there was no bullying or discrimination and that everyone was valued. Jo discovered that the advertised trips were mainly being organised by young people with the support of youth workers.


Step 4. Jo was excited to find that some of the young people were being helped to organise a trip to a concert and was keen to participate. Conversations with Chris helped Jo to identify personal strengths related to music; this was useful in thinking about options for college and contributed to Jo developing trust in Chris and feeling able to talk about the arguments at home. Chris enabled Jo to think through some of the triggers and resolutions to the conflict and to access information about health issues and housing options for young people. Jo worked with a youth worker to create an information display and achieved a Wiltshire Award in recognition of the commitment made and skills developed.

Step 5. Chris encouraged Jo to engage with peers in discussions around personal and family relationships. This led to Jo using the internet to access information about housing and health, then to organise with help, activities related to independent living: cooking, budgeting etc. Jo participated in a range of opportunities through the Youth Development Centre programme and was aware of learning about ‘self’, about relationships, of developing cooking skills and improving organisational and music skills.

Step 6. Jo engaged in a range of challenging youth work opportunities. Involvement in music workshops led to Jo and some friends forming a band and creating their own music. Youth workers supported Jo and friends in the development of their band, encouraging them to be reflective, to develop negotiation, communication and teamwork skills. These

Step 7. When WAY identified their themes for the year, Jo decided to become involved in lobbying for improvements in young people’s housing; this involved meeting with councillors, attending Locality Young People’s Issues Groups to talk with people in other areas of the county, and attending local community meetings. Jo was nervous about speaking in public meetings but was able to talk through these fears with Sam, the Voice and Influence team worker. These discussions enabled Jo to identify ways of feeling more self-confident and able to communicate effectively in meetings. Jo organised a gig to raise funds for a local housing charity: this led to further development of organisational skills. Jo continued to attend the Youth Development Centre, was involved in recruiting staff, participated in and contributed to the organisation of, a range of opportunities.

Step 8. Jo increasingly supported younger people in improving their music skills and took the lead in organising visits to see bands. Jo felt passionately about the need for more housing for young people and raised these issues with other young people, encouraging them to ‘have their say.’ Jo achieved a V Award through volunteering with the music workshops providing leadership and guidance. Jo knew that this would, ‘look good on job applications’ and recognised personal learning from these experiences.

Step 9. Jo is attending the Youth Development Centre less frequently due to increasing interests and commitments but continues to work with young people attending the music workshops, building trusting relationships, enabling them to develop their personal, social and creative skills. Jo is able to reflect back on the experience of ‘learning through youth work’ and recognises that it was fun, challenging and a safe place where difficulties could be resolved. Jo continues to enjoy learning through experiences and reflection … and will probably do so for life!!

Photograph supplied by, posed by models.

experiences helped Jo to achieve a Youth Arts Award. Jo joined the local youth council, became involved in consultation about policies for work with young people and then decided to stand for election to the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth.


Steps Model of Development: - young people’s development through youth work. Level

Role of the youth worker

The young person is…

Level 9

- Conversations based on equality; completion of youth work process: facilitating independence; waving goodbye - facilitate exit Level 8: - leave full control and responsibility for their actions with the young person


- Operating on behalf of and with other young people; - a peer educator; voluntary member of staff; committee member; community developer. - taking a leadership or peer education role; - engaging in intensive group work, initiated by young people; - involved in residentials planned and run by young people; Level 7: - Facilitating and encouraging young people’s - taking responsibility for planning and demands for a major share in the decisionrunning programmes; making and organisational process and taking - engaging in group work, led by young responsibility people, exploring issues in depth - Engaging in teamworking; Level 6: - Receive challenges by young person and facilitate the young person in taking decisions - involved in decision making groups; for own life, self-determination and being community action and pressure groups; part of working groups which address issues develop networks. facing young people, - Taking active part in planning and running - enable problem analysis and resolution. programme activities; setting agenda re. issues and responses. - Involved in project work and group work Level 5: - Work with young person on self awareness and addressing needs; addressing personal and social development; - facilitate peer assessment and offer challenge; - engaging other young people and assisting in organising activities; - work to enable informed choices to be made;


- offer responsibility with support Level 4: - Identify needs/wants dilemma and assist young person in identifying their needs. - explain the youth worker role and identify opportunities for young person


- Participating in programmed activities/ opportunities - Identifying personal interests and needs with youth worker support - Gaining awareness of the range of opportunities in which they could participate. - Interacting with youth workers and other Level 3: - Share information about the youth service; young people, gaining an understanding - seek young persons view about the about the role of youth workers and youth opportunities on offer and their interests, work. - assess their needs, commitment and progress - Engaging in regular discussions building of relationships trust; - Participating in some activities - Trying out some of the opportunities on - Communicate with young person making it personal remembering personal details from offer previous meetings; building a relationship - Becoming aware of the opportunities which - discuss hobbies and interests might be of interest. Level 2: - explain the Youth Charter; - Learning the names of peers and youth workers and developing trust. - Be credible - Feeling comfortable, safe and welcome within the youth work context. - To be friendly and welcoming; introduce - sensing that there is ‘something on offer for Level 1: oneself and facilitate introduction to them.’ other young people; raise awareness about - Interested in making contact again. opportunities. - Feeling welcome and safe

A progressive model of youth worker contact/involvement with young people based upon models by Gloucestershire & Somerset Y & C Services

6. Curriculum Content Curriculum Areas • Learning Outcomes

Curriculum Areas The curriculum areas relate to a broad range of themes that are most commonly associated with young people’s personal and social development; they are the sorts of things young people can learn about from being involved in youth work. As such, they are also seen to be incorporated within the Governments Every Child Matters (ECM) Five Outcomes: ‘Being Healthy’; ‘Staying Safe’; ‘Enjoying & Achieving’ ‘Making a Positive Contribution’; and ‘Achieving Economic Wellbeing’.

Being Staying Enjoying & Healthy Safe Achieving

Curriculum areas can be categorised in many different ways and will always overlap because of the links between them. The ‘curriculum areas’ will each support learning and development to contribute to more than one of the five ECM outcomes, over time, a carefully planned, broad and balanced programme should enable young people to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding related to the five ECM outcomes. The following list is not exhaustive and can be extended. Symbols have been used here to draw links between ‘curriculum areas’ and the ECM outcomes.

Making a positive contribution

Economic wellbeing

Self awareness Understanding & valuing: • Myself

• My culture and background

• My needs and interests

• My spirituality

• My strengths and weaknesses

• My sexuality

• My hopes and fears

• My rights and responsibilities

• My contribution

Relating to others • How to communicate

• How to cope with family

• How to make friends and develop relationships appropriate relationships • How to negotiate • How to resist peer pressure

• How to be assertive

• How to listen & empathise

• How to support and challenge

• Hope to cope with authority and organisations

• How to avoid or defuse conflict

Developing interests and talents • Arts

• Other forms of relaxation

• Sports creativity & self expression • Dance

• Accessing related opportunities

• Drama information & support. • Music

• International travel and friendships


Being Healthy • Remaining active

• Discussing feelings and emotions

• Avoiding misuse of drugs and alcohol

• Accessing health services, related support,

• Avoiding unwanted or unprotected sex information and guidance when things • Eating a balanced diet get tough or go wrong.

• Coping with stress and relaxation

Being Safe • Understanding how to assess risk

• Avoiding becoming homeless

• Avoiding physical conflict and • Knowing how to access support if confrontation being bullied, intimidated or • Avoiding abuse and exploitation harassed • Avoiding involvement in crime

• Awareness of health and safety

Education, training and employment • Understanding the significance of • Identifying and resolving education, training & employment difficulties at school/college/work • Learning how to learn.

• Learning how to work alone or

• Improving Basic Skills – (literacy with others (team work) numeracy, ICT etc)

• Accessing related support, information

• Developing life & social skills and guidance.

• Volunteering

Environmentalism • Understanding the relationship between

• Taking action to improve the

myself and my immediate environment environment for myself and others • Learning about the wider global

• Developing an appreciation

environment and respect for the natural world.

Housing • Living at home and leaving home

• Understanding related costs

• Living with others or living alone

• Being homeless

• Understanding types of housing

• Accessing related support, information

and guidance

Money Management • Fundraising

• Learning how to use banking processes

• Earning money

• Understanding taxation

• Saving and avoiding debt

• Claiming relevant benefits

• Understanding shoppers rights


Values and Beliefs • Becoming aware of my personal

• Understanding other key concepts

values and beliefs such as Freedom, Justice and • Learning how they relate to the Democracy values and beliefs of others

• Developing political and spiritual

• Understanding the importance of awareness equality and the consequences of

• Taking action to bring about change

prejudice and discrimination

Voice and Influence • Expressing opinion and ‘having a say’

• Negotiating and influencing

• Learning how to take part in formal

• Leading and motivating

discussion, debate and

• Contributing to Service and

decision-making processes Community development • Representing the views of others

• Lobbying for change


Learning Outcomes ‘Learning Outcomes’ is the term used to define the skills, knowledge and understandings resulting from any programme or activity. When there is evidence to demonstrate that there has been learning for young people in relation to any of these curriculum areas, that they can take away to use in other situations, that is a ‘learning outcome’. Usually workers and young people should identify which learning outcomes they are hoping to achieve from any given project right from the start of the planning stage! Best practice occurs where the learning outcomes are: • Clearly linked to identified needs • Openly negotiated with young people from the outset • Included in the objectives, set whilst planning the programme. • Kept under regular review, monitored and evidenced at the end through evaluation.

Example Planning for ‘establishing an effective open youth work session’ (i.e. like a drop-in or youth club) would necessarily include setting a number of objectives with planned learning outcomes. These might include:1. To work in partnership with the young people who will use the provision to create a safe and stimulating environment in which they can relax have fun and develop social skills. 2. To provide accessible advice and information for young people at every session to increase their understanding of relevant health issues. 3. To equip young people with the skills and resources to start planning and organising their own projects and programmes. Once the ‘Youth Club’ was open, these over-arching project objectives and learning outcomes would need to be regularly reviewed with the young people to evaluate the extent to which they are being achieved. After 2 or 3 months, the youth workers and


some young people might look back at the objectives and, in relation to objective 3, ask themselves: “how many times have these open sessions led to groups planning and organising other projects?” If ‘none’ - they would need to reflect on ‘why?’ Was it an unrealistic objective? Was this intention overlooked? or did it reflect a lack of the experience and confidence needed to engage young people in more developmental styles of youth work? (if the latter, it could indicate that further staff development and support is required) Where young people had been enabled to start planning and organising their own projects and programmes, each would need to have its own set of objectives/learning outcomes related to the nature of the project and what the young people involved wanted to get out of it. Continuing the example of Jo and friends who attended the open youth work sessions, practiced their music skills and in conversation with a youth worker expressed interest in performing at the centre. The project aim is, to perform for peers at the centre. The youth worker supports Jo and friends in identifying the steps they take to achieve this aim and to identify what they might learn. These steps are the objectives but they are also planned ‘learning outcomes’ for the young people and might include:• Identifying and practicing the music, to achieve a good standard as a band for the performance. • Obtaining and learning how to set up a suitable sound system. • Designing and printing tickets and posters on the computer: developing computer skills. • Negotiating with the manager of the premises to set the date and time of the event, arranging ticket sales, refreshments and event management including health and safety. • Dealing with ‘stage fright’, to talk and reflect on feelings, learning coping skills. These objectives and learning outcomes are used in reviewing the project, to make informed judgements about the effectiveness

Photograph supplied by, posed by models.


of the project in enabling the young people to achieve both their aim and their identified learning needs. Reflecting on this project with Jo and friends it can be seen to have covered many areas of the ‘curriculum content’: • Relating to others • Developing interests and talents • Being safe • Education, training and employment • Money Management • Voice and Influence. If the learning was effective it will therefore have contributed towards young people achieving the five ECM outcomes.

15. 18.

The emphasis on learning outcomes has been heightened by targets set for helping young people to achieve both Recorded Outcomes and Accredited Outcomes Recorded Outcomes occur when youth workers can demonstrate that individual young people, operating on their own or within a group, have progressed to achieve pre-planned goals or learning objectives set within a youth work project or programme. Accredited Outcomes occur when young people successfully complete a locally or nationally recognised award, usually evidenced by a verified certificate.

7. Means of Assessment Assessment • Recorded Outcomes • Accreditation Assessment Assessment involves making judgements with young people about whether the anticipated learning outcomes (explained in the previous section) have been achieved and/or the extent to which the young person has achieved progression through the steps model. (as outlined in section 5) It is a natural part of the ‘Plan-Do Review’ process and should continue adding to the learning experience rather than detracting from it. Handled sensitively it will increase young peoples levels of selfawareness, build motivation and enhance self esteem. In this process, supported self assessment and supported peer assessment are as valid as youth worker assessment. Encouraging young people to reflect on their learning and take responsibility for monitoring their own progress against agreed criteria is, in itself, an important and valuable developmental intervention Best practice occurs when the methods of assessment used, are designed to: • include different perspectives (self, peers, youth workers, and others who may be in a position to evidence change and learning); • be reflective, continuous or on-going rather than reliant on end-testing; • encourage young people to collect evidence of their learning through a record or portfolio • contain constructive feedback which can contribute to learning and further development • provide evidence towards a ‘Recorded’ and/or ‘Accredited’ Outcome.

have progressed to achieve pre-planned goals or learning objectives set within a youth work project or programme. The evidence of a recorded outcome should be within the QES recording of a youth work session. It could also be noted within the report of a project, written-up as a short report or certificate for a young person or could be included within other monitoring, reporting or evaluating documentation. Recorded outcomes are valuable in recognising with young people their learning and development, also in recording this development so that a young person has evidence for a personal portfolio. Recorded outcomes are also used as a means of measuring the performance of the Service, having been a benchmark associated with ‘Resourcing Excellent Youth Services’.

Accreditation Accreditation is the recognition of young peoples learning and development via certification - following successful completion of externally moderated Award schemes and courses. Many such schemes promote young peoples broader personal and social development alongside the furthering of specific skills and interests; and most are designed around the concept of ‘modularised learning’ and ‘progression’. This makes them compatible with the youth work ethos and serves to enhance the range and diversity of the curriculum opportunities on offer.

Accreditation opportunities. In Wiltshire, the following awards have already been used to accredit young peoples achievements within a youth work context: • V Awards • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and sectional certificates

Recorded Outcomes

• Wiltshire Award

Recorded outcomes occur when youth workers can demonstrate that individual young people, operating on their own or within a group,

• PIA • Arts Award • Youth Achievement Awards


• ASDAN short course awards • Football Association – Junior Football Organiser • LANTRA Brushcutter operators course • BSL sign language certificate • On Two Wheels • Young Sports Leaders Award, Community and Junior Sports Leaders Award • Getting Connected • Food Hygiene Certificate • Child Care Certificates • First Aid Certificates. • British Canoe Union awards • Royal Yachting Association Youth Sailing Scheme • National Climbing Wall Award Scheme


These are just a few of the many routes to accrediting young people’s learning, it is not a prohibitive list and other accreditations, appropriate to the needs of the young people should be used whenever possible. Voluntary youth organisations offer young people many of the above opportunities for accreditation, in addition to those related to their specific organisation, for example Scouting Awards. Experiences and learning gained in one context can often be used towards accreditations being given by another organisation. For example participation in a conservation project for the Duke of Edinburgh Award might also be ‘volunteering’ and so the hours could be counted towards a V Award. The skills gained through a Sports Leaders Award could be put to good use as a volunteer within a summer holiday project and so could be used towards Duke of Edinburgh’s Award ‘Service’ and would count as volunteering hours for an MV Award.

8. Methods and Settings Methods • Settings ‘Methods’ - The range of interventions and techniques used in youth work (relationship building; group work; activity work etc) ‘Settings’ – The range of contexts and environments where youth work most commonly takes place (youth centres; schools, sports and arts venues, streets, parks and other public places) Best practice occurs where youth work teams mix and match methods and settings imaginatively to create opportunities for learning and development that remain in-step with the changing needs and interests of the various groups of young people within their locality.

Methods • Making contact (establishing initial contact and dialogue) • Building relationships (developing and maintain trusted working relationships) • Involving young people in programme design (‘Plan, Do, Review’) • Use of developmental activities, trips and visits including: • Arts

• Drama & dance

• Music


• Sports

• Residentials

• International visits and exchanges

• One to one work (focused work with individuals) • Group work (focused work with groups) • Developmental group work (facilitating intensive planned and structured discussion work with the same group of young people over an agreed number of sessions) • Peer Education (encouraging peer support, learning and leadership) • Enabling young people to develop their Voice and Influence (User Surveys and discussion groups, User Committees, Locality Young People’s Issues Groups and Youth Forums) • Community Involvement: enable active participation in community development and local decision-making such as through communicating with Parish and Town Councils. • Providing access to young-personfriendly advice, information, mentoring & counselling • Centre-based work (providing safe and stimulating young-person-orientated environments) • Street-based work (providing street-level delivery of services, opportunities and support) • School-based work (working in partnership with schools and colleges to enhance young peoples experience of formal education)


• Multi-agency / interdisciplinary work (working in partnership with other agencies to enrich the youth work curriculum and/or link young people to other sources or learning and support).

• Youth development centres, youth clubs and youth cafes • Mobile projects such as The ROMP bus

• Targeted work (with a specific group who have a shared need or interest which can effectively be addressed through working with them together.

• Streets, parks and other public spaces where young people choose to gather

• Volunteering (supporting young people to volunteer within the Service and wider community)

• Sports, leisure centres and night clubs

• Workshop style learning opportunities

• Community centres • Schools and colleges • Faith based premises, such as a church hall. (These premises are more frequently used by voluntary youth organisations.)

• Accreditation (accredited programmes of work)

• Residential centres and camps

• Advocacy (protecting and promoting young people’s rights, entitlements and interests)

· Other settings visited by groups as part of their programme, including venues for international work

9. Approach to Planning, Delivery Monitoring and Evaluation

people were going to raise with them, they had never-the-less planned for this to feature as a function of the sessions; and as such, will have anticipated the time, space and resources needed to engage in one to one, or small group work as and when necessary.

Planning & Evaluation • Tools • NAOMIE • The Double Loop Process • Project Planning Pro forma • Monitoring • QES • Provision Planning • Voice and Influence: The Wiltshire Model Planning & Evaluation Effective curriculum-led youth work does not happen by accident – it needs to be planned. The importance of planning can not be overstated! Even that element of youth work that is ‘reactive’ needs to be planned for - the example offered in section 6 under Learning Outcomes, which is included within the planning for establishing an effective open youth work session, the setting of an objective to do with creating opportunities for young people to work through issues that are of concern to them. This means that although the youth workers could not have been expected to predict the exact nature and content of issues young



· Outdoor education centres

Best practice occurs: • when an ‘immediate’ sessional programme is seen to fit into a ‘longer term’ weekly, monthly or quarterly programme. • when the young people themselves have been actively engaged, alongside workers, in programme planning and design, they are creators not just consumers. • when the planned programme represents a thoughtful and considered response to the assessed developmental needs of young people. • When programmes offer a range of broad, diverse and inclusive opportunities which have been designed to lead to clear learning outcomes. • When the planning takes into account the contribution which other organisations or colleagues could make to the delivery of the project through partnership working.

Models for Planning and Evaluation In Wiltshire Youth Development Service, there are 3 tried and tested ‘planning tools’ available to guide workers through the process of developing locality provision and /or the projects and programmes within it. Most incorporate the simple logic of ‘Plan’… ‘Do’… ‘Review’ as (illustrated earlier by Kolb’s Learning Cycle), but use a variety of different headings to more accurately guide workers though the essential ingredients of good youth work practice. This document will provide the three models for planning and evaluation; thus enabling each youth worker or youth work team to identify the framework with which they feel most comfortable in using to guide their youth work practice. These models are ‘NAOMIE’, the Project Planning Pro forma and the Double Loop Process. NAOMIE (Need, Aim, Objectives, Methods, Implementation and Evaluation)

Implementation: This is concerned with the detail of the delivery – the timetabling of when and where the sessions will take place; the staffing, resourcing, health and safety etc. Evaluation: Finally, the ‘E’ requires consideration as to how judgements will be made about the youth work project or programme. How are youth workers and young people planning to ‘evaluate’ the project? What evidence will they need to be monitoring and gathering throughout the project, to assess and demonstrate the extent to which the project has or hasn’t achieved its various OBJECTIVES including LEARNING OUTCOMES and, its AIM. This evidence usually includes: notes of planning sessions with young people; copies of sessional recordings and team meetings that show analysis both of the youth work delivery and the outcomes for young people; quotes from young people, observations from other involved adults and any video or photographic evidence that demonstrates young peoples active participation and achievement.

Need: NAOMIE requires that you first start the planning process by identifying the ‘Need’ that the project is responding to. This is usually best expressed in terms of a developmental need that young people have - as opposed to a need that the organisation or others in the community have. Aim: The NAOMIE model requires identification of the ‘Aim’. This can be seen as the goal of the project – something that young people and youth workers agree might meet the ‘Need’.

Objectives: The ‘O’ represents ‘Objectives’ and ‘Outcomes’. These should indicate the ‘steps along the way’ or the things that need to be done to achieve the Aim, coupled with any associated learning outcomes. Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted.

Methods: Having set out the Objectives (and related learning Outcomes) NAOMIE then requires the worker(s) to identify the various youth work METHODS to be used (see section 8)

Project Planning Pro-forma (Appendix A) This Project Planning Pro-forma guides the planning process by seeking answers to key questions related to the intended purpose of the youth work project, how it fits to broader planning at a strategic and local level, the resourcing of the work, partnership work and the expected learning outcomes for young people. The PPP seeks clarity about the method, content and settings to be used for the work, it addresses young people’s starting point and progression using the Steps Model of Development; addresses equality and the voice and influence of young people both in planning and in consultation about the project. The PPP has similarities with the Double Loop Process in that it considers the wider environment in which youth work is taking place; also with NAOMIE in that these concepts are at the core of PPP.


The Double Loop Process (taken from NYA Transforming Youth Work Guidance)

Set strategy

Review Monitor

Strategy Loop

Thinking Linking Learning

Action Loop

Identify change

Act Scan environment

This model can be seen as more strategic, in that it has a ‘Strategy loop’ and an ‘Action loop’. The Strategy loop can be seen as the annual planning process, which informs the Annual Youth Development Service Plan. These plans are developed from:Scans of the environment - from statistical information about educational achievement and deprivation; surveys such as those carried out by the Youth Development Service, Tomorrows Voice, WAY and information from other agencies all recognise changes in the environment arising from local and global issues. These inform Priorities determined




Set new priorities


by Wiltshire County Councillors and National Government, such as through Transforming Youth Work and ‘Every Child Matters’. These priorities, then inform the setting of a strategy or strategic plan for the Service for a set length of time which informs all planning within the Service. The Action Loop can be seen as being informed by the strategic plan for the Service. A Plan at a local level is Acted upon, the outcomes are monitored and then reviewed. From each Plan implemented within the Action Loop there should be Thinking, Linking and Learning to inform future planning and influence the Strategy Loop, as a part of the scanning of the environment.

Developing a youth provision model Model for the Development of Provision

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N a t i o n a l t a r g et s e e ds / r e q u i r e m e nt y n nts Cou su e s a n d n e e d s i l a s Lo c

This model starts from the belief that young people are central to all youth work and that the needs of young people must be ascertained in order to give a mandate for work to be undertaken. The model identifies that there are six foundation blocks which are significant to young people and affect their experience of youth provision. These foundation blocks of staff, publicity, funding, programme, equipment and location must therefore be taken into account when planning any youth work provision. Each block will be of greater or lesser priority at any one time, but none can be neglected. If a piece of work is failing, then it is likely that one of the foundation blocks needs further attention to resolve the difficulty. For instance the work might be taking place in an inappropriate


location or the necessary equipment may not be available to enable the work to progress effectively. A solution to the problem is most likely to be found by giving attention to the ‘block’ which is causing the difficulty, rather than changing other blocks. The rings which surround the foundation blocks can be seen to cement them together; they demonstrate the need ensure that all practice takes account of equality of opportunity, of the need to build on young people’s needs and interests, to build local partnerships and develop participative practice by involving young people and other stakeholders in the decision making. The next ring can be seen to demonstrate the ability of youth work to extend out into the communities of which young people belong, of partnerships being developed and young people being enabled to engage in these communities, addressing issues which are relevant to them. The outer ring extends this concept. This ring recognises the need for Services to respond to policies and targets, nationally and locally, also the value of developing partnerships beyond the local community.




Monitoring is the systematic process by which young people’s on-going engagement, participation and achievement within the Service, is recorded, analysed and assessed. On a Service-wide level, this is used to assess how well the Service as a whole is performing in relation to achieving some of its key strategic aims and targets (e.g. to do with participation rates, inclusion, recorded outcomes, and accreditation etc). At a locality and unit level, monitoring translates into how well young people are accessing local provision and achieving through their involvement in its projects and programmes. This relates back to the processes for assessment and accreditation described earlier, which need to be captured, recorded and reviewed if monitoring is to be effective and of any value. The QES system is used to capture information required for monitoring the work of the Service.

This is Wiltshire Youth Development Service’s computer system for recording, collating and analysing data on service take up by young people. It is designed to profile contacts and participants by gender, ethnicity, age and disability. The information is fed into a centralised reporting processes, but it is also available for use locally by teams to inform their locality level planning and evaluation.

10. Voice and Influence: the Wiltshire Model Listening to young people and engaging them in decisions which affect them is central to youth work and impacts everything from the development of programmes to offering sexual health advice and guidance. The aim of youth work is to offer young people the opportunity to be involved in decision making to the level they chose. In light of this a broad range of opportunities have been developed ranging from satisfaction surveys to county

wide elections for the UK Youth Parliament. A variety of settings and youth work methods are used to engage young people including schools work, youth led training, group work, individual work and national programmes e.g. Act by Rights. The Youth Development Service strives to ensure that these opportunities are available to all young people and has targeted programmes and groups to help ensure increased access to decision making among marginalised groups such as disabled young people and young people of Black or Minority Ethnic backgr.ound

Inv olv em

U.K.Y.P National Campaigns



Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Trust Board


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Young People Representatives are involved in:


Voice and Influence –The Wiltshire Model


Peo p

le C ho ose

Lev els



Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (Elected body to represent young 51 Minute Challenge Group People’s views and lobby for change) Children Services Scrutiny Young Assessors Programme Panel (Review, inspect and evaluate services) Wiltshire Youth DB8 Magazine Editorial Team Opportunity/Capital Fund. (Collation and editing of youth views magazine) Wiltshire Teenage WYPOF Panel Pregnancy Strategy (Evaluate all WYPOF applications) Board. Tomorrow’s Voice Survey (Survey of YP through schools – 1500 – 2500 returns) Spark Radio (Young Person led Web based radio station)

Invited: LYPIGs Also: County , District Town and Parish Councillors Community Planner Youth Development workers


Locality Young People’s Issues Groups (Improve access to decision making, inclusion, intergenerational dialogue and cohesion. Direct input to youth work Locality Plans)

Wiltshire Assembly of Youth Local Voluntary Youth Clubs

Community and Centre based

Young people plan the programmes

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Young people run peer led projects & programmes Young people are volunteers in many clubs Young People take part in Centre inspections and complete satisfaction surveys annually Young people organise and book their Young people evaluate every session own outings and residential trips. Young people sit on interview panels


Blood, Sweat an Tears

11. Relevant Books and Resources

Born and Bred. (book)

Youth Work

Tony Banks

Joined Up Multiproblem Youth

Danny Brierly Biglan, Brennan et al

Ethical Issues in Youth Work

Sarah Banks

Born and Bred. (cd) Challenging the Image Debi Roker, Katie Player Growing up Caring

Young People, Inequality and Y.W. Jony Jeffs

Mapping Hidden Talents Richard Ings, Ruth Jones

Youth Justice. Ideas, Policy,Practice Roger Smith

Modern Services for Young People

Young People Leaving Care Counselling Young People

Bob Broad Nick Luxmore

The Art of Youth Work

Kerry Young

Group Therapy with Troubled Youth Sheldon D Rose The Y.W. Book of Case Studies

Steve L Case

Informal Ed.

Jeff Banks

Joined Up Youth Research

Bob Coles

England’s Youth Service Audit 98 History of the Youth Service vol 1/2 Planning the Way Towards a Youth Strategy Fourth Partner Something to Say

Putting Y.P. at the centre of the extended school Bronwen Hunter The Next Step Reaching Socially Excluded Y.P. Street Cred

Bernard Davies

Touching Lives

Celia Rose

Working with Young Offenders Citizenship and Community Voices Unheard

Nick Farrell Tom Hall

Roger Frost ed

Youth Work and Youth Crime Angie Edmunds

England’s Youth Service Audit 01


Stella Dadzie

Evaluations and Endings

Vanessa Rogers

Architects of Change Ruth Gilchrist and Tony Jeffs

Bernard Davies

Emergent Citizens Clive Herns, Patrick Roach

Jeff Baker

Good Practice Guide for Y.W. Steve Beebee, Terry Cane

Rob Hunter

Hear by Right

Harry Wade and Bill Badham

Towards Inclusive Youth Policies Gill Valentine

‘Race’ Ethnicity & Difference Chilling Out

Peter Ratcliffe

Shane J Blackman

Young People as Researchers

Transition in Context Clare Holdsworth and David Morgan

The Routes Project Team

Principles of Child Protection Anne Lawrence

Young People’s Voices Ruth Listen, Sue Middleton

The Company She Keeps

Who Says Nothing Ever Happens Around Here Ray Fabes, Bob Payne

Children, Family and the State David William Archard

Youth Lifestyles in a Changing World S. Miles Pedagogy of the Oppressed Youth in Society

Paulo Freire

Roache and Tucker

Adolescent Development

ed. Gerald Adams

Young People, Health and Familylife Julia Brannen Refugee Children in the UK

Jill Rutter

Young People & Social Change Andy Furlong, Fred Cartmel

Social Exclusion

Valerie Hey David Bryne

Groupwork Skills and Theory Margaret Hough Youth and Crime

John Muncie

Journals and Magazines Youth Policy Update Youth Action Youth and Policy Young People Now



12. Policies and Guidelines for youth work Policy documents Policy documents give direction on procedures which must be followed. Documents are usually updated at regular intervals to ensure they comply with the law or related legislation. When appropriate, new policies are created to direct the work of the Service. At the present time there are policies concerned with:• Child Protection • Equality and Diversity • Financial • Health & Safety • Relationships and Sex Education • Substance Education • Sustainable Development • Safe and Acceptable Use of the Internet

Guidelines Guidelines advise on appropriate practice but there is an expectation that all staff comply with these guidelines in order to provide youth work delivery which is of good quality, safe and takes into consideration issues of ‘best practice’. • Street-based youth work • Access to Youth Work for disabled young people: policy. • Confidentiality • Youth work in Schools


13. Appendix A Project Planning Pro forma This planning tool has been designed to help teams ‘chunk up’ their delivery into recognisable projects. Working through this form as a team and/or with young people improves everybody’s understanding of the work’s purpose and value. Once completed, forms serve to demonstrate a planned and considered approach. When presented along side each other, a number of forms can be used to represent the breadth and diversity of work being delivered at any given time.

The tool is intended to be succinct – please limit responses to the space provided.

1. Name of Group/Unit/Club:

2. Names of workers involved: Please underline worker with LEAD RESPONSIBILITY

3. Title of this piece of work…

And… the aim or goal of the piece of youth work…

4. Start date: __ __ / __ __ / __ __ Review date: __ __ / __ __ / __ __End date_ _/_ _/ _ _ Session Times:

5. How does this piece of work fit into local and/or strategic plans? (Simply state the PLAN(s) and any OBJECTIVE(s) this work contributes to.)

6. PARTNERSHIP The role or contribution of any other Depts, Agencies or Organisations


7. RESOURCING Please explain any external funding or resource associated with this piece of work.

8. List the key LEARNING OUTCOMES that you anticipate young people gaining through their involvement in this piece of work. Please be selective – don’t attempt to list all possible learning outcomes, just those that relate specifically to this project.

9. Please describe the piece of work, under the following headings:METHOD(S) TO BE USED See Curriculum Framework Methods page 21

SETTINGS TO BE USED See Curriculum Framework Settings page 22

CURRICULUM CONTENT See Curriculum Framework Content page 13 - 15

YOUNG PEOPLE’S STARTING POINT Their existing skills/knowledge/confidence in this area Position on the Steps Model of Development


12. Appendix A – continued VOICE AND INFLUENCE How have young people been involved in the planning?

How have young people been consulted about the project?

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES How does this piece of work address or contribute to equality and diversity?

PROGRESSION How is progression built in to this piece of work, and/or what could it lead on to?

ACCREDITATION If young people’s learning is to be accredited, please state how?

10. EVALUATION please indicate how you intend to evaluate the success of this piece of work…


Photograph supplied by, posed by models.

…and tick which of the following forms of evidence you will collect and make available in support of this evaluation: n Notes from planning session(s) with young people n Sessional Recordings and/or Team Meeting Minutes – referring to and analysing young people’s involvement. n Photo or video evidence of young people’s participation in key processes n Observable ‘finished product’ … production or event. n Notes from evaluation session(s) with young people n Reflective evaluation questionnaires – completed by young people. n Statements from other agencies and/or independent onlookers re: changes in young people’s confidence, skills, behaviour and/or circumstances. 11. MILESTONES please forecast some of the key milestones for this piece of work:

12. RELATED DATA Describe the target group No. involved =

(Male =

Female =

) Age range =



Contact information By telephone 01380 735780 By post Wiltshire County Council Youth Development Service, County Hall, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8JB By email

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Learning for Life  

A Curriculum for young people

Learning for Life  

A Curriculum for young people