Working with Protective Factors Index (Feel the Force Luke!)

This is a complete session plan for working with the Individual Protective Factors Index charts. It followed building dream boards.

The session worked very well with a group of boys who were known in the school as low aspiring, mostly low ability, and disengaged. The mentors reported that the relationship with the boys started to deepen following this session and the subsequent work on their personal and social competencies

The session plan is as circulated to the mentors before the session.

Stage 1: Re-envisage the dream

We want to give the boys 5 minutes to pull out their dream boards and think back to the conversations they had with their future selves – this will help them refocus on their goals and build value and worth for them in the days activities

Stage 2: Understand the Journey principle

We want them to think about the here and now, and consider the gap between where they are currently and where they want to be in the future. Next we want them to see this gap as a journey or adventure in life (5 minutes)

Stage 3: The right tools for the job

We want to get the boys to understand that in order to achieve goals you need to have the right tools (5 minutes)

This is where we will introduce the 4 themes that are listed on the attached indexes:

  • Attitudes to Dugs/ Alcohol
  • Social Competences
  • Personal Competences
  • Social Bonding

and the 10 ‘Individual Protection Factors’

Stage 4: Speak my language

We need to ensure the boys engage with the ‘tools’ and therefore need to run a 10 minute exercise asking the boys to agree with, or invent new titles, to describe the 10 ‘factors’ – we need to use their language rather than staid ‘business’ language

Stage 5: “Feel the force Luke”

We need to introduce the concept of the spider diagrams, where the boys will envisage themselves as the centre spot and the spider thread line as the extremity of their protective force field. The stronger each of their ‘tools for life’ is the further the ‘force field’ will stretch, this will give them greater protection, allowing them more confidence and freedom (5 minutes)

The weaker the tool, the smaller the field and the more susceptible they would become to external forces that could throw them off course from achieving their desired goals

Stage 6: Pick a card

In preparation for the next session - where we plan to delve deeper into a specific ‘tool’, and get the boys to think about how that weakness could impact their abilities to achieve their goals, then come up with their own plans as to how to either strengthen that tool, or use other ‘tools’ to compensate – we need to get the boys to identify ONE ‘tool’ they want to improve (perhaps the weakest/closest ‘force field’ point to their centre (10 minutes)

*We need to position that WE are not skilled to discuss either the Attitudes to drugs/ alcohol or Family tools, but that we can definitely ensure that appropriately trained support staff from the school can pick these up if the boys do want to discuss them, so the boys need to think about how either of those tools would affect the strength of the other 9 tools, and then pick the one they think they most need to improve to offset either the family or Drugs/ Alcohol tool

Leaving us 5 minutes for late start/ overruns

Please note that the attached pdf file shows a series of Individual Protective Factors Index diagrams - one for one student - all identities have been removed, but they are real profiles.


Session plan developed by John Wintle of Lloyds TSB
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