Learn Enjoy Achieve Progress (LEAP)

L earn

E njoy

A chieve

P rogress

Our ethos in LEAP is that all students should be able to learn in a way that suits their particular needs, enjoy their time in school, be proud of their achievements and progress positively in their lives.  Leap offers three levels of support to all students in Kilkenny City Vocational School, namely school wide support for all students, targeted interventions for groups and individual support.  The BFL (Behaviour For Learning) teacher in conjunction with the Kilkenny & Carlow ETB, School Management and the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) aims to promote positive behaviour and learning throughout the school by helping and supporting students to develop their:

  • Social, behavioural and emotional skills
  • Academic and learning skills
  • Wellbeing Skills

In Kilkenny City Vocational School, it is vitally important to us that all our students are supported and cared for in all aspects of their development.  Being a teenager is extremely challenging and our focus is on helping students to develop skills to reduce and deal with any issues they may face now and in the future.

What does LEAP offer?

  • Belonging Plus Induction Programme.

Transitioning from primary school to secondary school can be a very anxiety inducing experience for students.  LEAP offers all first year students the opportunity to participate in the Belonging Plus Programme.  This programme was specifically designed by the BFL (Behaviour for Learning) teacher and the staff of Kilkenny City Vocational School to support our incoming first years.  The programme, delivered over a 3 month period focuses on 6 modules.  These modules focus on developing relationships and friendships with students and teachers, learning new school rules and expectations and staying safe and healthy in school to name but a few.  This programme has proven to be very successful in reducing anxiety and stress levels in our new students, integrating them into the school community and providing a positive platform for them to start their secondary school journey.

  • Check and Connect

All teachers in Kilkenny City Vocational School volunteer their time to create further positive relationships with their students with this programme devised by the NBSS.  Teachers and students are paired together and meet once a week to discuss any issues that may be causing concern in class or with friends etc.  This is an excellent initiative and further supports our students and creates trusting relationships with their teachers.

  • The Alert Programme

Alert is an international evidence based programme aiming to help students to monitor, maintain and change their level of alertness so that it is appropriate to the situation or task.  Students enjoy this programme as they get to check ‘how their engine is running’ and over 8 weeks, they discover new strategies to keep their engines ‘running just right’!!

  • Why Try?

Why Try? is a strength based approach to helping our students overcome their challenges.  It is based on Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Social and Emotional Intelligence and Multi- Sensory learning principles.  This programme teaches students critical social and emotional skills required for success in school and life after school.  It provides students with a tool kit of strategies and skills to help change patterns of failure.  This is achieved using a series of ten pictures.  Each visual teaches a discrete principal.

  • Friends for Life

The Friends for Life programme is a school based positive mental health programme.  The World Health Organisation cites Friends for Life as the only evidence based intervention effective at all levels for dealing with anxiety and stress.  As we are all aware, anxiety and stress in young people is on the rise.  We, in Kilkenny City Vocational School are proud to offer this programme to our students.  The programme helps students to develop effective strategies to deal with worry, stress or change and teaches the skills required to reduce anxiety and promote resilience.

  • Parents Plus and Working Things Out

Leap also supports parents and families of our students.  It can often be very challenging to communicate effectively with your child and often times parents tell us that they feel very alone.  The Parents Plus Programme is a space for parents to meet other parents dealing with similar issues and to create a supportive environment for all.  This programme is designed to support and empower parents to manage and solve behaviour problems and to create a positive relationship with their child.

Working Things Out is the sister programme to Parents Plus.  This programme contains personal stories of teenagers who overcame personal problems such as Bullying, Conflict with Parents, Mental Health Issues, ADHD, Self Harm, Depression.  Our students feel they can really relate to the personal stories and can make changes to their lives in a safe and open manner.