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Program Achieve

Over the past decade Program Achieve has evolved into a distinctive theory for understanding why students under-perform in school and experience poor social-emotional-behavioural development.  This theory proposes that there is a discernible set of social and emotional capabilities that determine the extent to which students achieve success at school, form positive relationships, and experience emotional well-being.

Extensive research reveals that what fundamentally determines how children achieve and adjust is the “mind-set” they bring with them to life’s experiences.  Some bring with them a positive mind-set consisting of
well-developed social and emotional capabilities.  Others bring with them a negative mind-set consisting of one or more social and emotional difficulties and under-developed social and emotional capabilities.

Program Achieve concentrates on developing 5 foundations, or Keys to Success, which help to develop positive habits of the mind.  At St Finbarr’s we focus on one of the five Keys each term (with two in term 4).

The Five Keys to Success being:

  • Confidence
  • Persistence
  • Organisation
  • Getting along
  • Emotional Resiliance

See Video Link: Five Keys to Success   (note different language used for 5 keys, but same essential concept)

Confidence means knowing that you will likely be successful and that people will like you.  It means not being afraid to make mistakes or to try something new.  it means looking and sounding confident.  Examples of confident behaviour are raising your hand in class to answer a hard question, doing hard working without asking for help, sharing a new idea with a teacher or the class, starting a conversation with a new class mate and standing up straight and speaking with a firm voice.

Persistence means trying hard to do your best and not giving up when something feels like it’s too difficult or boring.  Examples of persistent behaviour are continuing to try even when school work is hard, not being distracted by others, and checking work when it’s finished to make sure it’s correct.

Organisation means setting a goal to do your best in your school work, listening carefully to your teacher’s instructions, planning your time so that you are not rushed, having all your school supplies reacy at a neat desk, recording your assignments and their due dates, and planning when you’re going to do your homework so that you have enough time.

Getting Along means working well with teachers and classmates, resolving disagreements peacefully, following the reules of the classroom and making positive contributions to school, home and the community including protecting the rights of others and looking after the environment.  Examples of getting along behaviour are being helpful when working in a group, listening and not interrupting when someone else is speaking, talking rather than fighting when someone acts unfairly, not breaking classroom rules, helping others in need, volunteering for a worthy causes and cleaning up the environment.

Emotional Resilience means knowing how to stay calm and being able to stop yourself from getting extrmely angry, down, or worried when something “bad” happens.  It means being able to calm down and feel better when you are very upset so that you bounce back from difficulty and return to work or play.