Parents Out Reach...
The Jigsaw Team undertake a variety of work in schools across Central Bedfordshire. There are therefore a number of quite varied reasons why you as a parent might find yourself now looking at our website.
Jigsaw work in partnership with the schools in Central Bedfordshire in a number of different ways. Social skills groups are offered to all children, regardless of whether they be the brightest, most socialable amongst their peers or those who find interaction difficult. Interventions take place in your child's school with a member of the existing school staff as well as a member of the Jigsaw team. This work is done in partnership with the school and forms part of the existing broad and balanced curriculum there in.
Good social skills are critical to successful functioning in life. These skills enable us to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in diverse situations. The extent to which children and adolescents possess good social skills can influence their academic performance, behaviour, social and family relationships, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Social skills are also linked to the quality of the school environment and school safety.
While most children pick up positive skills through their everyday interactions with adults and peers, it is important that educators and parents reinforce this casual learning with direct and indirect instruction. We must also recognize when and where children pick up behaviors that might be detrimental to their development or safety. In the past, schools have relied exclusively on families to teach children important interpersonal and conflict resolution skills. However, increased negative societal influences and demands on family life make it imperative that schools partner with parents to facilitate this social learning process. This is particularly true today given the critical role that social skills play in maintaining a positive school environment and reducing school violence.
Jigsaw social skills groups:
Focus on facilitating the desirable behavior as well as eliminating the undesirable behavior.
Emphasize the learning, performance, generalization, and maintenance of appropriate behaviors through modeling, coaching, and role-playing. It is also crucial to provide students with immediate performance feedback.
Employ primarily positive strategies and add punitive strategies only if the positive approach is unsuccessful and the behavior is of a serious and/or dangerous nature.
Provide training and practice opportunities in a wide range of settings with different groups and individuals in order to encourage students to generalize new skills to multiple, real life situations.
Draw on assessment strategies, including functional assessments of behavior, to identify those children in need of more intensive interventions as well as target skills for instruction.
Look to enhance social skills by increasing the frequency of an appropriate behavior in a particular situation. This should take place in "normal" environments to address the naturally occurring causes and consequences.