BUILDING BRIDGES focuses on pupils from primary 6 to secondary 2. Bill Veitch, the project co-ordinator, highlights its work on literacy and numeracy, boosting community involvement and working with families. Staff development and making the findings known are also essential ingredients.
Developing social competence involves individual pupil support and social skills groups. As well as training P7 pupils to become "peacemakers" in the playground, secondary pupils are designated to support new S1 pupils.
Developing literacy and numeracy is seen as crucial to increasing self-confidence and improving behaviour. Individual assessment leads to a specific programme for each pupil, particularly for underachievers in literacy and numeracy, with support through one-to-one sessions, in class or in small groups. Transfer of information from primary to secondary ensures continuity of support.
Mr Veitch noted that some primary heads thought intervention should come earlier than P6. Community involvement is also a major aspect involving liaison with parents, pupils, teachers, police, drugs projects and social services.
There are workshops for parents as well as home visits and home support for pupils.