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Students develop skills in problem solving and working with others

Students develop skills in problem solving and working with others

ASDAN was proud to be part of the SSAT national conference at the ICC in Birmingham in December for the second year. As the official workshop sponsor, we had the opportunity to engage with our centres to present two workshops around two of our courses: the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) qualification and Lift Off.

The first of our two workshops was run by Alison McCulloch, Assistant Principal at Hockerill Anglo-European College in Hertfordshire. Alison has taught CoPE for nine years and has seen first hand the positive impact it has had on her students. Hockerill is an Ofsted-rated outstanding school with a focus on modern foreign languages. Alison explained how CoPE has been used as an alternative to a second language option at Key Stage 4 and has been shown to improve students’ performance in their other subjects. Further benefits to students include improving organisational skills and developing life skills, especially in preparation for college life.

Working with others and problem solving

Alison explained how her past students had been able to reference the projects they had undertaken during their CoPE lessons in interviews for university and employment. The skills they had gained, including working with others and problem solving, had given them real life experience that they were able to draw upon in the years after having finished school. Alison also described how the CoPE qualification helps the school achieve their aim of ‘developing enquiring, knowledgeable, responsible global citizens through academic excellence’.

Alison’s enthusiasm and passion for the CoPE qualification and its benefits to her students was clear to see and it was incredibly motivating to hear the success stories from two of her previous students.

Successful transition to secondary school

The second workshop was run by Lisa Ling, a consultant at Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) in Cambridgeshire. CMAT comprises seven secondary schools and five primary schools. The workshop focused on the ASDAN Lift Off programme, which promotes a successful transition to secondary school.

Lisa explained how in 2018, CMAT undertook a cross-trust review of their PSHE offer and identified a need for a clearer transition programme in Year 7. The focus of the review was the development of key attributes and skills, and the decision was taken for five of the six secondary schools in the trust to sign up to deliver Lift Off from September 2018.

Learners improve self-awareness

Lisa described how the programme fits the needs of all of the schools in the trust in terms of explicitly teaching students how to develop their understanding of self and how attitude is important in being healthy, happy and successful. CMAT staff have found the programme resources, including PowerPoints and lesson plans, very easy to use and explained how the student books worked as a daily reminder of key messages for students and are an opportunity to engage with parents. Furthermore, the schools have engaged their Year 10 students to help deliver the programme to Year 7 learners, encouraging peer support and developing skills for both sets of students.

‘Rich and varied content’

One of the secondary schools within CAMT that is currently successfully delivering Lift Off is Sawtry Village Academy in Peterborough. The course is delivered by a specialist team of PSHE teachers in taught lessons for one hour per week. Feedback from both teachers and students has been incredibly positive and teachers have commented on the ‘rich and varied content which gives excellent support to planning and delivery’.

We are very grateful to both Alison and Lisa for delivering their workshops in partnership with ASDAN at the SSAT conference. If you would like to learn more about CoPE or Lift Off, please contact

Author: Emma Jones, ASDAN Digital Marketing Officer

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