Inner confidence

The primary focus of our programme is to develop student’s confidence or self-efficacy – this is their belief that they can overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

Our approach is rooted in research by the eminent psychologist Bandura which evidences four sources of self-efficacy:

  • Mastery experiences: successful experiences boost self-efficacy, while failures erode it. This is the most robust source of self-efficacy.

  • Verbal persuasion: When other people encourage and convince you to perform a task, you tend to believe that you are more capable of performing it.

  • Vicarious experience: observing someone like you doing a task can strengthen belief in your own abilities.

  • Emotional state: a positive mood can boost your confidence, while anxiety can undermine it. A certain level of emotional stimulation can create an energizing feeling that can contribute to strong performances.

Mastery experiences:

We provide young people with an opportunity to organise their own social action project.  Because they feel a sense of ownership for their projects, they feel a particularly strong sense of success when they go well.

Our skill lies in striking the right balance between ensuring that they achieve a positive outcome for their project with self-directed action.  We increase the chances of their succeeding in several ways:
We coach students through a process of setting an achievable project goal which is stretching, but achievable.

The competition is structured to provide specific mini-challenges which are structured to enable students to succeed where they put the effort in.
We provide a framework for students to develop their ideas, plan their project and implement it.
Rather than simply turning them loose and hoping they discover how to do things effectively, we empower them with appropriate tools and techniques.
The course is structured so that students can repeatedly try out different skills to experience improvement

Verbal persuasion

One of the key reasons why we get business volunteers to deliver our skills workshops and mentoring is that young people respond to being told they are doing something well by an adult who they perceive as ‘successful’ and ‘experienced’.
This encouragement is re-enforced by coaches in weekly coaching sessions.  Coaches also facilitate exercises where members of the team give each other positive feedback and encouragement.

Vicarious experiences

We use our alumni to inspire students.  We also show students examples of successful projects carried out in previous years by students like themselves. Successful projects are also showcased by students from other similar schools at cross-school events.

Emotional state

Our coaches help to students develop techniques to be calm and positive and apply them when participating in stressful and challenging situations during the programme.