STARDOM targets the ‘at risk’, disengaged girls who monopolise teacher time as their behaviour spirals out of control. They probably spend more time out of class than in it and are likely to be dealing with complex home lives, compromised parenting and may be young carers or in and out of the care system. Their behaviour is often compounded by onset mental health challenges around self-harming, anxiety and depression and drug and alcohol use.
The Stardom programme is an intensive, frame-breaking and preventive programme using the tools and techniques from mainstream coaching and mindfulness practices and is delivered by a team of highly skilled and experienced Stardom coaches.
It can be run as a 12 week intensive programme for up to 14 girls in crisis or more often, as an onsite school support approach over 12 months where a Girls Out Loud Stardom Coach would deliver 121 and group sessions for up to 20 girls over 12 months. The coach would work as part of the pastoral team in school, for 2 days a week, term time.
‘ I wanted to say a massive thank you. When I started the Stardom programme I have to admit I thought it was a good way of missing lessons and getting presents, so this was the massive push for me to do it, but as the weeks went on I learnt so much about myself and others and also learnt difference ways to think and behave that I realised my past approach and outlook was appalling and my behaviour was off the scale. I am now on my way to college then University and I know I am going to do it and be the best I can be. Without Girls Out Loud and my Stardom coach’s support – all the conversations and meetings, I would not have the confidence or belief or power to try as hard as I do today. You made me a different person. You were there for me when I thought I had nobody, you cared, you listened and you gave me a new set of tools, I particularly love visualisation and still do this every day. Your impact on my life is amazing. I am stronger and more independent and I thank you with all my heart for your gift.’
Ellie P, 16 year old Stardom participant
The overall aim is to improve behaviour, relationships, attendance, attitude to learning and concentration, in most cases….
The focus is on aspirations not exams; causes not symptoms; action not reflection.
The minimum number of girls on a Stardom programme is 12, the maximum 20. A careful selection process is needed to ensure success. This is an intervention NOT a counselling programme. It is about raising aspirations, therefore, it is not wise to nominate girls with serious social/psychological problems already being managed by external agencies and school counselling services. One more talking therapy may be too much for them to process.
40 children are kicked out of school every day in the UK. This is a 56% rise in pupils excluded over the past 3 years. 78% of permanent exclusions have special needs and 63% of excluded kids are likely to end up in prison.
Government statistics 2019
Amelia was a participant on a Stardom programme in 2018/9 here is a little bit about her journey.
From a broken, dysfunctional home, at the mercy of parents at war, then being kicked out with her dad and made homeless then returning to live with her Mum who she had a very difficult relationship with, the life lessons come thick and fast for this young girl even before she hit 10.
When she arrived to live with her mother, her Mum who was already a drinker and drug user, had also got herself a new boyfriend and was partying all night, creating all sort of issues for her and her little sister in terms of being fed, getting to school and all the basic human needs we all take for granted. Her Mum was later diagnosed as a bi-polar but not sure that means anything when you are 10 and being neglected. After running away several times she finally moved back in with her Dad and at 13 the next tragedy struck. Her best friend, Raf drowned in a local canal on a very rare day when she was not with him. This along with her abuse and neglect, she now realised made her very angry and she had no idea how to even recognise this let alone manage it. She was constantly letting off steam with teachers and other pupils and got a reputation as a fighter. At around this time she also stopped eating regularly, got depressed, started self-harming and smoking weed.
After losing Raf she had no one to talk to and then met James and her world got a whole lot better and worse simultaneously. James was one of the town thugs – both his Mum and Dad were drug addicts and in and out of prison and not surprisingly James was and still is a bad lad. But to her he felt like home.
They were best friends for over 3 years and in this time James was in and out of prison. The last time he was incarcerated she was forbidden to see him by her Dad. This created a knock on effect as James was then angry about her not visiting and threated to throw acid in her face when he got out. She felt lost, angry, frustrated, scared and alone and at this point was nominated by her school to attend the Stardom programme.
This programme gave her a safe place to reflect on her life, to consider her choices and consequences and start to unpick her behaviour. She embraced it with open arms, and here are a few words from a speech she delivered on the final day of the programme.
I have now discovered and embraced my inner me, the best me. Throughout this programme I have discovered I have bags of potential and although I am still young I am excited to show to the world who I really am. I know that Girls Out Loud has made a huge difference and fed the fire that’s been burning within me for so long. I want to thank Jane and Sarra for helping me and constantly challenging me and I now know that when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Thankyou.
This awesome young woman then went on to nail her GCSE’s getting 3 A** 1 A*, 3As and 4 Bs. She is now at college starting the next stage of her journey towards world domination!
Our Founder Jane recently met up with Amelia and was amazed by her progress and this quote ‘I have realised Jane, I am responsible for my own happiness’.
Amelia was presented with the Rock Star Award at our Shining Stars Ball in October 2019. Here she is talking about her journey on the night.