Supporting Social And Emotional Learning Through Effective After School Programmes With Lauren Sanchez Gilbert

Supporting Social And Emotional Learning Through Effective After School Programmes With Lauren Sanchez Gilbert

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Curious about the factors that can truly transform students' learning experiences after school hours?

In our most recent School Behaviour Secrets podcast, we met with Lauren Sanchez Gilbert to explore the ways in which effective after school programmes can support students' social and emotional development and develop character strengths so that they experience more life success and grow more resilient.

Important links:

To visit the BellXcel website

Arly tailored solutions for youth programmes

To check out the SCRI article on what scholars say about social-emotional skill development in Summer

Get our FREE SEND Behaviour Handbook:

Download other FREE SEMH resources to use in your school:

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Show notes / transcription

Simon Currigan  0:00  

Looking for a way to support your students with their social and emotional development, and to develop character strengths so they experience success and grow more resilient, then keep listening because today we're going to look at how to use after school programmes to make this happen, and how to assess which programmes are going to be effective from those that are low quality. 

Welcome to the school behaviour secrets podcast. I'm your host, Simon Currigan. My co host is Emma Shackleton and we're obsessed with helping teachers, school leaders, parents, and of course students when classroom behaviour gets in the way of success. We're going to share the tried and tested secrets to classroom management, behavioural Special Needs, whole school strategy and more all with the aim of helping your students reach their true potential. Plus, we'll be letting you eavesdrop on our conversations with thought leaders from around the world. So you'll get to hear the latest evidence based strategies before anyone else. This is the school behaviour secrets podcast. 

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome. My name is Simon Currigan. and welcome again to this week's episode of school behaviour secrets. Just to keep you informed about my life. I know that's important to you. Earlier this week, I held a minute's silence for the passing of the fax machine. It managed to be successful for decades, despite being not as good as email while simultaneously also not being as good as sending a letter, both of which existed at exactly the same moment in time. Given that high level of redundancy it was a miracle. We use them at all fax machines, I salute you and your technological audacity. This week, I'm joined as ever by my co host, Emma Shackleton. Hi, Emma.

Emma Shackleton  1:39  

Hi, Simon.

Simon Currigan  1:40  

Do you miss fax machines? 

Emma Shackleton  1:42  

Nope. Like you say they weren't as quick as email and they were way less personal than sending a letter. I think you said it all already. 

Simon Currigan  1:51  

Time for another question?

Emma Shackleton  1:52  

Go on then.

Simon Currigan  1:53  

 What do you most enjoy doing out of work at the moment? And has this changed over time? 

Emma Shackleton  1:59  

Oh, okay. When I'm not at work, I love doing classes at the gym, and spending time walking my dog. Oh, yeah. And seeing friends and family too. Of course, that's been pretty much the case for a while now. How about you, Simon? 

Simon Currigan  2:13  

Well, I used to play a lot of video games. And that kind of faded out as we had children because they didn't have the time to invest in it. And I still do a little bit of that now as the kids are getting older, and I enjoy reading. But one thing that has changed, actually, and I think it's a result of COVID and lockdown is I enjoy going out for walks more often than I did in the past. 

Emma Shackleton  2:31  

Yes, I love a good walk. So what's the link to this week's episode?

Simon Currigan  2:36  

This week, we're looking at the power of after school programmes to support pupils to develop their social and emotional skills, skills, which they can then use in school with Lauren Sanchez. Gilbert

Emma Shackleton  2:48  

Makes perfect sense. Two things before we get to that. First of all, if you're enjoying the podcast, please do make sure that you open your podcast app and click to like, follow and subscribe to us. So you never miss another episode. That's completely free to do so. Obviously only do that if it's safe right now.

Simon Currigan  3:07  

So if you're like a bomb disposal technician on the job or delivering a baby at a maternity unit, mom's about to squeeze hard and...

Emma Shackleton  3:17  

Yes, yes enough. In that case, keep your device in your pocket. But otherwise, secondly, while you've got the app open, we've got a free download for you that complements this week's episode perfectly. It's called the SEND handbook. And if you're working with children who present behaviour that you find challenging or difficult to manage in the classroom, and you're not quite sure why they're acting that way, and you are curious about digging into the root cause of that behaviour. This download will help. What it will do is help you to link the behaviours that you see in the classroom or the playground with possible underlying causes such as trauma, autism, and ADHD. Of course, that's not going to help you make a diagnosis because as teachers, we're not qualified to do that. But what it will do is help you to get the right agencies involved as quickly as possible. And to get early intervention strategies into place. 

Simon Currigan  4:17  

We've put a direct link to the handbook in the episode description that goes with this podcast. All you have to do is open this episode on your podcast app and you'll see a direct link, simply tap it and you'll be redirected to our website where you'll be able to get your free copy today.

Emma Shackleton  4:30  

And now here's Simon's conversation with Lauren Sanchez Gilbert about using after school programmes to support students with social and emotional development.

Simon Currigan  4:41  

It's my great pleasure to welcome Lauren Sanchez Gilbert to the show. Today we're going to be talking about after school programmes but first of all, Hi Lauren. Can you tell us who you are and what you do?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  4:50  

Hi, so Lauren Sanchez Gilbert. I am the CEO of BellXcel which is the owner of ARLY that's a management software for after school or any out of school time provider that is doing summer programming camp, you name it, we work with them. We also do content and professional development. But before that I was a longtime public school administrator and teacher and I was a special education teacher so put a lot of energy into working with children who had behaviour challenges and issues. So this topic is near and dear to my heart.

Simon Currigan  5:24  

Perfect. It's an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today, we're going to focus then on out of school programmes and how they help kids develop their social and emotional skills today, and you've said already that you've got practical experience of working with those kids. But before we jump into that, what kind of out of school programmes are we talking about? Because there's a whole range of different kinds of activities that kids can participate in. So sort of specifically, what are you looking at?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  5:49  

In truth, we're looking at all of them, you know, all activities where kids are participating in any sort of group type of approach is going to need some sort of behaviour management system. And for parents out there, if you've had more than just even a couple kids, even your own two kids, you need some form of behaviour management. And that's what actually who we address is anyone who's doing something in a more formal group way with children outside of the school day. So it could be an after school camp, it could be a sleepaway summer camp, it could be a, you know, day, summer camp, churches, parks and recreation, you name it, we've worked with them.

Simon Currigan  6:24  

So we're not necessarily talking about stuff here that from the child's perspective is specifically focused on developing their social emotional learning. From their perspective, it would be getting outside getting on bikes or playing a game or engaging in sports is that the right kind of..?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  6:42  

It would be a little bit more structured, though, right. So it would be something that is run by an adult, we'd have had biking programmes in truth, but they're usually more structured by few programmes where there is some group dynamics that could potentially cause some challenges. It's a little bit different than the school day because you have different types of expectations and an out of school time environment. The expectation is that you're going to be having fun it is means that you can be loud or you can be more expressive in what you're doing. You should be physical in some of the activities which can change the dynamic around social emotional learning, but any of those environments, especially even in like, sleepaway camps, for example, too, you get camp dynamic, Kevin dynamic, for example. So it's any of those, but it's typically a much more structured setting, then, you know, a free play class,

Simon Currigan  7:24  

Would this be a mixture? When you're talking about school programmes. Is this a mixture of programmes that are run by schools after the school day? Or is it external providers? Or is it the whole gamut of providers?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  7:35  

It's the whole gamut. So we work with quite a bit of schools that do out of school time, and they may be school staff, or they may be a second shift that comes in and takes over at that point. But we also work with YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, any sort of provider that is essential in that community or in that neighbourhood. So that, you know, it's basically allowing parents to work if it's an after school setting. And in summer, same thing, but they you know, the full day.

Simon Currigan  8:01  

It's good for kids to get access to a range of different adults and role models, as well as not just be confined to the adults they see in school, that's really powerful. What kind of specific social and emotional skills then do out of school programmes help our kids develop? 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  8:15  

Really, you know, all of them, to be honest, we focus a lot on you know, all of our programmes, I shouldn't say we but our providers, we focus a lot on intra and interpersonal skills, you know, how do you develop friendships? How do you interact with with adults, especially in a less structured type of setting? How do you empower them to feel better about themselves, whether it's as a learner or someone who's contributing to society? You know, often times, especially those from low income families, or those who have challenges, they will feel less likely to take risks, especially in school setting, because they have experienced a lot of failure. And you know, it was compared to having like a bowl of chips, if you have 100 chips, you're going to take more risks, you're going to kind of throw them out. And you know, you'll be willing to risk potential failure. And when you do, it's not going to feel as bad because you got a whole bag left, you know, but when you are a child who does not have that full bag, and you only have you know, 10 chips, you're going to deal them out very slowly, very carefully. And when you lose one of them, it's pretty detrimental. And that's when you can see some behaviour, you know, escalation from children, in and out of school environment, sometimes that bagfuls up a little bit more, because they may have more skills in some areas that don't show at school. So we really try to, you know, empower through those channels to help them better learn to regulate their emotions better understand how to properly respond, and then work to try to translate that from, you know, the out of school time setting to the school day setting so that they can do academically, hopefully better as well. 

Simon Currigan  9:41  

I think that's a really important thing I want to unpack a little bit actually, though, because kids in school often do experience all kinds of failure and mistakes. Because if you're kind of trying to push someone with their learning, you're encouraging them to make mistakes because that's how you learn the kind of kids that we get involved with often have difficulties with their social emotional skills and get things wrong in terms of following routines and instructions and integrating into class and working with the other kids. And then they start to associate all those mistakes and an inverted commas failure, with the location with the school building that they're used to visiting. And then they start thinking, Well, I'm going to experience failure here, so I'm not going to interact with the task or the or the adults. And that's really powerful is that because having a completely new context almost wipes the slate clean, and gives the opportunity for the child to kind of restart and relearn those skills 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  10:30  

Right, your school setting, you know, just as what you were saying the best way to avoid failures to not experience it in the first place. So I'm not even gonna try I'm gonna have behaviour issues, I'm gonna do these other things to distract from what is causing them in essence, pain, and then out of school time setting, you know, we try to actually intervene in that first part, it's kind of like getting to that root cause piece of let's try to reset and reprogram from the start. And it's can be really tough sometimes when it's in the same building. 

Simon Currigan  10:57  


Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  10:58  

When you're in the actual school building, and saying, let's, let's think differently, even though this environment may make you feel like you're in a school setting, but how do we reset and think differently? We tried to do a big strength based approach of really honing in on what do they do really well and not talk about the things that they don't do well. But this is what you do really well, how do we get to that next level? How do we empower them to continue to strive forward and see a goal of something they can potentially, you know, obtain and achieve and do a lot of positive behaviour interventions are behaviour reinforcement? So that's embedded in the programme. And then we have a very different type of instructors in those settings. So you know, they're often we call near-peers that are a little bit closer in age and can have a different dynamic, sometimes that can be more challenging in reality, because they also don't have so much experience working with young people. But it often can feel empowering to the child who is in the programme to have someone who they may think is relatable, who interacts with them a little bit differently, and doesn't feel that same kind of pressure around them. So it is a unique opportunity to really think about how can we empower these young people to do better again, our end goal is always to to influence school, because school at the end of the day is the big measure. Right? So how do we transfer these skills but giving them an opportunity for success, instead of feeling that continued level of failure?

Simon Currigan  12:17  

You said something, again, really, really interesting now that I want to circle back to, and that is schools and teachers and I used to be a teacher in a school. So I was guilty of this, let me think about behaviour. And kids social emotional needs, often very deficit focused, what they can't do is what we focus on, and what we have conversations with them about, then what you were talking about there is finding character strengths, and actually encouraging the children to develop those strengths and take pride and feel successful around those strengths, which is an important emphasis.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  12:49  

Absolutely, I mean, think of the way schools are actually deficit designed, we mark everything that's wrong, and you have to, there's not another way to necessarily always approach it in that setting, but you can kind of flip the switch a little bit of still being able to point out some areas of was that the best way to respond, you know, to it, let's think through talk through and think through, you know, different way to do it. But, but our goal is actually to reshape their thinking, you know, how do you start telling and running a narrative in your head, and then the tape in your head to start sounding a little bit differently than what it does? So can you start seeing yourself as a potential learner? Can you see yourself as someone who can succeed? Can you see yourself as someone who can be goal oriented? Can you see yourself with someone who can neurologically react differently when you're confronted with something in front of you that feels challenging, like even just that stop and think type of training can go really far with kids?

Simon Currigan  13:40  

So we've talked about having children in a different physical context, different building away from school, we've talked about having different peer group we talked about being character strength focused, what benefits do the children get in terms of their social emotional skills, when they are practising this in out of school programmes? And what kind of evidence is there that they are successful in this respect?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  14:04  

What we're focusing on in essence, is life skills, but really working on creating good service and good mechanisms to measure life skills in the settings. How do you measure this? And how do you demonstrate and show growth? And so we have always done some sort of surveying, whether it's through the child themselves at a certain age, the younger ones, it's little bit harder, and then also the adults that are serving them, what do you look for? And what are you looking for and change? And for the young people themselves? We really ask them like questions on self esteem, self confidence, they're trying to get at that narrative that they're playing in their head, how are you interacting with the adults? Did you make new friends? How did you interact with those friend groups? To really try to create a measure of what approach really works and what doesn't? Yeah, so we had some programmes that were doing behaviour interventions that were very red, green, yellow, and very, very public, for example, and that is almost a humiliation type of approach. And when we got the surveys back, no one should be surprised. Those children I didn't see as much movement in the way that they were seeing themselves and interacting with others, because the risk was quite high, if you're going to be labelled as in red, for example, you know, so and versus some other ones who used a different type of approach. So we've been able to use research heavily, because we have so many programmes to understand what works, what doesn't work, you know, how do we measure it and in various environments, so it could be a YMCA, a school, what we've noticed, though, is that the setting tends to not actually make the make a difference. It's the adults who are around them that do and the approach that they're using.

Simon Currigan  15:31  

Could you tell us a bit more about that, what kind of adults and the kinds of skills they're bringing? 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  15:34  

We did some extensive study on the adults themselves, you know, is it if you have, you know, a master's degree, if you have more years of experience is it that if you're working with children in that age range, that you have the most experience, and that one tended to matter, some, but the one that mattered the most was the teachers interpersonal skills themselves. And if they thought they could make a difference in a child's life, they tended to make a difference in a child's life. And it was really interesting. And all of those other factors didn't matter. Except for that that one was the only one that was statistically significant, which is really fascinating. So we put a lot of effort into the teacher professional development, or the youth worker professional development, to really have them hone in on their own social emotional skills, their own self beliefs, their own self efficacy, because we know that that is going to be the biggest differential and an outcome for a child. 

Simon Currigan  16:28  

How interesting, I guess if you believe you can make a difference, then perhaps you will. But if you believe that this is all useless, there's nothing I can do. I'm a victim to circumstance and that will have a real impact on how you engage with kids. You've touched on this already, kids can contextualise so that means they can behave in different ways in different places. So they might come to a setting, I used to work at a pupil referral unit, which is a school that children go to when they get permanently excluded from school or expelled from school, as you'd say, in the US. And we used to work with kids who are on that path to try and prevent them from getting excluded. In one thing, we used to run the social skills programmes, and the kids would tell us all the right answers and do all the right things in our centre, and then go back to the school and punch someone or carry on the way they were so they could contextualise their behaviour, they would behave one way for us in our setting and behave another way in another setting. So how do we effectively help kids implement the games they've learned in sort of the out of school programmes in schools and in classrooms? What's your experience with that?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  17:31  

It's extremely hard when you take away like in the setting, I'm sure you in and I worked in a very similar setting, they're far more controlled, there's less people, the educators or staff have different type of training. Yeah, so the entire environment, not physical environment, but you know, the entire environment of which they're functioning and is very different than when they go back to, you know, another type of setting, it's the same thing and an out of school time, type world, we are not putting academic pressures on them necessarily. Even if we're helping with homework or doing those pieces, we are not grading them, you know, there isn't an evaluation component, opportunity for physical release is very different. So it is really hard to do a carryover into that school setting. If you don't put a lot of attention into the child changing the child mindset. Yeah. And so we put a lot of emphasis into growth mindset on how do you actually change the way you think, and then can we work with the teachers of which you're going to return to to change the way they view and think as well, because if they also don't have a growth mindset, it doesn't matter as much, it does matter. But it will be very challenging for that young person, even if their mindsets change if they go into an environment that is still holding and seeing them in the light that they previously did.

Simon Currigan  18:41  

So that link between the programme and the person in the room, the teacher or the teaching assistants is super important. And the way they view the kids and again, I guess she was talking in terms of if you believe you can make a difference and the child can make a difference, then it probably will happen. But if you have already closed mindset towards that, then progress is difficult. 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  19:00  


Simon Currigan  19:01  

Which specific types of programmes have you found to be most effective for pupils who need help developing their social emotional development?

Speaker 1  19:10  

Yeah, it really depends on the child themselves. So there can be different levels and different types of successes and frankly, also failures. You learn that that too, it really, really matters on on the child themselves. And so it's so important to work with the adults to do an ability to assess the child in front of them as quickly as they can. So in a summer programme, for example, you have a very short period of time, how do you assess that child like that when you are going to have them maybe for you know, five weeks, six weeks, maybe, but there is a way to do it. And so that's, you know, number one is to do any sort of assessment upfront, even if it's an academic assessment, just understanding where that child is at and what type of programming that they need in order to have them be successful. So that child who may need a little bit more structure might need reinforcement more. They can't wait to the end of the day for what we used to call scholar dollars they need actually, every 20, 30 minutes may be the case. Yeah, and setting up that intermittent reinforcement in a manner that meets that child's needs, it may take a few days to figure it out. But it's important to do that because not one size fits all for all children. It's what we talk about all the time. This is not kids are not widgets. They are unique humans, individuals and near there is no way. But all the controversy in education, really sometimes is a little laughable, because at the end of the day, you have to meet the child where they're at and use the approach that's going to work for them. Same thing with behaviour.

Simon Currigan  20:34  

Over here, it feels like education is always looking for this one silver bullet that they can just roll out like a factory and using cookie cutter fashion, and it worked in Korea. So it will work here magically to improve kids, you know, skills in the classroom or their maths or something like you say it's so important, especially with kids emotional development, it's all about the individual kids, isn't it? 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  20:54  

Absolutely. Yeah. And it's all about that I would remind people, all children are just future adults. If you think about the way schools are set up, the number of people or humans that are actually in and combined into a certain location is actually something you won't likely experience again. And that pressure and social navigation that needs to come with that is very, very high and different than what you experienced. So giving kids a little bit of wiggle room to figure that out is something we need to do a better job of. And then also understanding right size expectations against young people as well.

Simon Currigan  21:25  

 I always find it funny, right. When you think Imagine going to work as an adult and being told that you're going to spend the next six years in a room with a group of 30 people that you have nothing in common with but your date of birth.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  21:35  

Yes, And you get 22 minutes for lunch and...

Simon Currigan  21:40  

Thinking about the effectiveness of our school programmes in terms of school, what should we be doing in terms of measuring what's working? What isn't working? Are we looking at something as blunt as a suspension rate or an exclusion rate? Or something similar to that? Or do we need to measure the impact in a more nuanced way? What's your experience with that?

Speaker 1  21:59  

Yeah, it's really hard to find an absolute measure. But we tend to look towards the school day when we do research for our measures, because that is where we want the success to be frankly, even though we do look at success within the programme, the carryover is the ultimate goal. And so our studies have been focused on attendance rates, behaviour, referrals, state performance on tests and their grades. And what we have found is that when children are in summer programmes, or after school programmes, their behaviour rate, referrals go down, their attendance rate goes up, their state test scores go up, and so do their daily grades, and programmes. So they're highly effective when they are done well. What we've also found though, is that when you are in a low quality programme, a low quality after school or summer experience with low supervision and structure, those out of school time activities can actually be a net detriment to the child, they will actually do worse during the school day than if they had no programme at all. So we put a lot of emphasis into quality. And how do you run a high quality programme so that you can have that really positive uptick and not become those programmes, that child would be better off in front of a TV? 

Simon Currigan  23:11  

And that's such an important point, isn't it? Because we need to be able to sort from what's effective and what's not effective and just lump all of these programmes together, really, you need to do some fine grained work about what's suitable for the child. But also, in general, what is the quality of that provision, because that's going to have a huge impact on all the kids that go there. 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  23:29  

Exactly. There was a study that just came out fairly recently from Harvard, about some are some summer camps and programmes during this whole COVID time period. And it was saying that they just weren't effective. And it really bothered me, because I wanted to call up the researcher and say, You are so fun. Wasn't that the programmes were not a summer, this big writ large, it's not effective. Those programmes were low quality programmes. And I could have told you, they were not going to be effective. They didn't do a good recruitment strategy. They couldn't get the kids to attend, they didn't have good behaviour, intervention type of strategies. They had trouble recruiting staff, I could go on and on. And it wasn't about the idea of doing things for children in summer or after school. It was about the fact that they didn't do it well. And so that narrative that sometimes can come through in this field or sector, but I always push back on people and saying, you know, those with, you know, middle income, upper middle income, and especially those that are in the high income areas have always known it matters. Their children are heavily involved in out of school time activities. When you apply for university or college here, you must list all of those pieces. The amount of money that they invest in their child and out of school times is 10 times higher than moderate and low income families 10 times well, why? Because they know it works. And so when we do a narrative that it doesn't work that only is affecting free programmes for those that can't afford something else because those that have means will always do it.

Simon Currigan  24:56  

Can you give us an example of a success story where enrolling on the programme has had a significant impact on a student's engagement and success in school?

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  25:05  

We have so many, you know, individual success stories or families that just see total change in their child. So we had this parent just recently write in on their surveys, sometimes they'll write a lot and other times I'll read a little and this mom wrote quite a bit about how their child at first didn't want to go into the programme and was really nervous about going in. And the programme itself worked with, you know, strategy to say, Okay, let's get in for a little bit longer and a little bit longer. And eventually, the child loved the programme and completely changed and started to feel excited about doing math, I guess math was a an area for a lot of people that it was a struggle. And at the end of the programme, the child was, you know, crying and upset, because she said, this was my home. 

Simon Currigan  25:48  


Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  25:48  

I know.  It makes such a big difference in the lives of children and from one child point of view to stories of research, where an entire school starts changing because they implement highly effective out of school time programmes.

That's really powerful. If you're a teacher, or a school leader, or parents even listening to this podcast, what's the first step you can take today to harness the power of these out of school programmes to support your kids?

You need to find a programme that not any programme, you need to be careful to put your child in a high quality programme, the last thing you want to do, we've all experienced it as a parent myself, here I am and out of school time, and I actually had my child in a programme that after two days knew was a mistake that from that point forward, I thought, you know, what we need tips on what to do? How do you look for a high quality programme? And so we it's upfront asking, what is your behaviour management system? What is the training of your staff? How do you supervise that staff? How do you regulate camp movements, like when they go from one activity to another that's tends to be when things turn into chaos? What's your system for that? It is okay as a parent to actually interview and push the camp staff or the after school programme staff in an interview type of way. Because you need to make sure that your child is going to be in a really high quality, safe environment. And I think as parents, sometimes we hold back from doing that, because you can be seen as that more difficult parent, but I don't care and we should all not care. Our job is to be difficult to make sure that we are putting our children in high quality programmes. And and if it is not meeting your bar, then start shopping for another programme. If it's in your child's school, go to that administrator, the principal, the headmaster, whomever it is, and demand that they actually take a look at the programme and start sharing that, you know, I don't think this is at the quality that it should be. So that, you know, parents do have a voice. And they do have options. And you can use it and it can be very powerful. I was a longtime school administrator. And those powerful parents, sometimes even I was like, Ah, there she is again. But they made a difference. And they brought things to attention that I may not have seen. 

Simon Currigan  27:55  

And those questions that you mentioned are really important, actually, because we work with a lot of school leaders who try and bring in groups from outside with other kinds of experience for kids after school. And those are exactly the questions they should be asking these external agencies who are coming in, actually, you know, what do you do around transition and behaviour management? Because that's, as you say, so important for the success of the group? How can our listeners find out more about your resources, Lauren, and what you do? 

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  28:21  

We have three websites in fact, we were actually Bellxcel, it's And then we have, and SCRI. All three of those have tools and tips for parents do we have curriculum that they can use in the home, we have tip sheets on how to talk to your teachers how to read state test results and ask the right questions about them. All three sites have information for families and also for educators themselves as well. And then we do podcasts and webinars very frequently. So they can watch for those as well. 

I'll put direct links to those three websites on the show notes. So if you're listening to this, all you have to do is open up your app and tap on the text that goes with this podcast, and you can get straight through to them. Final question Lauren. And we ask this of all our guests. Who is the key figure that's influenced you? Or what's the key book that you've read that's had the biggest impact on your approach to working with children? 

That's a good question. The first one is easy. And that was my mother. Yes, she just is a powerhouse woman that I have long admired that started out as an assistant and became a principal of schools here and was an administrator for a long time and just show that you know, hard work, dedication, and a real passion for your job matters and can take you quite far. So just appreciate her. And funnily enough, the book that influenced me the most is actually called damn lies and statistics. 

Simon Currigan  29:42  


Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  29:43  

Yeah. You know, because as consumers in the world, we need to actually be paying attention to statistics, especially because they're used so frequently in the education setting. And so many of the studies that are underneath it are faulty and so if we become good consumers and researchers, it'll change your view of how you see the world when it relates to all these numbers that come at you.

Simon Currigan  30:06  

Really good answer. A lot of people talk about evidence based approaches. But when you look at the evidence base, it's really quite poor, as with after school programmes, some are very, very good, and some are very, very poor. It's been a pleasure having you on the show today. I've really enjoyed that conversation. I'm sure our listeners will walk away with a lot of thoughts and questions to ask their own out of school providers. It's been really interesting. Thank you for being on the show today.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert  30:26  

Thank you, Simon. I've absolutely enjoyed my time. 

Emma Shackleton  30:29  

Lauren said lots of valuable things in that interview. But one thing that stood out to me was the difference between high quality and low quality provision, and how it's really important to separate what's effective from what's not to get the best from your children. It's not as simple as does after school provision make a difference for kids? It's how that provision is done that makes a difference.

Simon Currigan  30:56  

100% agree. And if you'd like to find out more about effective after school programmes, make sure you check out Lauren's website, I'll put a direct link in the show notes, all you have to do is open up the episode in your podcast app, and tap straight through. 

Emma Shackleton  31:09  

And while you've got your podcast app open, don't forget to give us a rating and review. Whether you're using Apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or whatever. Every review tells your podcast provider to recommend us to other listeners so that they can find the show and start getting the help and support that they need in their classrooms too.

Reviewing feels more exciting than when you went to collect a parcel from an Amazon locker for the first time. And you tell the app that you've arrived and like the door opens all by itself. It's modern wizardry.

And on that moment of awe and wonder it's time to close the show. Thanks for listening today. Hope you have a brilliant week and we look forward to seeing you next time on school behaviour secrets. Bye for now.

Simon Currigan  31:55  


(This automated transcript may not be 100% accurate.)