SCARF and the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust (DGAT)

We asked the School Improvement lead, Jackie Buckland, about the impact of SCARF in their schools. Before her current role, Jackie was a Headteacher in Gloucestershire and also spent several years in the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) local authority advisory team. 

How has SCARF impacted the DGAT schools', pupils' behaviour and the status of PSHE (including RSHE) within the curriculum?

Headteachers of our 17 schools completed a survey in July 2021 and all reported positively on SCARF. Comments included: 

  • It forms a strong basis for the teaching of PSHE. 
  • Resources are good.
  • It’s very useful, easy to use and with activities that are engaging and well-pitched.
  • The resources provide clear direction for learning; these have been appreciated by staff and enjoyed by pupils. 
  • It has been used consistently to support pupils with a range of needs.
  • There is an appropriate choice of lessons across the year.

Headteachers also referred to the use of the ‘Back to School’ lessons, which supported pupils’ wellbeing during the transitional periods after lockdowns. 

The fact that all of our schools have chosen to continue using SCARF this year is a testament to the quality of the approach and resources.

How did you introduce SCARF to the 17 schools within DGAT?

The SCARF team provided free training for all our schools to help us navigate everything that it provides. I also met with PSHE co-ordinators to assess the introduction of SCARF in their schools and to monitor any issues. Reports were positive, particularly around the quality of the resources and impact on teacher workload.  

In addition to this, I attended RSE training led by SCARF's RSE specialist, Lisa Handy. I found it extremely beneficial and have used information and ideas for it with PSHE co-ordinators. 

What's been the impact of SCARF on children in your schools?

I carried out detailed monitoring of PSHE with book looks and pupil conferencing in the Trust schools. Findings included:

  • Children really enjoy the lessons – they were all really excited to look at the work in their folders/books/floor book and were able to talk about the activities and learning. 
  • There is a wide range of activities evident in books/folders. EYFS floor book showed lots of learning, with pupil involvement/comment.
  • Younger children loved Harold and his long Scarf and were able to talk about some of his ‘adventures’.
  • They particularly referenced support around friendships as something SCARF had helped them with. 

Our CEO, Quality Assurance Lead and I have all carried out the annual Safeguarding Audits for all 17 schools, during the Summer Term of 2021. Included within this is pupil conferencing on how the curriculum helps them to understand how to stay safe. Pupils talk readily about SCARF and confidently about the individual lessons that support them in this area. 

Feedback goes back to Coram and the team there always listens so that they can continue to act on any changes needed and improve the resources.

Can you summarise for us how SCARF has impacted across your schools?

We are genuinely proud to have developed such a strong partnership with Coram and SCARF, for the benefit of all of our Trust community – pupils, staff and parents/carers.

Developing this relationship has allowed our staff to have access to a high-quality resource, expert training and ongoing support but most importantly our pupils have had access to great learning opportunities and a sense of agency …. our children have been able to give direct feedback to the SCARF team, which has been listened to and acted upon.

The power of this for young people is great – a sense of agency in their learning about themselves and others and being able to influence how this is delivered is amazing!


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