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Evidence-Based Practices

This section features practices that have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous research.  These practices have been reviewed by a team of experts and summarized in a way that is easy to understand.

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Talk About Alcohol Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom

Talk About Alcohol is an intervention developed in the UK for helping children age 11-18 make informed decisions about alcohol.  It carries the same name as a pilot website developed in 2005 by the European Association of Communication Agencies (EACA) with the European Forum for Responsible Drinking), which was based on a programme originally developed in Sweden, however the UK Talk About Alcohol programme, developed by The Alcohol Education trust Charity is fundamentally different from the European initiative.  The programme is inspired by SHARHP (Australia) and EUDAP Unplugged (EU), social norms approaches and life skills education.  Talk About Alcohol is provided through schools in the United Kingdom by the Alcohol Education Trust, who support teachers, students, and their parents with resources on line and in print. The programme gives teachers materials and tools designed to encourage students to make informed decisions and rehearse strategies for challenging situations regarding alcohol use, while delaying the age of first drinking, encouraging responsible drinking behaviours, and reducing the acceptability of drinking to get drunk.  The school lessons focus on alcohol health knowledge, developing self-esteem and life skills, and learning to resist peer pressure by using example scenarios, games and role-playing.  The resources provided include 

Catch Up Numeracy Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2007

Catch Up® Numeracy is a fairly non-intensive intervention (consisting of two 15-minute sessions delivered twice a week by classroom assistants who have undergone three half-days training sessions). The intervention is designed to address relatively mild persistent numeracy difficulties; in different words, the intervention is intended for children who already have some knowledge and understanding of numbers but are below the attainment level expected of their age cohort. The intervention was launched in 2007 by the not-for-profit UK charity, Catch Up®, and since then it has been implemented in over 47 local authorities across England and Wales.

The intervention largely builds upon the Numeracy Recovery research while also combining some elements from the Catch Up® Literacy intervention. Namely, from the former, the intervention designers have adopted a simplified version of the componential view of arithmetic[1], while the structure of the intervention has been based on the latter. Similarly to Catch Up Literacy,
Catch Up Numeracy consists of four stages and is delivered through three-part 15-minute individual sessions taking place twice a week. It also has the same levels of attainment.

The children’s progress throughout the intervention is scaffolded on two dimensions:  individual components of numeracy and the levels of attainment.

Zippy’s Friends Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Lithuania, 2006

Zippy’s Friends is a 24-week-long, universal school-based programme designed to help children (between six and eight years of age) to cope better with everyday adversities. In other words, the main goal of the programme is to prevent psychological problems by increasing children’s range of coping skills. The programme is distributed globally through the non-profit organisation Partnership for Children and currently operates in 29 countries (i.e. Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, England and Wales, Haiti, Iceland, India, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Reunion, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago, USA)  

The programme is based on six stories about three characters, their families and friends and an imaginary stick insect named Zippy; through their everyday joys, problems and sorrows the children explore themes related to communication, relations, emotions, friendships, conflict and conflict resolution.  The programme’s materials, which are used during the 24 weekly lessons, include six stories about Zippy and his friends (covering the six aforementioned themes), large coloured posters illustrating those stories and detailed lesson plans for teachers. During the lessons, children are encouraged to interact through tasks and discussions within a structured programme, take part in dialogues and share their experiences and perceptions. Thus, rather than focusing on helping children to cope individually with their problems, the programme highlights the importance of talking and listening to others as well as receiving and giving help.

In particular, each session has specific objectives which are achieved through 2 or 3 participatory activities; furthermore, as repetition is of key importance in the programme, each session begins with a review of what the children have learned in the previous session.

Bright Start Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, 1993

Bright Start is a programme for cognitive education for children aged 3-6 years old, especially those at high risk of school failure based on social circumstances such as ethnic minority, inner city residence, and low socio-economic status (SES) group.  The programme supplements traditional preschool and kindergarten curricula.   The curriculum is designed to promote a set of cognitive functions including self-regulation in response to instructions, comparison, verbal labelling, precision and accuracy in data-gathering, systematic exploratory behaviour, and spatial referents (such as ‘left’ and ‘right’) through eight units of 20-25 small-group lessons each on the topics of self-regulation, number concepts, comparison, role-taking, classification, patterns and sequences, letter-shape concepts, and (recently added) transformation (Brooks & Haywood, 2003; Paour & Cèbe, 2000).

Bright Start is delivered in kindergarten and preschool settings in a form of small-group lessons for 5-6 students at a time.  The lessons are between 20 and 30 minutes and consist of exercises with detailed instructions for teaching a constructive lesson with a questioning technique.  Lessons consist of one topic at a time, but include an initial task and a variation to help the children understand the range of application of the lesson’s problem-solving concept.  Later in the same day, the teacher presents tasks to the entire class requiring the same cognitive function as in the small-group lesson with more academic content such as spelling or math.  At the end of the day, the teacher asks the children to remember the cognitive function discussed that day and to summarize what they have learned.  Children are also encouraged to evaluate themselves on whether they have accomplished the lesson tasks and justify whether they have been successful.

The Bright Start programme and curriculum was developed by H. C. Haywood, P.H. Brooks, and S. Burns at Vanderbilt University in the United States, building on the cognitive developmental work of Piaget, Vygotsky, Haywood, and Feuerstein and other experts in cognitive function and mediational teaching.  It was first implemented in the early 1980’s in Nashville, Tennessee and Seattle, Washington  in the United States and soon after in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, France.  It has also been implemented in Canada, Israel, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Singapore, Iceland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana, and the Netherlands.  The Bright Start programme has been evaluated with evidence for positive outcomes in France, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Singapore, Canada and the United States.

Disordered Eating Prevention Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Spain, 2012  - 2014

This programme was implemented in 13 publicly funded schools in Terrassa, a city in the Barcelona metropolitan area of Spain for students aged 13.  The programme consisted of one 90 minute ML session discussing media literacy, critical thinking about the feminine Aesthetic-Beauty Model of extreme thinness, and awareness of historical, cross-cultural and media conceptions of beauty.  Some classes also participated in a 90 minute NUT session discussing nutrition and balanced eating.  Male and female students participated in their usual classroom setting as the programme was delivered in weekly sessions over the course of up to two weeks.