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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A Stop Smoking in School Trial (ASSIST) is an intervention aimed at spreading and sustaining non-smoking behaviours through school social networks that targets children in grade 8 (12-13 years old). The phases of the intervention include: 1) nomination of peer supporters, 2) recruitment of peer supporters,3) training of peer supporters, 4) intervention period, and 5) acknowledgement of peer supporters’ contributions. Potential peer supporters are first identified as students who received the most nominations on a questionnaire in which students identify influential peers. The 2-day training is conducted outside of school and focuses on teaching peer supporters how to have informal conversations with their peers about smoking. During the 10-week intervention period, peer supporters undertake informal conversations with other students about smoking and log their conversations. During the intervention, trainers provide additional support through four in-school visits. ASSIST was first pilot tested in 1996 in six schools in South Wales. Early Adopters started rolling out the programme in 2007 and in 2010, DECIPHer Impact Ltd, a non-profit spinout company was set up by the University of Bristol and Cardiff University to distribute ASSIST more widely. It is currently being implemented in 27 Local Authority areas across the United Kingdom including the whole of Wales, England and the Channel Islands. Scotland has recently announced that they are going to be setting up a pilot of ASSIST starting in 2014.
The North Karelia Youth Project offered a community and school-based educational intervention for seventh graders (students aged 13) to decrease the social desirability of smoking and coach them to resist peer, adult, and media pressure to smoke. The goal of the program was to decrease the number of children who would start smoking for the first time and reduce all the lifetime exposure to tobacco for all children in the program area. Two versions of the intervention were each implemented at an urban and a rural school in North Karelia County in Finland.
In the first version of the intervention, peer leaders from the eighth and ninth grades (students aged 14 and 15) and program staff delivered 10 sessions of the program. In the second version, teachers were trained and instructed to deliver 5 sessions of the program. The program included information about a nutritionally healthy diet and the health hazards of smoking as well as demonstration and role-playing to handle social pressure to smoke. During the time of the school intervention, a community intervention for adults was taking place through mass media channels and community organizations.
A second North Karelia Youth Project involving smoking, alcohol abuse, exercise and nutrition was implemented subsequently, and a description of that program can be found in the user registry.
The KiVa programme is a school-wide approach to decreasing the incidence and negative effects of bullying on student well-being at school. The programme’s impact is measured through self and peer-rated reports of bullying, victimization, defending victims, feeling empathy towards victims, bystanders reinforcing bullying behaviour, anxiety, self-esteem, depression, liking school, and academic motivation and performance, among other factors. The programme is based on the idea that how peer bystanders behave when witnessing bullying plays a critical role in perpetuating or ending the incident. As a result, the intervention is designed to modify peer attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of bullying. The programme specifically encourages students to support victimised peers rather than embolden bullying behaviour and, furthermore, provides teachers and parents with information about how to prevent and address the incidence of bullying.
Risk Watch is an injury prevention and safety education programme aimed at children ages three to 14 (the evaluation which studied the effects of the program assessed the impact of the program on children between the ages of 7 and 10 only). Developed by the National Fire Protection Association in the USA and adapted for use in the UK, the program aims to develop children’s risk-assessment and injury-reduction skills . The curriculum varies by age based on developmental stages as well as the risks faced by different age groups. The program focuses on eight areas of injury prevention, including:
Risk Watch is designed to be flexible in its delivery; it can be integrated into a school’s core curriculum, or can be offered as a stand-alone unit.