Changes and Challenges addresses the concerns of 12-13 year olds (Year 8). Charlie and Alice enjoy their first move from dependence to independence when they get after-school jobs. They find that increased freedom brings responsibility and that various of their classmates react differently to the challenges of growing up. This is an age when young people are growing fast, taking on new responsibilities and finding themselves having to defend their own values and need for privacy while also wanting to be accepted among their peers. Standing up for good human values can be uncomfortable and it tests Charlie and Alice’s integrity as well as their friendships. Life at home brings its own joys and frictions as they and their families adjust to the changes of puberty and gauge the duties which accompany new freedoms, but through the book they learn to understand their own mood and bodily changes and to savour the adventure of making new friends and being treated at home as young adults in the family.
It Works!In just a year, the Alive to the World programme has become a fixture in our School life. The ease with which the themes encountered in the classroom can be taken up in form assemblies to the whole School has been especially useful. Besides this exchange of ideas across the whole School, we have also found that the programme communicates our ethos effectively to parents. We include the learning objectives in our weekly newsletter, so that parents can understand more clearly, and welcome, the values we try to communicate to our children. Robert O’Brien, Head of PSHE, Westminster Cathedral Choir School