Lewis, 13, was put forward for the Teens and Toddlers programme by his Head of Year in an effort to tackle his difficult behaviour in the classroom and boost his self-confidence. He was struggling to find the motivation to study or engage academically, which was negatively impacting on his interactions with his teachers and peers. Miss Garrib, Head of Year 9, had this to say about Lewis at the start of the programme:

‘He lacks confidence in himself. He sees himself as being academically not good enough, which in turn leads to him not listening, not engaging with his lessons and disrupting the learning of others. Over the last two years he’s had numerous detentions and negative behaviour points because of this.

Last year he was moved into a new tutor group to combat these difficulties, but he’s really struggled to fit in or develop friendships within the classroom, and he’s fallen back into the same patterns of poor behaviour.’

On the Teens and Toddlers programme Lewis participated in weekly mentoring sessions with his toddler, Alex, whom he quickly bonded with. During the sessions Lewis helped Alex with his reading and writing, took part in arts and crafts sessions and helped the nursery staff with a range of group activities.

Lewis responded well to the mentoring sessions and benefitted from the change of environment and pace:

"I feel like in the nursery I can be myself more than I can in school. When you’re around the children you want to be calm and be a good role model, not acting tough like you would around your friends.

When I arrive at the nursery my toddler jumps around and gets all excited. It makes me happy because no one else reacts like that. It’s all different here."

His Head of Year was amazed by his enthusiasm for the programme, noting how he was always ‘so excited to go the nursery on Thursdays’ and always came back with ‘fantastic stories to tell.’ Miss Garrib also began to notice changes in his behaviour and attitude:

‘Lewis has become more caring. I’ve seen him considering what he says before he says it, and his interactions with other students in the school have changed too. He’s not had any behaviour points since [joining the programme] and he’s told me how nice it feels to not be getting in any trouble.’

Power2 Programme Lead Dawn Kendall said: ‘Working with his toddler over the 16 weeks gave Lewis the opportunity to develop his key interpersonal skills in a relaxed and low-pressure environment. We helped him to consolidate these skills and to think about how he can start applying them to his everyday life. He’s definitely become more confident and empathetic, and he really seems to have started forming positive relationships with the other mentors.’

Reflecting on his experiences on the programme, Lewis said:

"After doing the programme I’ve like changed a bit, because my confidence levels have risen. I’ve got better at speaking in lessons, it’s inspired me to take part more, so it’s like boosted me in a lot of ways. I really understand now the importance of me doing well."

"I’m proud of me and my toddler. But I’m more proud of my toddler because he’s learning to read and write, and it’s nice to see."

At the end of the programme we caught up with Miss Garrib:

‘We’re delighted with the impact the programme has had. Lewis has now started to turn himself around and we're certainly less worried about him heading down the wrong path later on. He’s really developed. He's been happier in lessons, he’s having fewer issues with his form group and he’s told me how keen he is to improve his grades.

I’d certainly recommend Teens and Toddlers to any school as there are so many different ways in which it can benefit young people.’