Case Studies

Find Out How Schools are Improving Pupil Performance, Impact and Confidence

Building life skills through engaging online programs using sport and voice

How BISR Took Children from Very Anxious to Very Confident in Eight Short Weeks

After discovering Young Leaders Academy through a webinar for International School Leaders, Deputy Head of British International School Riyadh, Naim Shabir wanted to take a closer look at the Pitch Perfect Public Speaking award.

The challenge he faces everyday is ensuring children  learn the English language to a very high level of competency. Not such a challenge you may think – think again! The children that attend his school are from many different continents and English is not their mother tongue.

Add on top the pandemic and you have an incredible set of compounding challenges. Not least that children were very anxious about returning to school, they missed their friends and teachers and the Saudi government had tighter covid rules than most, meaning an extended home learning for all of the Primary school.  

A pre-program survey revealed 15% of children were very anxious about speaking in public and all had issues and challenges across the spectrum when it came to standing up and voicing their opinions.

Naim wanted the program to specifically target those children and see if it could help build their confidence, give them structure in their speech and ultimately engage them further in to school life, a love for learning and better attainment.

The Pitch Perfect Public Speaking Level One had a profound impact on every child. Taking even the most anxious to either slightly more confident all the way to very confident. 

The school have been most impressed about how easy it is to implement the program and how easy it’s been to engage the children into public speaking. They are now running the Pitch Perfect program every 12 weeks with years 3 to 9.  

How children feel about public speaking
sports leaders in primary school getting certificates

High Impact Sports Leaders

St Barnabas Primary School in Warrington, England have year-on-year challenges. The community the school serves ranks 3rd in the multiple indices of deprivation with over 60% of children on FSM. Society has already written-off its pupils. But this school does not stand for that.

They constantly seize the challenges ahead of them and look for ways and opportunities to change the course of history for every child – regardless of their background.

In fact they helped develop the Reach for the Stars sports leaders award with us back in 2010. 

Each pupil that now goes through the program is offered wider leadership opportunities. Helping out in-school and at their ever-growing selection of after-school clubs. 

Many alumni even return to help out and also to inspire the younger children into sports leadership. It’s one of the most impressive sports leadership programs in the country and St Barnabas is an Ambassador School for Young Leaders Academy.   

Taking Leadership Into The Community

Barrow Hall primary School faced many challenges with their sports leaders program. Including high attrition rates, bored sports leaders, minimal engagement from the younger children and a lack of strategy and direction.

John Littler, Head Teacher, wanted a program that would increase playground activity from 60% to 85% and he knew a structured sports leader award could potentially help.

They had used some of the ‘better known’ programs but found they didn’t work and their sports leaders offer was back at square one.

They were introduced to the Reach for Stars sports leader award back in 2018 and haven’t looked back since.

It has completely transformed their sports leadership program, engaged the sports leaders with vital life-skills and a valuable certificate whilst also increasing playground activity, improving behaviour and engaging younger pupils into activity and sport.

The sports leaders have gained so much confidence that they are now taking their skills into the community in settings like local nurseries (kindergartens) and residential homes for the elderly.


Primary school kids sports leader award
Public speaking for primary school Young leaders academy

Targeted Intervention with Impact and Success

Changing the educational trajectory of children who are in care, or in danger of low attainment is an ever increasing challenge. 

During a meeting with a UK Primary School (not named for privacy), we showed them details of how improving public speaking is linked to higher educational attainment.

The school was impressed by the links and outcomes and wanted to explore this further. 

We suggested they take a selection of children they would like to target and put them through a pilot. They agreed and the results were staggering.

Of the selection – every child saw marked improvements with their Literacy and Numeracy. The school now is using the Pitch Perfect public speaking award for targeted intervention with a whole cross section of children including vulnerable but also anxious and shy children too, with equally great success.

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