GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

25 Aug 2017

An innovative approach to raising attainment

Wholistic LifeAimee Canavan, Director of Operations, Wholistic Life – Coaching for Kids

Our charity, Wholistic Life – Coaching for Kids, is working with schools to help them raise attainment by focusing on improving pupils’ wellbeing.

After successfully delivering a series of pilot programmes in South Lanarkshire, we are now rolling out our services to schools in the wider area.

Our organisation has made a really positive impact on the lives of many local young people. This is reflected in the evidence, testimonials and feedback that we have received from teachers, youth group leaders and, most importantly, the young people themselves.

Bryan Kee, Headteacher at Larkhall Academy is delighted at the results of the partnership with Wholistic Life, stating;

“We worked together to the benefit of a significant number of young people. This highly effective input from the Wholistic Life team has involved raising awareness of mental health issues and coping strategies as part of our S3 PHSE programme. This input was well received by learners and prompted a number of self-referrals from young people whom we were then able to support appropriately."

Furthermore, Wholistic Life have offered extensive, focused support to young people through our S1 nurture group, again to positive dividends for young people."

As an organisation, we find Wholistic Life to be professional, reliable and highly effective in delivering the service that they offer and thereby improving Health and Wellbeing outcomes for young people”.

This work with Larkhall Academy was also recently highlighted at the Scottish Parliament and was praised by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills as a commendable way in which schools can address the Scottish Attainment Challenge stating:

“These types of interventions are the ways in which some of the underlying issues that are impediments to the learning capabilities of young people can be properly addressed”.

Our programmes are delivered with a focus on the three key areas of Mind, Body and Soul and comprise six 45-minute sessions delivered in class on a weekly basis. The sessions are extremely adaptable and customisable, which enables them to be tailored to the requirements of any group. They are designed to be fully interactive and encourage participation and contribution, both verbally and through written exercises and workbooks that can be undertaken in smaller syndicate groups.
The programmes help young people to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence as well as building their resilience, which helps them to deal with everyday challenges that they will experience during their transition into adulthood.

We have also worked with Nurture Groups and were delighted to be invited to deliver a workshop on our work to the Nurture Group Network (NGN) at their annual seminar earlier this year.

We are also working in partnership with Heriot-Watt University in order that they can undertake an academic evaluation of our work. This will also help us to develop not only our evidence base but also our programmes so that we can offer effective and bespoke ‘whole-school’ approaches as an option for headteachers.  Working with the university is a hugely exciting development for our organisation.

For further information about the work of our organisation, please see our website:

We are also at stand H145 at The Scottish Learning Festival next month and we’d be delighted if you came to see us!