How Pyramid works
Pyramid is a well-established and evaluated programme for use in primary schools and the early stages of secondary school. It aims to identify children who are facing difficulties in their social and emotional development, focusing on those who are quieter, shy or more withdrawn and who tend to internalise their difficulties.
How does the Pyramid model work? – the 3 stages
Pyramid is more than just another afterschool club. It is a robust three-stage model for identifying and supporting children and young people’s needs.
The screening process is usually done by a teacher and takes just a few minutes per child. A whole year group is selected for screening – Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3. This ensures that the quieter, more withdrawn children are not overlooked, and that early interventions can be put in place for all children causing concern.
The main screening tool is the Department of Health’s recommended Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which looks at five areas:
- peer relations
- emotional needs
- pro-social skills.
Visit the SDQ website for more information about this questionnaire. In addition, there are questionnaires for parents and children to complete.
A multi-agency meeting is held to discuss the screening results. The group identifies suitable support for the different needs highlighted.
Ten children are offered a place at a Pyramid Club which will normally run after school, once a week for ten weeks.
How can we start Pyramid locally?
Pyramid clubs run in individual schools, but local schools may join together to offer a more comprehensive and lower-cost service to children and parents. In some areas, groups of schools are supported by external agencies from the statutory or voluntary sector who co-ordinate activities across a wider geographic area. In most cases, the specific organisation of Pyramid locally will depend on the funding available.
An individual school, cluster of schools or other organisation that wishes to see Pyramid in its area should contact us to discuss how to get started. We may be able to put you in touch with other schools or groups who are also interested, or may be able to identify potential sources of funding to get your project going.
An individual school or cluster of schools will be supported by Pyramid through:
- training of a local Pyramid link person in the Pyramid model.
- training for club leaders, whether volunteers or school staff.
- supply of comprehensive materials to allow schools to involve parents, work with volunteers and run successful Pyramid clubs.
- ongoing advice and support, including updates to materials, regular briefings on relevant issues and support to ensure sustainability of the work.
- a quality assurance system to ensure that Pyramid clubs are delivered to a consistently high standard.
We can also offer guidance to statutory or voluntary organisations who wish to manage Pyramid across a wider area which includes:
- train the trainer course to enable a local Pyramid co-ordinator to recruit and train club leaders to work in schools
- running an inter-agency steering group to oversee the project
- embedding Pyramid with other local interventions for children and families.
Where and for what ages do clubs run?
Pyramid has traditionally worked in schools because nearly all children attend school, so it is more likely that difficulties will be identified and addressed there. However, the model is also used in community settings or with a specific group of children (eg looked after children, children of migrant workers).
Pyramid resources and training are available to run clubs for:
- Years 3 and 4
- Years 5 and 6 – Transition Clubs
- Years 7 and 8 – Secondary School Clubs
To start a conversation about setting up a Pyramid Club in your school or local area please contact us.
So now you know how Pyramid works, but why does it work? Visit the evidence page to find out.