Oakgrove Integrated Primary School
Mrs Eibhlin O’Hagan, P7 teacher at Oakgrove Integrated Primary School, Derry, remarked about their involvement with the Uberheroes® programme.
In November 2016 a group of our year 7 students took part in an exciting new early intervention programme to tackle social, emotional and mental wellbeing. The team from Hope 4 Life NI ran focus groups across NI and our children were selected to take part in these. They were presented with a unique early intervention concept for young people called Uberheroes® – a concept based on Superhero style comics which dealt with key issues that are currently not covered elsewhere. I was delighted with the interest and mature discussions our children had with the Uberheroes® team.
The pupils commented on a 4 page sampler of the comic and were delighted to be asked what their opinions were, what they liked about this as an idea and what they didn’t like, what they wanted to see online for helpful resources, for themselves and for their parents. The pupils freely shared their thoughts on the comic format and how they felt it related to them. They really loved the idea that every story in the comic would be based on real young people and their experiences, was age appropriate and how they would be able to contact the Uberheroes® for advice at any time. They also loved the idea that they would each receive a comic which they also suggested they would use this as a tool to talk to their parents, siblings or friends.
Since then we have been delighted to welcome the Uberheroes® facilitation team back with comic 1 which deals with Cyber-bullying and Self-harm and also comic 2 which deals with Manipulation, Isolation, Depression and Drugs. The children have loved being involved and have learnt a lot from these interactive visits from the Uberheroes® facilitators. They enjoyed the engagement and discussions on the issues of cyber-bullying and self-harm, helping to come up with solutions to benefit the character in the story. From these sessions the students were able to think of how they could better cope and overcome these issues, who they should talk to and how the real life advice and guidance given by the Uberheroes staff would be of use in their own lives.
These visits have been really engaging; where the children have felt completely involved in the group activities and discussions in which they’ve had a voice to discuss these issues openly with their peers has been an invaluable experience.
Subsequently we have now included our partner P7 class with the Uberheroes team on their last visit also delivered the programme to them. We are looking forward to future visits in the next term where the children can learn how to cope and deal more challenging topics.