Coaching for Kids – Part 1

To mark the start of my daily “Coaching 4 kids” tips on Twitter, I’m combining these with a set of blogs on the topic of using coaching with children.

Being a coach with a background in education, I guess you could say it’s a natural step to be interested in how using coaching skills can help children in school. Following a recent pilot study to explore this further, results have been positive. These blog posts will share and discuss these further.

Part 1 – Setting Targets

Coaching in schools lends itself very nicely to helping pupils work towards their individual targets, whether these be SEN targets, linked to IEPs, or core subject targets linked to raising attainment. As coaching is about empowering the ‘coachee’ (in this case the child) to be accountable for their own development, it’s useful to encourage the child to take ownership of the target. So if you’ve set the target, you could encourage ownership by getting the child to see the personal benefits for them:

  • how will achieving this target help you?
  • when you reach this target, what will you be able to do (better)?

… And encourage them to see the wider picture….

  • what else will you be able to do as a result?
  • what other positive things could this mean for you?

Try to keep the questions broad and not too leading. There may be some little gems of information you can get on areas of development / self-reflection you hadn’t realised were going on for the child … as I happily discovered during my pilot study research! (More of this in a separate blog.)

If you want the child to set their own targets (for a given area), some questions you could ask include:

  • So what do you want?
  • What would be a good target for (maths/your behaviour) which would help you?
  • What would be a good thing to aim for? (in the context of a conversation on a particular area)
  • If you could pick a really great target to work on, to help with your (literacy/spellings), what would that be?

Ensure the targets are positively worded; focus on what they want, rather than what they don’t want. (You get what you focus on, so make sure it’s positive!)

Part 2 will focus on exploring the targets further for maximum benefit.

As usual, I’d love to hear about your experiences with the topics I talk about, so if you’ve got some experience with using coaching in school with children, or have any comments/questions about this blog, please get in touch.


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4 Responses to “Coaching for Kids – Part 1”

  1. Julia Chisholm Says:

    A very interesting blog, Debbie and extremely important to know that it is based on a pilot study and therefore has great substance. I believe it’s important to let the individual (in this case the child) take owndership of achieving their goals. People are more likely to buy into something they believe in. Your advice to use open questioning techniques is also spot on. It can reveal some interesting previously unknown information that helps matters fall in to place. I look forward with interest to reading the next blog.

  2. Debbie Inglis Says:

    Thanks Julia. Appreciate the comments and feedback.

  3. Coaching for Kids – Part 2 « SquareBlog Says:

    […] SquareBlog Square Two Development « Coaching for Kids – Part 1 […]

  4. Coaching for Kids – Part 2 « SquareBlog Says:

    […] SquareBlog Square Two Development « Coaching for Kids – Part 1 […]

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