The executive function coaching programme begins by collecting information from the adults who support the student and the student themselves (this will be carried out through a mixture of informal conversations and questionnaires).
Next comes getting the young person’s commitment to coaching: it is important that the student is on board because we require the student to lead the process with the support of the coach. If this commitment is not assured we might instead suggest a course of 6 metacognition building sessions complete with a bespoke report and plan in the place of our standard appraisal followed by intensive coaching. This gives the student a chance to learn about executive functions and brain plasticity, understand more fully their challenges and how they can impact their lives and the lives of those around them and also encourages them to develop a growth mindset around improving their executive function skills. Towards the end of the six sessions, we will ascertain if they are ready to engage with coaching and if they are, we will then set goals and create a bespoke coaching plan for them based on an intensity they are happy with.
If the student is fully committed to the coaching process we will start with an appraisal session; the session is about an hour and a half, but can be broken up over two sessions and can be conducted on Skype or face to face. The session involves the coach gathering background information from the young person about their executive function skills strengths and weaknesses, interests and motivations, long-term goals and medium-term goals and then identifying the obstacles to achieving them. Together the coach and the young person devise a realistic plan with strategies to reach their goals using SMART objectives. For example, a young person’s goal could be to increase lecture attendance within the next half of term or to improve their revision strategies before their prelim exams. The coach then produces a comprehensive report detailing the young person’s executive function skills strengths and weaknesses and a bespoke plan of how to tackle these challenges, starting with the most pressing. This plan is shared with the parents, and we encourage students to discuss the findings and recommendations.
The coach will also take into account any reports that have already been produced (for example an educational assessment by a psychologist) and tailor the coaching according to the needs that have already been identified.