Primary School Workshops: An Impact Report

When Reach started we only focused on teenagers.

But even early intervention is still intervention, and our work is preventative. We didn’t want to make the mistake of under-estimating the struggles primary school-aged people go through, especially as they approach the difficult transition to high school.

So in 2001, we developed workshops tailored for that age group and started delivering them.

Since then we have continue to refine our approach and now deliver 200+ primary school workshops per year. And we currently have 4 workshops specifically designed for Grades 5 and 6:

Grade 5
Peer Connection
This workshop encourages out-of-the-box thinking and celebrates the differences among classmates. A more positive peer connection within the group is developed by investigating the impact and issues arising from bullying.

Positive Behaviours
This challenges students to explore limiting behaviours and to develop personal accountability for improving the school experience for themselves and others. The workshop also introduces techniques for working as a team.

Grade 6
Resilience and Goals
This introduces how ordinary people are heroes in everyday life. Activities encourage empathy and awareness for others and individual authentic expression. An important component of this workshop is helping identify dreams, passions and life goals.

Change and Transitions
Preparing the young people for the move to high school, this workshop emphasises the importance of broadening our perspective and identifying things that are holding us back. Through positive choices and forward thinking, it increases self-awareness and builds resilience, especially in times of change.



The Results

With Primary School Workshops we survey both the students and their teachers. They indicate whether they agree or disagree with a given statement.

The students talk directly to their experience, and the teachers respond to the same survey with how well they feel their students have responded to the workshop.

Every statement they respond to starts with “This workshop helped me to…”


The results track positively from the students and teachers alike (approx. 1 teacher per 22 students). And it’s interesting to see the difference between the student’s experience and their teacher’s perception of the same experience. (Results from workshops run in 2018/19)

We also get them to write about their experience with the workshop. Our favourite comments to read are those from our Primary School Workshops. They are usually very honest, unfiltered and quite articulate.

Over time we’ve seen the comments will generally fall into 1 of 4 categories.

  1. They felt more confident as a result of the workshop.
  2. They were able to understand each other better.
  3. They appreciated the workshop was delivered by relatable young people.
  4. They appreciated the style and spirit of the workshop and activities.


Quotes from participants:
“It’s fun and they make me feel more confident and not shy.”
– Grade 5 student
“I really like knowing more about students in my grade and if they’re struggling with anything.”
– Grade 6 student

“I liked how they [the Reach facilitators] were entertaining, interactive, enthusiastic about their job and overall it was really fun.”
– Grade 6 student

“I really liked the workshop because it can help me have more confidence and be good at communication with people around me and have a good feeling.”
– Grade 5 student

“As much as a teacher’s or a parent’s advice can be helpful, I personally feel like being able to communicate with other kids like me is immensely essential. This feeling of belonging and understanding us kids get from the workshop is very vital and it makes me rather pleased the workshop has this.”
– A very articulate Grade 6 student

Quote from teachers:

“Our awesome year 6 students learned that it’s okay to be their authentic selves and that they are enough! Such an emotional, inspiring and powerful visit from the amazing Reach team! Thank you all so much for taking the time to ensure that each one of our kids had their voices heard! Amazing is an understatement!”
– Nicole, Grade 6 teacher

“The workshop enabled students to reflect on their emotional and social wellbeing and to acknowledge and voice their fears, pain, goals and aspirations.”
– Simon, Grade 5 Teacher



We pride ourselves on prevention, rather than early intervention, and our primary school workshops provide a great opportunity to fulfil that.

Unless they present as so-called “problem cases”, primary school students are often neglected when it comes to nurturing their emotional development. The transition to high school can be especially stressful and we see a lot of issues arise from that time of drastic change.

Giving them the language and tools to express what they’re going through helps them better understand themselves and those around them. It makes change much easier to deal with. And we think that’s really important.

Our Primary School Workshop sponsors help reduce the program cost for schools in Vic & NSW