YB Case Study
YB was not originally timetabled or risk assessed to join the One Spirit project at HMYOI Feltham. His behaviour in education and around the jail was frequently very disruptive, and he was regularly being sent back to his wing from education during the day as he couldn’t be safely contained in the classroom. After some discussion between a particular (caring) teacher and the OS tutor, arrangements were made to see if YB might benefit from some time with the One Spirit music project.
At first, he came in as a part of a small group. Although his behaviour was better than usual and he engaged for a short while, it was clear that he didn’t feel comfortable in the session – he repeatedly got up to call out for the officers who were outside in the corridor, asking them to bring him water or asking for a toilet break or some other request and caused other distractions, albeit mostly benign, which made it hard to keep the session on track. OS tutor suggested working with him 1to1.
The 1to1 environment was at first intimidating for him. He made no eye contact with the tutor and got up frequently to walk around the room and find something to distract himself. However, as the first session wore on his behaviour started to change. By the end of the session, he was calm and had started to engage more meaningfully in the activity, which was exploring music tech software and making a beat. After a couple more sessions change was really starting to show. He was generally more comfortable in the sessions; found it much easier to talk about himself and how he felt, and started to show real interest in the activities, asking questions, coming up with his own ideas and taking work back to his cell at the end of the day.
This was noticed by the officers and gradually they started to afford him more positive attention – they have scheduled his music session so that it’s the last session of the afternoon and they disperse all the other young people first, so he gets to spend the most amount of time possible in the HMDT Music session. Consequently, the relationship between him and the officers has vastly improved and he is much easier to manage. Other teachers have also remarked how he is generally more pleasant in the classes now and his behaviour is easier to manage.