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Written by Alessandra Podesta, Project Officer, GBG.

After months of hard work and preparation, the UK trial of the Good Behaviour Game has finally started.

Behind the scenes, there was a lot of hard work and energy from the GBG UK team that helped us reach this stage. The months of August and September were dedicated to preparing all the materials, organising the training sessions for coaches and teachers, and planning for the next phases. Mentor’s Marketing & Communications Officer Jade did an amazing job editing, proofreading and designing the resources we used for the training and implementation phases. As the GBG Project Officer, I was in charge of the logistical side of things, which I did with great support from the rest of the Mentor team.

GBG materialsIt was a lot of work and, little by little, things started to feel more real as the products of our work started appearing. At one point, our London office was full of boxes containing copies of GBG manuals, posters, booklets and everything else, taking up any available floor space as well as our couches, chairs and tables, waiting to be packed up and shipped to the trial schools. There was a mixture of excitement and trepidation among the team at finally seeing everything coming together…but that was just the beginning.

GBG coachesAfter spending the last days of August sorting materials, compiling files and packing them up again, we launched into training in early September. The first session was the coaches’ training, where a stellar coaching team was assembled, trained and initiated. Kirsty, Lauren, Steve, John, Kate, Carol and John spent the first week of September together, learning and practicing the art of GBG coaching under the guide of Peter, our lead coach, and Gail, the AIR researcher from the U.S. who has been with us since the very beginning of this journey. It was pleasing to see coaches and the rest of the team becoming colleagues, team members and friends.

The next big step was to start training the teachers. The coaching team managed to train over 100 teachers and teaching personnel throughout September, and the biggest reward was to see so much enthusiasm among them.

From our side, the office is back to normal now that the boxes of implementation materials have all been shipped off to schools, and the team has recovered from a hectic summer (it reminded us why back-to-school time is such a busy one.) These initial phases are now completed and our targets achieved. What once didn’t seem possible is finally taking shape!

GBG is now being played within 38 primary schools in England, led by at least 74 teachers and reaching nearly 2,000 pupils.

Watch this space – coaches and teachers will be blogging throughout the two years, sharing the challenges and successes of being part of this exciting trial. We’re all looking forward to sharing our experiences with you as the trial progresses.

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