stepping stones 2

Run Stepping Stones

Explore key information and videos to help you run the Stepping Stones programme (or elements of it) in your school.

Video case studies

Find out about the journey of Stepping Stones students from Heathcote School and Science College, the Urswick School and Gladesmore Community School.

Stepping Stones case study - Heathcote Year 7 pupils

Stepping Stones case study - Urswick peer mentors

Stepping Stones case study - Gladesmore Year 7 SEN pupils

Programme activities

Each element of the Stepping Stones programme has different costs and benefits. Costs given below are based on the pilot year and include setup costs, like creating resources. These costs are likely to be reduced for schools running the programme now.

Read more to decide what would work best for your school.

Engagement days with primary schools 

Activity: liaising with primary school teachers, Year 6 students and parents, to understand student needs and identify those who may benefit from the programme.

Cost per student: None assigned.

Key benefits:

  • helps schools decide who would benefit from additional support in Year 7
  • builds awareness of Stepping Stones among primary school teachers and parents

Summer School

Activity: running activities during a two-week summer school to help immerse Year 7 students in the secondary school environment before term begins.

Cost per student: £382

Key benefits:

  • young people get to know the school layout, teachers, and fellow Year 7 students before term begins. This is especially important for those who feel anxious about starting secondary school, or who lack confidence
  • teachers get to know incoming students and identify other individuals who may benefit from additional support

Stepping Stones lessons

Activity: key learning sessions for Year 7 students - each one explores a key theme, to help young people develop their confidence and ability to deal positively with different social and academic situations.

Cost per student: £600

Key benefits:

  • establish norms of positive behaviour for incoming Year 7 students and address behavioural issues throughout the school year in a targeted and relevant way
  • especially effective for those displaying low-level but disruptive behavioural issues
  • students develop tools and strategies for managing their own emotions and behaviour

Peer mentoring

Activity: training Year 10 students to support Year 7 students through weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions held before school.

Cost per student: £305

Key benefits:

  • young people gain confidence, self-esteem, advice, social networks, positive and relatable role models, and support with homework
  • mentors develop in maturity, contributing to a wider school community culture of responsibility

Community mentoring

Activity: adult mentors from Gangs Unite providing support with peer mentoring and Stepping Stones lessons.

Cost per student: £846

Key benefits:

  • provides a relatable adult role model for both Year 7 students and peer mentors
  • supports the development of soft skills and positive behaviours 
  • frees up teaching staff capacity

Aspirational and career-based activities

Activity: working with external organisations to offer eye-opening opportunities to Year 7 students, which will inspire them to think about a range of careers and goals for their futures.

Cost per student: £100

Key benefits:

  • broadening horizons
  • enjoyable trips that encourage students to think differently about their future

Find out more about the aspiration activities offered through the Stepping Stones pilot via the links and video below:

Stepping Stones - Future life

Discover more

Read the evaluation of the Stepping Stones pilot for more information and top tips for running the programme.