STAR can be run in and/or outside of school, either as a whole day or split into shorter sessions.
STAR can be delivered in schools under a number of agendas for various student groups.
STAR clearly sits under the CEG agenda in schools, so can be run as part of that programme.
Windmills has delivered STAR both as a one-day session within a school and as a series of modules. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages.
Delivering STAR over one full day allows you to take students off-timetable to focus on their work and lives. Our research shows this to be very appealing to young people. Delivery over a full day can also be resource-friendly as it frees up some staff members' time. It also allows the Champion to deliver STAR to a larger group of students in a one-off session.
However, we recommend that the STAR day is not a one off; it should be sandwiched between some preparatory work and a follow-up session.
The full-day option presents students with a great deal of information to absorb. It allows little time for reflection and review of changes and action plans.
Delivering STAR on a modular basis means that it can be incorporated into the curriculum and the academic year's timetable. It also allows students to implement their learning away from the workshop setting and reflect on what they've discovered about themselves and their life options. These reflections can then be explored in follow-up workshops.
Incorporating STAR into the timetable does mean that students may perceive it as just 'another lesson' – which is just what the young people in our focus groups told us they didn't want it to be.
Similarly, students are not necessarily in the right frame of mind when they come to a one-lesson STAR workshop. It does take a while to get students into the STAR 'zone' and this can absorb valuable lesson time.
Running STAR over two or three half-day sessions can avoid the drawbacks of the full-day and lesson-based delivery.
Students are focused as they are off-timetable but have time to reflect on what they discover about themselves between sessions.