Sparklers History

Launching Sparklers (June 2017)

Sparklers was launched in June 2017 at Kaiapoi Borough School.

At the launch teacher Kerri Narbey's class, who begin every day with Sparklers, demonstrated three Sparklers activities.

"It’s an awesome way to get the children set up and ready for the day ahead,” says Kerri.“Overall the classroom is now a lot calmer and that allows more learning to happen."

Kerri even sees the benefits of Sparklers in the playground.

“When the kids get angry you can see a lightbulb going off and they start implementing things like deep breathing themselves. It might even be the reason we’re now seeing fewer physicals.”

Kerri says Sparklers has made teaching hauora a lot easier. “I love the simplicity of Sparklers. It’s all there; it tells you what to do and anyone can use it.

The activities are really hands on – they’re not just things for the children to listen to, they’re things the children can actually do and enjoy."

To read more about the demand and genesis of the project check out the Creation of Sparklers page.

2018 Sparklers evaluation

An evaluation of Sparklers has found that it is easy to implement in the classroom and teachers and other professionals working in schools are overwhelmingly positive towards it.

According to the evaluation, Sparklers helps to:

  • Embed wellbeing: Interviews with school leaders found that Sparklers activities aligned with whole-school approaches to building wellbeing and creating culture change.
  • Build social and emotional literacy: All teachers interviewed spoke enthusiastically about the implementation of Sparklers with their students.

Evaluation conclusions

Overall, the availability of the Sparklers resource was highly valued.

Sparklers provides a common wellbeing language across students, teachers, school leaders, and other professionals. Sparklers has normalised talking about and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for the schools involved in the evaluation.

Read the full evaluation

Read a two-page evaluation summary

Twenty new activities added (August 2018)

In August 2018 All Right? launched an extended Sparklers wellbeing toolkit.

Following requests from schools 20 new Sparklers activities were added, including ten activities specific to year 7 and 8 tamariki which focus on topics such as working together, building friendships and understanding and regulating big emotions.

The extended toolkit was launched at Breens Intermediate in Christchurch, who were involved on the development of the new Year 7 and 8 activities.

Breens Intermediate teacher Stephanie Pole said the school introduced Sparklers' activities as part of their Breens' Values and Wellbeing programme to assist students showing anxiety and low self-esteem.

“Since the beginning, there has been a noticeable change for many of our Breens' whānau. The fun activities help boost the confidence and happiness of the students, allowing them to engage in positive learning, behaviours, and friendships both in the classroom and beyond."

2020 Sparklers independent evaluation

An evaluation Sparklers as conducted by Ihi Research. This research comprised two eight-week-long qualitative case studies at Christchurch kura and a nationwide online survey which was completed by 137 teachers, school leaders, and school support staff.

The evaluation has found that Sparklers activities are having a positive impact on students’ social and emotional learning. The activities help tamariki manage their emotions, feel good, be kind, and build better relationships.

Key results include:

  • 99% believed Sparklers reduced anti-social behaviours, including bullying.
  • 93% said using Sparklers has helped create an emotionally supportive classroom.
  • 90% agreed that Sparklers has made a positive difference for students.
  • 88% said Sparklers helped to create an inclusive environment for learning.
  • 74% said Sparklers helped regulate energy levels in the classroom.

According to this research, one of the reasons behind Sparklers success is that the activities are for everyone in a classroom, and not just those who have typically required more intensive, one-on-one interventions. We know that over the course of our lives, we all face obstacles, and the earlier we learn coping strategies, the better we’re able to respond. The Sparklers toolkit explicitly recognises that we all benefit from learning how to cope with life’s challenges.

Read the full evaluation

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