Hartlepool school uses ‘chimp model’ psychology technique to improve performance

Learning coaches at High Tunstall College of Science from left to right: Nina Youll, Leanne Harrison, Louise Dixon and Stacey Lester.
Learning coaches at High Tunstall College of Science from left to right: Nina Youll, Leanne Harrison, Louise Dixon and Stacey Lester.

A Hartlepool school is using similar mind techniques of the British Olympic Cycling team to inspire students to achieve their full potential.

High Tunstall College of Science is using “The Chimp Paradox Model” which was developed by psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters who has used the model with a large number of professional athletes including the Olympic Cycling team and Liverpool Football Club.

Great Britain's (left-right) Steven Burke, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy and Sir Bradley Wiggins with their gold medals following victory in the men's team pursuit final on the seventh day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

Great Britain's (left-right) Steven Burke, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy and Sir Bradley Wiggins with their gold medals following victory in the men's team pursuit final on the seventh day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

The theory is designed to help develop individuals, giving them the skills, for example, to remove anxiety, have confidence and choose their emotions.

Andrew Hare, teacher of discovery at the school, said: “The Chimp Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into an easy to use model.

“The core values of High Tunstall College of Science are supporting and inspiring students, to allow them to achieve their potential.

“The Chimp Paradox model was piloted with a view to giving extra support to a small cohort of students who display challenging behaviours at school.

“The aim of the Chimp Paradox support pathway is to allow students to recognise how their mind works and how to understand and manage their emotions and thoughts.”

The project had two main aims.

The first was to challenge students’ emotional and unhelpful thinking processes and the second was to teach students about the order in which information is processed within the brain, so they could avoid reacting emotionally and disproportionally to events in their daily lives.

The house learning coaches at the college completed a six-hour training course developed within the college so they were comfortable using the principles.

Students then had two 30-minute meetings each week with learning coaches trained in the chimp principles, in which their behaviours and suitable methods for tackling similar incidents in the future were discussed, and goals set.

Mr Hare added: “It will help students to develop and give them the emotional skills and positive habits to remove negative emotions and develop more confidence and helpful behaviours within school.”

Mr Hare’s work with the Chimp Paradox Model has gained national interest from the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT) which has recently been published in their Spring 2017 Journal.

Mr Hare has also been contacted by The Chimp Management company as they are keen to see how the college has used the Chimp Paradox Model within the college.

High Tunstall is the first 11-16 school in the UK to gain the STEM Assured Award for its commitment to science, technology, engineering and maths.

The college has recently been rated “good” in all areas by Ofsted.

For more information about the Chimp Paradox Model at High Tunstall College of Science contact Mr Hare at the college or via email ahare@hightunstall.hartlepool.sch.uk.

Alternatively further information can be found at the Chimp Management website: www.chimpmanagement.com.