You must use a self evaluation method that suits you. This section explores a sample of evaluation tools/methods which you may be able to integrate into your practice. This guide is not exhaustive and we would encourage schools to be creative and where possible link to activities you are already undertaking.

Circle Time

This resource uses the practice of circle time, effective in Primary Education, to further develop student’s communication skills, self-esteem and confidence. Whole-class activities, based around the format of a circle in which each pupil has a turn and a role to play, are ideal for planning and assessment of individual needs and aptitudes.

Quality Circle time (QCT) is a democratic and creative approach used to support teachers and other professionals in managing a range of issues that affect the whole learning community. Teaching staff, children, support staff, parents and boards can be actively involved.

QCT has been proved to promote better relationships and positive behaviour, two of the most effective improvements to both learning and the smooth and harmonious running of a school.

The QCT model involves a commitment from schools to set up an ongoing process of Circle Meetings for adults and children, at which the key interpersonal and organisational issues that affect school development can be addressed. The sessions for children may be linked to the health curriculum, and often consist of weekly meetings lasting half an hour where children sit round in a circle.

QCT meetings for children involve carrying out activities, games and the practice of speaking and listening skills, often in a round.

There are several key elements in the model, namely:

  • The Golden Rules: a system of behavioural rules for children.
  • Incentives: a weekly celebration to congratulate the children on keeping the Golden Rules.
  • Sanctions: the partial withdrawal of the Golden Time incentive.
  • Lunchtime Policy.
  • Improving the morale and self-esteem of staff.
  • Listening systems for children and adults alike.

For more information on this approach, please email

Talking Mats

Talking Mats is an established communication tool, which uses a mat with picture symbols attached as the basis for communication. It is designed to help children and young people with communication difficulties to think about issues, and provide them with an effective way to express their opinions.

Talking Mats can help people arrive at a decision by providing a structure where information is presented in small chunks supported by symbols. It gives people time and space to think about information, work out what it means and say what they feel in a visual way that can be easily recorded.

Guide to using Talking Mats

  • Pick the image that is relevant to the topic you are working on.
  • Ask the pupils to place or staff can place under instruction, the image on the mat under the happy, don’t know or unhappy.
  • Evaluate the response of the pupil and add to overall results.

(The Illustrations used in this example are from clip art and would not be the illustrations used in Talking Mats. Talking Mats has an up to date image package of its own. For further information please contact the FACCT team at Auchterderran Centre).

Interviews: Pupil Consultation on the Health Promoting School

Through the process of interviews, observation and discussions with the pupils, evaluate their responses to the health promotion statements and collate the evidence.

Proposed Activity: “Roving Reporters” – Use pupils to consult with other pupils on their opinion on the 6 elements of the Health Promoting School. See question guidelines for the actual questions.

Location: School Grounds.

Time: This was done shortly before, during and just after the allocated lunchtime. Could also have been done during a PSHE session or during house time/registration class.

Personnel: Staff or other pupils can do the “interviewing”. The pupils may need some support beforehand to help them understand the questions they are asking.

Equipment: microphones, tape recorders, clipboards, pen and questionnaires.

Draw and White (Confidence to Learn)

This resource has been designed to help extend the work in the area of health education. It seeks to develop the concept of the health promoting school which enables children to be happy confident learners. The resource has been developed as an evaluative method for children and young people in the primary setting using the Draw and Write method.

Reference: “A Guide to Extending Health Education in the Primary School” (a big orange book, sent to each school)
Authors: Noreen Wetton and Michele McCoy
Published by: Health Scotland

Peer Education or “Buddying”

Peer Education can be a very useful way to deliver health messages to young people. Young people are more likely to listen and respond to information given by their peers than to a “lecture” delivered by adults.

What is Peer Education?

Peer Education is an increasingly popular method of providing information and advice to young people. It is, however, not a new concept, and can be traced back as far as Aristotle in ancient Greece.

Peer Education is a term widely used to describe a range of initiatives where people from a similar:

  • age group
  • background
  • culture and/or
  • social status

educate each other about a variety of issues.

Rationale of Peer Education

The rationale behind Peer Education is that peers are a more trusted and credible source of information, as they share similar experiences and social norms and are therefore better placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information.

Defining Peer Education

When defining Peer Education a number of elements and values need to be considered so that peers fully inform the process and do not just spout a set adult agenda.

The following Fast Forward definition takes the key elements of Peer Education into account:

“Peer Education is an approach which empowers young people to work with other young people, and which draws on the positive strength of the peer group. By means of appropriate training and support, the young people become active players in the educational process rather than passive recipients of a set message. Central to this work is the collaboration between young people and adults.”

Big Brother Diary Room

The use of the “Diary Room” can be most effective when gathering views of children and young people about any particular issue. Children and young people particularly like the idea of a “voice box” being an alternative to any form of written feedback.

You need to have a room which is relatively quiet for interviews. Set up a video recorder and place the seats in an appropriate position which could be easily captured on video. Set no more than 5 specific age-appropriate questions for the children and young people to respond to, on the relevant issue where you wish to collate information.

Some young people like to respond to questions in groups and this can often be beneficial to the interviews as information is often teased out further than in individual interviews.

It is a good idea to give the children and young people the question they are to be asked a few minutes before the interviews to allow them to gather their thoughts.

Be direct when asking the questions. The children and young people like the directness used on the Big Brother reality shows and often respond better to this technique.

The interviewer should sit behind the camera when asking the questions and if the children and young people do not want their faces to be identified you may want to use screens or have the children and young people sitting with their back to the camera.

Video clips can be cut so don’t worry if the children and young people act up a bit during the interview. Remember to have appropriate consent from the children and young people and ensure they understand fully the purpose of the diary room and how their information is to be used.

Active Self Evaluation using the cards

We require each school to carry out the self evaluation as part of the core criteria section. This process will give you a direct route to the main accreditation phase when you will be selecting and working on individual health promotion topics. It will highlight your strengths, which you could later select to be accredited for. It may also flag up areas of your school that require improvement, or which you may wish to develop though the scheme. This section can be used for staff, pupils and parents.

Using the health promotion statements from the pack, place each statement on the self evaluation chart as an area of strength, improvement or development then record these results for evidence.

Strengths – green

Area/s of health promotion already established as part of the school’s practice eg Eco Schools Award or Health Education Programme

Improvement – amber

Area/s of health promotion where progress has been made, but which needs to be developed

Areas to be addressed – red

Area/s within health promotion where little or no practice has taken place

To create a self evaluation chart get a flip chart paper sized piece of paper and draw on the coloured boxes as outlined below.

Strength Improvement Areas to be addressed
  1. Place each statement in an area that you consider is relevant to your school: is it a strength or improvement, etc
  2. Once you have placed the statement tick where you have placed the statement on the Progress Chart
  3. Use the Progress Chart (on cd rom) to produce a summary report
  4. Pull together the pupil and parent summary and submit final report in the submission folder


Questionnaires may also be utilised to assess peoples’ perceptions on a topic. A sample of questionnaires has been included in the cd rom schools which can be used as part of the whole school self evaluation. These consist of the health promoting school statements (from the card game) and the recipient is asked to mark the school between 1 and 4 (four being the highest and 1 the lowest) on their perception of the school’s performance in this area.

A baseline recommendation for sample size is:

Pupils 1/3 (random samples from each year)
Staff 1/3 (per 100 staff)
smaller schools – a common sense approach
Parents See ‘parent involvement section’

Questionnaires were developed as a part of the pilot. You may wish to use/adapt these for use in your school.


Parent Questionnaire

Pupil Questionnaires – Primary Questionnaire

Pupil Questionnaires – Secondary Questionnaire

Pupil Questionnaires – Special Schools Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaires – Environment Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaires – Ethos Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaires – Learning and Teaching Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaires – Management Questionnaire