Ariel is committed to developing best practice based on a review of the evidence about what works. We are committed to using our own impact evaluation evidence and learning from other independent evidence in our to continuously innovate and improve the content that we develop.
We maximise the impact of our educational resources by taking an approach that is based on evidence collected through independent evaluation; “curricula are effective only where they include teaching social competence skills, whereas those focusing on knowledge alone are ineffective”. Thomas et al. (2015). We work with independent evaluators Dartington Social Design Lab to develop logic models to underpin our programmes and robust systems for collecting quantitative and qualitative impact data, including using control groups when possible.
Ariel has developed a suite of skills-based prevention and anti-violence resources tackling a range of issues including grooming, radicalisation and domestic abuse. The skills developed by young people are specific to each programme but can broadly be described as resilience and communication skills. A key focus is developing the language young people need to talk about an issue and allowing them to develop communication strategies for managing risk and asking for help.
A clear example of the change we deliver is seen from SafeSkills a resource that we published to tackle online grooming. When asked to define grooming before taking part in the project responses from 8 to 10 year olds focused on personal grooming or animals, with none coming close to describing risky grooming behaviour, “You brush a friend’s hair or an animal”. After the programme participants were 37% more confident that they could define the term and definitions showed a marked change, “someone trying to gain someone’s trust for a bad motivation”.