A therapeutic intervention in a primary school.

Thesis


Greenhough, Lynne C. 2018. A therapeutic intervention in a primary school. Thesis
AuthorsGreenhough, Lynne C.
Abstract

As a consequence of interrogating pupil progress data, the primary school in this study identified apparent inequalities in the rates of progress in Reading and Mathematics made by male and female pupils in Key Stage Two cohorts. To address this school improvement issue, the Key Stage Two pupils and the staff who worked with them, were surveyed in order to establish a starting point for action. The surveys indicated that low-achieving female pupils in the school perceived themselves, and were perceived by staff as having low levels of self-esteem and confidence, which were impacting upon their ability to access the learning and impeding their educational progress. A search of the literature on barriers to learning and the range of approaches and initiatives which have been employed to address these, alongside a consultation process with female pupils though a focus group, resulted in identification of the need for the provision of an intervention which would address the issue. Outcomes from an internally–provided school intervention pilot programme resulted in the adoption of a participatory action-research model which allowed the pupils to contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of a single-sex therapeutic intervention, facilitated by a drama practitioner. Through the use of drama and mask techniques the practitioner provided a safe, non-judgemental environment which enabled participants to feel accepted, to express their feelings, to lead activities, to take risks and to develop a wider friendship circle. The intervention was widely commended, with staff and parents/carers reporting a perceived increase in levels of confidence, expanded friendship circles and stronger peer relationships and improved active engagement in learning in the mixed-gender classroom environment. Qualitative data, in the form of individual video evaluations of the intervention indicated the learning which had resulted from participation, most strongly evidenced by the positive comments elicited from the participants both in terms of the techniques employed in the intervention and the outcomes achieved: “…At first you’re the one underneath the mask… Then the mask becomes you… The masks helped me feel more confident …When we did the mask it was like a confidence builder – made you speak your mind and gave you the words to express your feelings better – like if your excited or happy you had the words to say that…this project helped all our group…’cos we’ve learned to be more confident in ourselves and I just feel a lot better…”

As a consequence of interrogating pupil progress data, the primary school in this study identified apparent inequalities in the rates of progress in Reading and Mathematics made by male and female pupils in Key Stage Two cohorts.
To address this school improvement issue, the Key Stage Two pupils and the staff who worked with them, were surveyed in order to establish a starting point for action. The surveys indicated that low-achieving female pupils in the school perceived themselves, and were perceived by staff as having low levels of self-esteem and confidence, which were impacting upon their ability to access the learning and impeding their educational progress.
A search of the literature on barriers to learning and the range of approaches and initiatives which have been employed to address these, alongside a consultation process with female pupils though a focus group, resulted in identification of the need for the provision of an intervention which would address the issue.
Outcomes from an internally–provided school intervention pilot programme resulted in the adoption of a participatory action-research model which allowed the pupils to contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of a single-sex therapeutic intervention, facilitated by a drama practitioner. Through the use of drama and mask techniques the practitioner provided a safe, non-judgemental environment which enabled participants to feel accepted, to express their feelings, to lead activities, to take risks and to develop a wider friendship circle.
The intervention was widely commended, with staff and parents/carers reporting a perceived increase in levels of confidence, expanded friendship circles and stronger peer relationships and improved active engagement in learning in the mixed-gender classroom environment. Qualitative data, in the form of individual video evaluations of the intervention indicated the learning which had resulted from participation, most strongly evidenced by the positive comments elicited from the participants both in terms of the techniques employed in the intervention and the outcomes achieved: “…At first you’re the one underneath the mask… Then the mask becomes you… The masks helped me feel more confident …When we did the mask it was like a confidence builder – made you speak your mind and gave you the words to express your feelings better – like if your excited or happy you had the words to say that…this project helped all our group…’cos we’ve learned to be more confident in ourselves and I just feel a lot better…”

KeywordsPrimary school education; Self-esteem; Key stage two; Therapeutic intervention
Year2018
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622184
hdl:10545/622184
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Publication process dates
Deposited21 Feb 2018, 09:05
Publication dates15 Jan 2018
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/94q8q/a-therapeutic-intervention-in-a-primary-school

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