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    Supporting Social Emotional Development in the Primary School Setting

    Kavanagh, Sarah (2019) Supporting Social Emotional Development in the Primary School Setting. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Operational Guide (2019) states that in December 2018 in Ireland, 19,073 children and adolescents were attending their services. Lack of resources and understaffing in CAMHS mean many children and families are on waiting lists to receive support. These statistics highlight the need for early intervention and support at primary school level. With a specific focus on the social emotional development of the children in my school, using a self-study approach within an action research framework, I reflected on my practice with an aim to enhancing my knowledge and understanding and improving the care and support I provide to my pupils. The Nurture Group is a short-term, focused intervention delivered in a small group setting. Through collaboration with pupils, colleagues and parents, using the intervention of the Nurture Group, I began to see my values of communication and positive relationship formation being realised. This research process has enhanced my awareness and understanding of the social emotional experience of some of the children in my care and improved my personal and professional development. This research was interrupted due to nationwide school closures imposed by Covid-19. However, response from parents and teachers supported the implementation of Nurture Group intervention as they described improvements in classroom participation, confidence, emotional expression and regulation as well as overall happiness at school for these children. The intervention of the Nurture Group facilitated child voice, making time for dialogue and allowing the children to guide planning and scheduling of the day, transforming the teacherchild relationship. Thematic Analysis revealed a need for more creativity and self-directed play and identified self-identity and sense of belonging as areas worthy of further exploration. These themes granted insight into the social emotional experience of the children. These findings enlightened me towards new ways of thinking and planning. It ignited a transformation in my teaching, guiding me towards a pedagogy of care and nurture which reflected my personal values of building connection, communication and positive relationships grounded in equality and respect, within the school community.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Supporting; Social; Emotional; Development; Primary School Setting; Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13691
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 16:59
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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