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									Tynewydd Primary School                                           SAP Pilot evaluation

Student Assistance Programme

Pilot Group Evaluation for Tynewydd Primary
School, Caerphilly LEA, South Wales
8th July 2004

Author: Jonathan Rigby - SAP Co-ordinator for Tynewydd Primary School

The pilot in Tynewydd has been a great success, visibly raising the mood,
confidence, social skills and academic performance of the great majority of
children in the group. In addition, in the class-rooms of all three staff trained at
Tynewydd, there is a greater confidence, and a wider range of strategies
developing to assist with all children’s emotional development, by using SAP
ideas, materials and inspiration. This initial success has persuaded the school to
adopt and continue with SAP as part of the School Development Plan. The
fuller view of children brought to light by SAP, is raising staff motivation to
cater for needs not previously met, and bring smiles and success in places our
educational system has not yet reached.

After three day’s Basic training as a Support Group Facilitator in November
2003, Jonathan Rigby, a teacher at Tynewydd Primary School in Newbridge,
South Wales, was keen to see the benefits of SAP in his own school.
Management and whole-staff backing for a pilot group was gained, following
meetings with the headteacher, staff and governors, with input from Julian
Edwards, who was able to speak with experience of taking SAP groups, as well
as being the Borough’s Primary Mental Health Care Co-ordinator.
A SAP team, of six member of staff was set up, to assist with the
implementation and management of the pilot.
Eight children from Years 5 and 6 (10-11 year-olds) were selected, in a whole
staff meeting, and parental consent gained in February 2004.
The Elementary Feelings Group was followed, consisting of eight hour sessions,
plus introductory and evaluative sessions before and after. Some additional
materials from the LDA publication Socially Speaking supplemented the
activities on building friendships. Some extra materials were prepared for pupil
use at the school , and are enclosed for future use.
Sessions were facilitated jointly by Jonathan Rigby and Julian Edwards.
Attendance was 61/64 pupil sessions = 95.3%. In each case, the children who
were absent were not present at school on the group days.
The meetings took place in the school library between March and June 2004.
The evaluation session included the children video-taping each other on the
benefits of Group (with parental permission), to be used in further training.

Pupil evaluations
The Pre-school and Primary Group Evaluation Form was completed by the
children before and after the eight sessions.
Tynewydd Primary School                                        SAP Pilot evaluation

Analysis of the post-group evaluations

Q1. Colour a face which describes how you felt before you
started coming to this group.
Happy                                       87.5% (7)
Sad                                         0
Scared                                      12.5% (1)
Mad                                         0

Q2. Colour a face which describes how you felt after coming to
this group.
Happy                                       50% (4)
Sad                                         50% (4, one child recorded Happy
                                            and Sad)
Scared                                      0
Mad                                         12.5% (1)
Children said that they were sad because the group had finished – this question
is perhaps too ambiguous for junior children.

Q3 Did this group make you feel better?
Yes                                         75% (6)
No                                          12.5% (1)
Not sure                                    12.5% (1)

Q4. Draw a face which describes how you feel about yourself
Happy face drawn                            37.5% (3)
Unhappy face drawn                          37.5% (3)
Scared face drawn                           12.5% (1)
Face with straight face drawn               12.5% (1)

Q5. How has the group helped you?
The children wrote these responses:
“The group has helped me by making me happier, having more confidence and
making more friends.”
“It helped me because I’ve shared my feelings with other children in the
“It has helped me because it has helped me talk about my feelings.”
“It has helped me think of other things and people.”
“It has given me more confidence in telling my feelings.”
“The group has helped me by making more friends, making me happy, helping
me and helping me with my worries.”
 “helped me to go through worries”
“I don’t know.” but this child, on video reported, “I have learned that I am a
worthwhile person who deserves respect”.
When making the video, children made more comments on the benefits of the
group, including “I feel happier than I have ever been before.”
Tynewydd Primary School                                          SAP Pilot evaluation

Parent evaluations
Parents were asked to make written comments on the value of the group, after
the eight sessions had finished. Half of them replied. There comments were:
“[Child C] seems to be enjoying the support group, it is a pity it wasn’t there for
[him] in his early years in Tynewydd, but if it continues I’m sure it will help a
lot of children with problems like [Child C], in years to come and I think it
should be there for every year group through school.”
“[Child F] is really enjoying taking part”
“[Child E] is able to talk more openly about things that concern her since she
has attended the group and I find this very reassuring. I am glad [she] was
picked for the group.”
“I really cannot see much difference in [Child D]’s behaviour at home. Perhaps
the changes are better applied in a school environment. I really do not know.”

Teacher evaluations
Teachers were asked to comment on changes to children since the group started.
A marked improvement in class-work was noticed by Child A’s teacher, who,
himself, was not sure of the benefit of group. Although he still has challenges in
his behaviour with other children in class, his approach to adults has improved.
Instead of refusing to attempt tasks, he now completes most of his work, and to
a higher standard. He also achieved higher than expected results in his Key
Stage 2 SAT tests.
Child B, who was previously alone at playtimes now typically joins in, actively
playing with his peers. He seems to be relating more to his peers and is more
participative in class discussions.
Child C developed more ways of coping with other children, and approaching
adults Child D has matured and become more self-aware.
Children C and D have been noted to be brighter and happier in school.
Child E is more confident to approach her teacher for help in school.
Child F, a quiet girl has spoken up in class, and to her teacher. There is more
expression on her face, and seems happier and more settled in school.
Child G does not appear to have changed as a result of the group. He still has
difficulty in understanding tasks set, expressing himself clearly, and in reading
the feelings of others.
Child H appears slightly more confident, but has not yet shared her concerns
with her teacher.

Outcomes of the pilot
As the pilot Group sessions progressed, two more members of staff, a teacher,
Sandra Ward and an NNEB nursery nurse Nicola Davies, received the SAP
Basic training, and the author received the Advanced SAP training.
The headteacher of the school has expressed an on-going commitment to SAP,
and has included it in the school’s School Development Plan. The SAP
initiative, has also been chosen to become part of the school’s Healthy Schools
initiative, commencing in September 2004.
Following an explanatory assembly after the Pilot Group was completed in
June, 27 out of 130 Junior Children self-referred in writing, expressing the
desire to be part of the next group, including two children in the pilot group.
Tynewydd Primary School                                        SAP Pilot evaluation

At a staff meeting in July, eight more children, from years 4 and 5 were selected
to take the same Elementary Feelings Group starting in September 2004, which
will be facilitated by trained staff within the school.
In the video-tape made by the pilot children, it is evident that significant
psychological, social and educational benefits have already been gained by
children at Tynewydd Primary School.

Parental consent letter
Dates of group meeting letter to parents
Pupil self-referral form
Polite do not disturb sign
Planning document

Group session resources:
Group purposes and guidelines for children to read
Affirmations to remember
Significant events in my life sheet
The person I trust most in my life
Heart sheet for defences activity
Defences flashcards
Which of these qualities makes a good friend sheet for discussion
Top tips for making friends

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