the Schools Community Relations Programme

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					A Research Study of Pupil Perceptions of
                 the Schools Community Relations Programme




School of Education
University of Ulster
April 2003




                                  Una O’Connor
                                 Brendan Hartop
                                  Alan McCully
Executive Summary


1.   The research study is supplementary to the existing document A Review of the
     Schools Community Relations Programme (SCRP) 2002.                 Due to time and
     financial constraints, the pupil perspective was omitted from the original review.
     This phase of the study has been undertaken in recognition that pupils can
     make a significant contribution to the information process.


2.   The research study has been conducted within a context of emerging policy for
     community relations and within broader legislative, educational and political
     initiatives.


3.   The remit of the research translated into four key tasks. To :
     i)        clarify young peoples’ understanding of SCRP practice;
     ii)       gain an insight into the experience of programmes from the perspective
               of young people;
     iii)      seek young peoples’ opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of
               current programmes;
     iv)       consult young people on how the Programme might better address
               community relations issues.


4.   Quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were developed to
     compile a representation of pupil perspectives – namely a questionnaire survey
     and focus group interviews. Pupils from 20 schools – comprising one primary
     link and one post-primary link – were identified in each Education and Library
     Board (ELB).       The schools were representative of the range of community
     relations programmes.


5.   The data analysis identified the following key findings :
     •      the community relations focus of programmes remains vague and the
            language of community relations is not familiar to man
     •   few of the programmes are issue-based and remain influenced by curricular
         objectives;
     •   pupils perceive organised outings and trips as a central feature of the
         Programme;
     •   pupils positively view the opportunity to visit partner schools;
     •   there is little evidence of pupil opportunity to mix;
     •   a local link can provide a productive and sustainable programme;
     •   there is a lack of consistency in the level of engagement with teachers from
         both schools;
     •   post-primary schools continue to have a tendency to adopt a selective
         criteria for pupil participants that does not reflect genuine community
         relations need;
     •   residentials are considered a valuable exercise for the nature of the contact
         they generate within the context of the Programme;
     •   there is no evidence of ‘unpacking’ or evaluating the Programme individually
         or in partnership with the link school.


6.   Recommendations on the structure of the Programme include :
     •   a review of the current format of the SCRP within changing democratic,
         political and legislative structures;
     •   a review of the fulfilment of community relations objectives within the remit
         of the SCRP;
     •   a review of the balance between curricular and community relations
         objectives;
     •   consideration of strategies for the promotion of ‘issue-based’ programmes;
     •   consideration of strategies for the promotion of local links;
     •   a review of current criteria relating to the selection of pupils for the
         Programme.


7.   Recommendations on the delivery of the Programme include :
     •   a review of the relevance of identified projects to Programme objectives;
     •   a review of the relevance and impact of ice-breaker sessions;
     •   a review of the level and nature of pupil-pupil interaction;
     •   a review of the level and nature of pupil-teacher interaction;
      •   consideration of strategies to improve discussion and debate;
      •   consideration of strategies to develop ongoing, progressive programmes;
      •   a review of the value and purpose of residentials within the context of the
          Programme;
      •   consideration of the training implications for teachers.


8.    Recommendations for monitoring and evaluating the Programme include :
      •   a review of evaluation arrangements to measure the impact of community
          relations objectives for pupils at primary and post-primary levels;
      •   consideration of strategies to develop effective evaluation techniques;
      •   a review of current arrangements to facilitate pupil discussion and reflection;
      •   a review of monitoring arrangements to measure pupil/teacher interaction.


1.0   Rationale


1.1   This research study is supplementary to the existing consultation document, A
      Review of the Schools Community Relations Programme 2002. The purpose of
      the initial review of SCRP was to assess operational structures and their impact
      on community relations, identify effective practice and make recommendations
      for its future operation. Representatives at Departmental, Board and teaching
      levels were consulted as part of the review process. However, due to time and
      financial constraints, young people involved in the Programme were not
      included in this phase of the research.


1.2   This supplementary study has been undertaken in response to a recognition
      that pupils are key stakeholders in the Programme, and as such should
      contribute to the evaluation process. The views and perceptions of participant
      pupils have hitherto not been investigated.


2.0   Background


2.1   The second stage of the research has taken place in a climate of change for
      community relations policy. Running concurrently with the SCRP review, an
      overall evaluation of community relations, undertaken for the Northern Ireland
          Executive, has been conducted in recognition of wider political and societal
          changes.       The remit of the review was to fundamentally reconsider current
          policies and programmes ….. to a policy that reflects the political, economic
          and social environment envisaged in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement
          (OFMDFM).          The resulting consultation paper A Shared Future (2003),
          published subsequent to the initial SCRP review, reflects government plans and
          priorities for 2003-06, and re-iterates the existing recognition of the role of the
          education system in informing young people of their responsibilities as citizens.
          There is also a continued commitment to put in place by December 2003 a new
          policy and strategy to promote good relations and tackle sectarianism. This
          includes the development of :


      •       a shared society in which people are encouraged to make free choices in their
              lives that are not bound by historical divisions;
      •       a pluralist society, with respect and tolerance for cultural diversity, where
              people are free to assert their identity.


2.2       Further, recent critiques (Robinson, 2003; Hughes et al, 2001) suggest that
          positive community relations in Northern Ireland have nose-dived in the last
          seven years, with both Catholics and Protestants showing a greater preference
          to work and live apart. Any changes to SCRP must be made in the context of
          wider consultations.


2.3       A Shared Future suggests that the Department of Education (DE) should
          implement a co-ordinated programme of action involving schools, teacher
          training, curricular development and the Youth Service to promote better
          relations among children and young people, including :


          •     promoting a culture of tolerance and reconciliation across the whole
                education system;
          •     enhancing the contribution of teacher education to the promotion of
                tolerance and reconciliation;
          •     placing the good relations dimension of citizenship at the core of the new
                school curriculum.
3.0   The Education Environment


3.1   The purpose of the initial review of the SCRP was to assess existing
      operational structures and their impact on community relations, identify
      effective practice and make recommendations for its future operation.        The
      resulting recommendations were intended to inform the long term future of the
      Programme. Of significance to this report were the structural and operational
      recommendations for the Programme. Notable recommendations collectively
      identified an evolving Programme which recognised a more pluralist definition
      of community relations, whilst retaining the local context within which individual
      schools operated. It was anticipated that this re-defined format would inevitably
      impact on operational aspects of the Programme, including content, delivery,
      monitoring and evaluation.
3.2   The common ethos of all community relations policy has remained the central
      commitment set down in DENI Circular 1982/21 which defined the responsibility
      of all those involved in the education service to work towards helping children to
      understand and respect each other in preparation for living in harmony in adult
      life.


3.3   Since the devolution of the SCRP to Education and Library Boards (ELBs) in
      1996, the total number of schools involved has remained relatively stable. In
      2001/02 the total number of schools involved in the Programme was 604,
      representing 53% of primary and 50% of post-primary schools.            The total
      number of pupils involved was 41,345, representing 22% of primary and 3% of
      post-primary pupils (Table 1).


4.0   Aims of the Study


4.1   The overall aims of this supplementary research study are identified as
follows. To :


      i)      clarify young peoples’ understanding of SCRP practice;
         ii)    gain an insight into the experience of programmes from the perspective
                of young people;
         iii)   seek young peoples’ opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of
                current programmes;
         iv)    consult young people on how the Programme might better address
                community relations issues.


5.0      Methodology


5.1.1 The chosen research methodology and associated evaluation instruments have
         been designed to evaluate curricular and community relations requirements
         relating to the operation of the SCRP.


5.1.2 In order to build up a representative profile of pupil views, twenty schools –
         involving one primary link and one post-primary link in each ELB – were
         identified by Board Officers. The schools were representative of the range of
         community relations programmes. The range included :


•     school type – including controlled, maintained and integrated;
•     geographic location – to represent schools in both urban and rural settings;
•     nature of link –    ranging across history, science, environmental and sports
      programmes;
•     gender – to include single sex as well as co-educational groups;
•     duration – to include new and existing links;
•     schools in areas of high sectarian tension.


5.1.3 A quantitative and qualitative approach to the collection of data was considered
         the most efficient means of collecting pupil perspectives. Two instruments for
         gathering information – a questionnaire survey and focus group interview
         schedule – were developed.


5.2      The Questionnaire

5.2.1 The questionnaire survey (Appendix 1) provides information about pupils’
         knowledge and perceptions of the Programme they were engaged in. Since
         the aim of the evaluation study was to investigate pupil perceptions of the
         Programme, the questionnaire focused on 5 key areas of analysis : namely
         what the pupils considered to be :


      the reason for the link;
      the nature of the link;
      their recollections of the link;
      their reflections on the link;
      the strengths, weaknesses and suggested improvements for the link.


5.2.2 A further section of the questionnaire enabled the research team to gather
         additional background data relating to age, gender, school type and ELB area.


5.2.3 Responses to the questionnaire were analysed using the Statistical Package
         for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows.


5.2.4 The use of the questionnaire survey was welcomed by teachers.            In each
         instance the researchers facilitated the completion of the questionnaire,
         although the teachers were present in most cases. All pupils were encouraged
         to freely answer the questions as honestly and openly as possible. Primary
         school pupils experienced no real problems in completion. It was emphasised
         that the questionnaire would be completed anonymously and that class
         teachers would not have access to them. The teachers did not feel threatened
         by this activity, although in a few instances they emphasised to the class the
         importance of funding to the Programme’s continuance.


5.3      Focus Group Interviews


5.3.1 The questionnaire data was supported by subsequent focus group interviews
         (Appendix 2) to investigate in greater detail pupil perceptions.   As with the
         questionnaire, the same openness was encouraged.         The focus interviews
         were developed to enrich and validate the data collected from the
         questionnaire; this enabled the research team to qualitatively explore and
         clarify any emerging issues. Interview questions were based around the same
         themes as the questionnaire. Again, teachers did not feel threatened by the
      questions, although some did interject with responses to prompt pupil
      memories.


5.3.2 Due to timetable constraints and the various responsibilities of individual class
      teachers, a majority of the focus interviews were necessarily conducted with all
      class members. In a few instances it was possible to engage in smaller group
      discussions. Pupil responses were recorded within identified thematic areas.
      The researchers recognise that whole class discussions do not constitute ideal
      focus group engagements.


6.0   ANALYSIS OF DATA


6.1.1 The data drawn from the questionnaire survey (Appendix 3) and focus groups
      (Appendix 4) provides insight to inform what young people think of the SCRP.
      Key issues covered include :
      •   their understanding of the Programme;
      •   the experiences they have had;
      •   how they reflected on these experiences;
      •   what they recommend.


6.1.2 Respondents had the option to tick one or more boxes in most of the questions,
      often resulting in multiple frequency counts : in those questions, total responses
      will exceed 100%. Additionally, not all pupils completed every section; these
      non-responses are recorded as ‘missing’ and appear in the questionnaire
      analysis. Where ranked, pupil responses are presented in descending order.


6.1.3 Individual pupil comments from the focus group interviews are also introduced
      in the following section and are used as an indicative illustration of more
      general views.


6.2   Pupil Profile


      •   Of the pupils who completed the questionnaire, 173 (52.3%) are female and
          158 (47.7%) are male.
           •    The age profile of pupils ranged from 9 years to 11-14 years as follows :
                    1. 9 years (n=48; 14.6%)
                    2. 10 years (n=81; 24.6%)
                    3. 11-14 years (n=147; 44.7%)
                    4. 14+ years (n=53; 16.1%)


           •    Pupils from each ELB were represented as follows :
                    1. BELB (n=75; 22.7%)
                    2. NEELB (n=64; 19.4%)
                    3. SEELB (n=71; 21.5%)
                    4. SELB (n=30; 9.1%)1
                    5. WELB (n=90; 27.3%)


           •    A total of 170 (51.7%) pupils attend a controlled school and 159 (48.3%)
                attend a maintained school.


           •    A total of 203 (61.7%) pupils are primary level and 126 (38.3%) are post-
                primary.


           •    A majority of the pupils who responded indicated that they had not been
                involved in another link programme at the school, representing 178 (54.4%)
                of responses. 149 (45.6%) pupils responded that they had been involved in
                another link programme.




1
    Figure excludes pupils from an integrated college who took part in the focus group sessions.
      •   A breakdown of out-of-school activity as indicated by pupils reveals the
          following :
             1. Membership of a sports club (n=135; 40.7%)
             2. Membership of a youth club (n=129; 38.9%)
             3. Girls Brigade (n=31; 9.3%)
             4.= Boys Brigade (n=28; 8.4%)
             4.= GAA (n=28; 8.4%)
             6. Boy Scouts (n=15; 4.5%)
             7. Girl Guides (n=14; 4.2%)
             8.= Brownies (n=8; 2.4%)
             8.= Bridginis (n=8; 2.4%)


6.3   Reasons for the Link


      •   Pupil response as to why they perceived their school had a link with another
          school are as follows :
          1. So that I/we can make new friends and learn about each other (n=221;
             66.6%)
          2. So that I/we can learn outside our ordinary classroom (n=148; 44.6%)
          3. So that I/we can learn more (n=147;44.3%)
          4. So that I/we can have a day out (n=51; 15.4%)


      •   Pupil response as to why they perceived their class were part of the link are
          as follows :
          1. So that I/we can make new friends and learn about each other (n=232;
             69.9%)
          2. So that I/we can learn more (n=167; 50.3%)
          3. So that I/we can learn outside our ordinary classroom (n=155; 46.7%)
          4. So that I/we can have a day out (n=63; 19%)


6.4   The Nature of the Link


      •   Pupils commented on the work undertaken in the Programme.               This
          included curricular activity and various trips undertaken by each
          programme.       Responses consistently revealed a strong association
          between the Programme and trips outside school. Sometimes trips were
          introduced as ice-breaking exercises; pupils, however did not automatically
          associate the trip with any form of community relations practice.


      •   Pupil perceptions on where the work with the other school was carried out
          are identified as :
          1. Outside both schools (n= 309; 93.1%)
          2. Inside both schools (n=129; 38.9%)
          3. At the other school (n=43; 13%)
          4. At your school (n=42; 12.7%)


      •   Pupil perceptions on the work done with the other school are identified as :
          1. We learned about the past (n=217; 65.4%)
          2. We learned about our new friends, their school and where they live
             (n=153; 46.1%)
          3. Games and activities (n=148; 44.6%)
          4. We found out about their views and opinions (n=126; 38%)
          5. We learned about the environment (n=96; 28.9%)
          6. Other people and places (n=81; 24.4%)
          7. Something else (n=53; 16%)


6.5   The Impact of the Link


      •   Most commonly, what pupils learned about their counterparts included
          name, address, family details, religion, personality, likes and dislikes, and
          their school – even about the nuns in the convent!


      •   Pupil reflections revealed that acquiring knowledge of the other group was a
          gradual process which evolved over the course of the link : there was one
          school at the front of the bus, one at the back, with those that knew each
          other in the middle – although we mixed more on the way back.
•   Pupils generally indicated a willingness to engage with each other : we put
    aside bigotry, there was no conflict.


•   However, a small minority of pupils also responded that there was no
    common ground and that they knew : nothing because we don’t talk about it.


•   It also emerged that the link sometimes challenged pre-conceptions and
    was instrumental in changing these : we changed the stereotypical view of
    us and our school.


•   Unsolicited, an issue emerged concerning how criteria was applied to the
    selection of pupils for the Programme : we had to do well to get onto the
    Programme.


•   It also emerged that some pupils had the chance to learn beyond the remit
    of the Programme : we even learned about the Chinese boy at their school.


•   Pupils remembered at least one name of peers from the link school,
    representing 298 (91.1%) of responses.


•   Those pupils who remembered the names of peers from the other school
    are as follows :
    1. More than 4 names (n=105; 35.1%)
    2. 2 names (n=51; 17.1%)
    3. 3 names (n=50; 16.7%)
    4. 4 names (n=47; 15.7%)
    5. 1 name (n=46; 15.4%)


•   Most pupils who responded indicated however that they did not remember
    the name of the teacher from the link school, representing 212 (65.2%) of
    responses.


•   Pupil perceptions on where most of the work was done are identified as :
    1. With people from both classes (n=292; 88%)
          2. With my own class (n=54; 16.3%)
          3. Back in my own classroom (n=31; 9.3%)
          4. By myself (n=17; 5.1%)


      •   Pupil perceptions on the difference between class work and the work done
          on the programme are :
          1. A bit different (n=174; (53.5%)
          2. Different (n=124; 38.2%)
          3. Not different (n=27; 8.3%)


6.6   Reflections on the Link


      •   The majority of pupils were in favour of staying in touch with the other
          school.


      •   Most pupils that experienced residentials saw them as being worthwhile :
          you can spend more time away with them, away from school and out of
          uniform; you’re introduced to different people and get the chance to talk to
          each other about our views and experiences.


      •   Amongst some post-primary pupils it emerged that sometimes friendship
          groups had drawn in other friends from both schools who had not
          participated in the exchange. Some post-primary pupils who had previously
          participated in primary programmes felt that at this level these ‘friendships’
          had been forced and that there had been little real mixing. Some pupils
          considered the post-primary links more rewarding because of maturity
          levels.


      •   However a few pupils did not favour staying in touch : if you do a link in
          primary school you get to know them for a year and when you get to P7 you
          won’t have the chance to talk to them again anyway.


      •   Most pupils indicated that there was a continuing link between classes,
          representing 253 (76.4%) responses.
    •   Means for staying in touch outside school are as follows :
        1. Meetings (n=195; 58.7%)
        2. Letters (n=59; 17.8%)
        3. Texting (n=47; 14.2%)
        4. Telephone (n=46; 13.9%)
        5. E-mail (n=38; 11.4%)
        6. Photos (n=19; 5.7%)


•   Pupil perceptions on the friendliness of peers from the other school are :
        1. Friendly (n=208; 63.2%)
        2. Very friendly (n=48; 14.6%)
        3. Unfriendly (n=43; 13.1%)
        4. Very unfriendly (n=30; 9.1%)


•   Most pupils indicated that they had enjoyed meeting the pupils from the other
    school, representing 262 (78.9%) of responses.


•   Most pupils indicated that their feelings about pupils from the other school
    changed during and after the link, representing 198 (59.6%) of responses.
    This, of course, may be positive or negative.


•   Most pupils indicated that they would like to take part in a link programme
    again, representing 277 (83.4%) of responses.


•   Pupils generally expressed a preference to develop a link with schools in their
    local area. Many pupils believed that such links would facilitate more easily
    maintained friendships. Many commented that the drawback of some links was
    that they were too far away to sustain contact.


•   Some pupils also suggested a broader choice in school criteria to enable a link
    with, amongst others, a special school; a single sex school; an integrated
    school and a secondary school.
6.7       Improving the Link


      •   In order of preference the most favoured parts of the link were :
             1. Meeting new people (n=316; 95.2%)
             2. Visits outside both schools (n=314; 94.6%)
             3. Finding out about other people (n=312; 94%)
             4. Visits to the other school (n=300; 90.4%)
             5. Their visit to our school (n=254; (76.5)
             6. The work we did (n=253; (76.2%)


      •   In order of preference the least favoured parts of the link were :
             1. The work we did (n=310; 93.4%)
             2. Their visit to our school (n=309; 93.1)
             3. Visits to the other school (n=306; 92.2%)
             4. Meeting new people (n=301; 90.7%)
             5. Visits outside both schools (n=255; 76.8%)
             6. Finding out about other people (n=254; 76.5)


      •   Pupils had many and varied ideas for the improvement of the Programme. The
          most popular recommendations included : more visits between schools; more
          mixed groups; more debates; more trips; longer trips; no uniforms trips; more
          residentials and more sporting activities.


      •   Amongst post-primary pupils support for more trips and residentials centred on
          the quality of contact : you get the chance to know them if you go further away.
          You have the chance to really talk to each other.
      •   This was reflected in pupil perception on the amount of time (or lack of it) spent
          with the partner school : there is a lot of work to do in a short space of time; you
          need time to relax, to get to know them better.


      •   Additionally, some pupils felt that uniforms created an indirect barrier and that :
          no uniforms could have made things more relaxed.
      •   Some pupils perceived that the Programme and associated activities were
          largely imposed with little participant consultation, and expressed a preference
          for active negotiation towards more effective and relevant programmes.


      •   Some pupils expressed dissatisfaction with ‘ice-breaker’ sessions and variously
          requested more ice-breakers or a review of the relevance of existing ones :
          visiting the Teddy Bear Museum in Brussels was a waste of time.


      •   Some post-primary pupils expressed a desire to unpack and follow up certain
          issues, arguing for the inclusion of an ‘end of exchange’ evaluation : no formal
          discussion session was included in the Programme.


      •   Some post-primary pupils referred to inconsistencies in participant selection -
          such as volunteer versus academic achievement – and queried the validity of
          such an approach : we had to do well to get on the Programme.


      •   A breakdown of responses on possible ways to improve the link were, in order
          of popularity, as follows :
             1. More visits outside both schools (n=215; 64.8%)
             2. A social meeting (n=196; 59%)
             3. More meetings to learn about each other (n=138; 41.6%)
             4.= More visits to the other school (n=83; 25%)
             4.= If the teachers swapped classes (n=83; 25%)




7.0       MAIN FINDINGS
7.1       The main findings to emerge from the questionnaire survey and focus
          group interviews will inform the subsequent recommendations. Although
          they are based on pupil perceptions, significantly they also reflect many
          of the conclusions drawn from interviews in the previous review with ELB
          officers and teachers. The main findings are identified as follows :


7.1.1 The community relations focus of Programmes still remains vague.
          Pupils were not familiar with the term SCRP. Many spoke articulately of
      the curriculum project they were engaged in, but few made any reference
      to a community relations dimension.


7.1.2 Few of the Programmes are ‘issue-based’.         The remit of the Programme
      remains heavily influenced by curricular objectives, and this is how it was
      perceived by most pupils.


7.1.3 There is still a strong emphasis on out of school trips. Although some trips are
      used as ice-breaker sessions and some are relevant to the ongoing curricular
      project, pupils still perceive organised outings in themselves as a central
      feature of the Programme.


7.1.4 Visits to the other school are often seen as a positive and valuable exercise.
      Many pupils stated that they welcomed the opportunity to mix with partner
      schools in their own environment.       Pupils viewed this as an opportunity to
      engage in familiar surroundings, and as a means of sustaining regular contact.


7.1.5 The opportunity for pupil interaction is not often evident from the data. Many
      pupils referred to the importance of pupil-to-pupil contact inside and outside
      school. It also emerged that existing friendships were important in breaking the
      ice and facilitating initial contact.


7.1.6 A local link was identified as desirable.     Some pupils considered that the
      geographical distance between the partner schools did not encourage regular
      and sustained contact. Preference for schools in the nearer locality was seen
      as a more practical solution.


7.1.7 There is a lack of consistency in the level of engagement with teachers from
      both schools. Significantly, the majority of pupils did not remember the name of
      the teacher from the link school.


7.1.8 Some post-primary schools still adopt a more selective criteria, primarily
      governed by a desire to promote the image of the school positively in the
      community. The research suggests that, at best, there is an ad hoc approach
      to selection based on behaviour or achievement rather than on genuine
      community relations need.


7.1.9 Residentials are valued for the nature of contact that they can produce. Many
      pupils – especially those in the post-primary sector – reported on the
      advantages of engagement in more relaxed surroundings. It emerged however
      that, frequently, more productive discussions arose informally and were not
      generated within the formal Programme.


7.1.10 There is little evidence of in-depth unpacking or evaluating the Programme by
      pupils and their teacher or with the other class. Many pupils welcomed the
      opportunity to engage in follow-up discussions but considered that the structure
      of the Programme restricted this. Pupils were equally keen that there should be
      some form of post-residential and end-of-Programme discussion.


7.1.11 Pupils are open to a more pluralist definition of the Programme and to a
      broader community and parental involvement – to include issues such as
      racism, ethnic minorities and disability.


8   RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION


8.1.1 The current reviews of community relations policy and the curriculum have
      created a climate in which it is possible to reflect on past practice and develop a
      strategy that is relevant to the future.     In the light of governmental and
      departmental initiatives it is appropriate to measure the significance of the
      Programme against perceived educational relevance. The recommendations
      also take account of changes in legislation and policy initiatives relating to
      society in general which may impact on the future operation of the Programme,
      including : Equality and Human Rights legislation; the Special Educational
      Needs and Disability Bill; Race Relations; and New Targeting Social Need
      (New TSN).


8.1.2 The recommendations are written with an awareness of the many and varied
      choice of    projects and activities in which schools may choose to become
      involved. SCRP is undoubtedly an important mechanism for active community
         relations engagement.      If the Programme is to remain so, efforts must be
         directed towards defining a model which not only continues to promote existing
         community relations strategies, but also recognises the diversity and
         complexities of an increasing pluralist society.


8.1.3 The recommendations are drawn from the information obtained from the
         questionnaire         survey and the focus group sessions.      Analysis of pupil
         responses suggest that there are implications at Departmental, Board and
         school levels, as well as associated implications relating to Programme content,
         delivery, training, monitoring and evaluation.


8.2      The Structure of the Programme


8.2.1 DE and ELBs should review the current format of the SCRP, assess its
         appropriateness within a changing social, political and economic climate, and
         investigate alternative formats that retain a strong community relations focus.
         This may include :
•     a review of the breadth and diversity of existing community relations objectives;
•     the development of an adaptable community relations agenda that accommodates
      the individual issues of schools and the community they serve;
•     the development of a community relations agenda that promotes greater
      inclusiveness, accommodating issues such as gender, racism, ethnic minorities
      and equality;


•     the development of a community relations agenda that reflects and promotes
      emerging departmental, governmental and legislative policy, including New TSN,
      equality requirements of Section 75, The Special Educational Needs and Disability
      Bill and Human Rights.


8.2.2 DE and ELBs should consider the relevance and fundamental purpose of the
         current format of SCRP and its fulfilment of community relations policy. The
         following issues are identified :
•     a clear definition of the term community relations in context to primary and post-
      primary environments;
•     greater pupil understanding and awareness of the term SCRP at primary and post-
      primary levels;
•     an introduction to the language of tolerance, mutual respect and understanding
      within the context of the Programme;
•     the training implications for teachers as part of the development of a structured
      community relations programme.


8.2.3 The remit of the Programme remains heavily influenced by limited curricular
         criteria.   DE and ELBs should review the balance between curricular and
         community relations objectives and should investigate strategies for the
         development of more ‘issue-based’ Programmes that encourage discussion
         and debate of contemporary issues.


8.2.4 Links at local community level should be a priority. There are benefits in such
         an approach :
         •   links with local schools can be seen as a means of addressing social
             divisions in the area;
         •   a community issue would seem to provide a potential starting point for
             issue-based programmes;
         •   a local programme facilitates engagement at community level engendering
             greater confidence for progressively wider links within the remit of the
             Programme.


8.2.5 DE and ELBs should develop clear guidelines and comprehensive criteria for
         teachers relating to the selection of pupils for the Programme.


8.3      The Delivery of the Programme


8.3.1 DE, ELBs and teachers should collectively investigate strategies to improve the
         content and delivery of the Programme. Issues to consider include :
•     the relevance of the subject area and how it relates to overall Programme
      objectives;
•     the validity of ice-breaking sessions in achieving identified community relations
      objectives;
•   the nature of pupil contact;
•   the amount of sustained pupil contact;
•   the location for pupil contact;
•   the opportunity for discussion and debate during and following the activity;
•   the opportunity for pupil progression in ongoing, collaborative programmes;
•   the opportunity for constructive Programme progression;
•   the associated training implications for teachers as part of a re-defined
    Programme.


8.3.2 ELBs should investigate strategies to encourage and maximise opportunities
       for pupil interaction during the course of the Programme.          Areas to review
       include :
       •   the frequency of pupil contact within Programmes;
       •   the degree of sustained contact during Programme activities;
       •   the extent of mixed groupings during Programme activities;
       •   the extent of pupil interaction with participating teachers.


8.3.3 ELBs should seek to address the ‘trip mentality’ associated with the
       Programme. The value and benefit of trips and residentials is noted and it is
       not suggested that they should be diminished. However, the following remedial
       issues should be considered :
       •   a review of the relevance of the trip within the context of the Programme;
       •   a review of the purpose of the residential within the context of the
           Programme;
       •   a review of the validity of the trip in achieving identified curriculum and/or
           community relations objectives;
       •   strategies to maximise the opportunities for active engagement provided in
           a residential setting;
       •   the development of effective strategies for discussion, debate and reflection
           following trips or residentials;
       •   potential strategies to maximise opportunities of using partner schools as
           venues where appropriate;
       •   the associated teaching and pastoral implications for teachers.
8.4   Monitoring and Evaluation


8.4.1 DE and ELBs should seek to promote monitoring and evaluation exercises as
      practical and creative community relations opportunities in their own right.


8.4.2 DE and ELBs should review evaluation arrangements to measure the impact of
      community relations objectives for pupils at primary and post-primary levels.


8.4.3 ELBs should investigate strategies that encourage a culture of reflection
      amongst pupils and teachers. This includes methodologies to :
      •   critically reflect on the relevance of chosen programmes;
      •   critically evaluate the impact and validity of ice-breaker sessions;
      •   maximise opportunities for pupils to ‘unpack’ and reflect after each activity,
          individually and with the partner class;
      •   maximise opportunities for a plenary and/or post-residential discussion
          amongst participating pupils.


8.4.4 ELBs should investigate strategies to monitor the nature and frequency of
      contact and develop strategies to maximise pupil interaction with other pupils
      and with all participant teachers.


9.0   Conclusion


The recommendations of this report essentially re-iterate many of those identified in
the associated review of the SCRP. The findings reflect the views of the target group
and significantly focus on the structure, delivery and evaluation of the Programme.
The current reviews of community relations policy and the curriculum have created a
climate in which it is possible to reflect on past practice and develop a community
relations strategy that is relevant for the future. This research study of young peoples’
perceptions offers the opportunity for future programmes to have greater relevance
and impact in the lives of young people, in the life of the school and in the wider
community.
TABLE 1




SCHOOLS COMMUNITY RELATIONS PROGRAMME 2001-02




School and Participant Numbers at Primary Level


                          No. of                             No. of
              No. of    Schools in      %         No. of    Pupils in   %
             Schools      SCRP                    Pupils     SCRP
  BELB         97          69          71%        27,955     6,846      24%


 NEELB         218         89          41%        37,512     4,881      13%


 SEELB         170         111         65%        35,834     7,803      22%


  SELB         241         114         47%        38,167    10,541      28%


  WELB         194         104         54%        31,085     6,933      22%


 TOTAL         920         487         53%        170,553   37,004      22%




School and Participant Numbers at Post-Primary Level




                          No. of                             No. of
              No. of    Schools in      %         No. of    Pupils in   %
             Schools      SCRP                    Pupils     SCRP
  BELB         39          20          51%        32,083     1,299      4%


 NEELB         53          26          49%        33,732      837       2%
SEELB   39    15    38%   26,743    485     2%


SELB    53    30    57%   34,044    832     2%


WELB    51    26    51%   28,901    888     3%


TOTAL   235   117   50%   155,503   4,341   3%
                                                                     APPENDIX 1

SECTION ONE : WHY THE LINK?


1.    Why do you think your school has a link with another school? (please indicate
      all those that apply)


      So that I/we can learn more       So that I/we can make new friends and learn
                                        about each other


      So that I/we can have a day out          So that I/we can learn outside our
ordinary classroom


2.    Why do you think you and your class were part of the link? (please indicate all
      those that apply)


      So that I/we can learn more       So that I/we can make new friends and learn
                                        about each other


      So that we can have a day out            So that we can learn outside our
ordinary classroom




SECTION TWO : WHAT FORM OF LINK


3.    Where did you do the work with the other school? (please indicate all those that
      apply)


      At your school                           At the other school


      Inside both schools               Outside both schools


4.    What kind of work did you do with the other school? (please indicate all those
      that apply)


      We learned about the past         We learned about our environment
     Games and activities              We learned about our new friends, their
                                       school and where they live


     Other people and places           We found out about their views and opinions


     Something else




SECTION THREE : WHAT YOU REMEMBER


5.   Do you remember the names of anyone from the other school?         Yes
           No


6.   If yes, how many do you remember?        1      2     3        4   More than
4


7.   Do you remember the teacher’s name from the other school?          Yes
           No


8.   How was most of the work done? (please indicate all those that apply)


     By myself                                With my own class


     With people from both classes                   Back in my own classroom


9.   Is the work different from your usual class work?


     Yes                        No                         A bit




SECTION FOUR : WHAT YOU THINK OF THE LINK
10.      Is your class still in touch with the other class?         Yes
         No


11.      If yes, how?          Email                 Meetings                    Phone


                               Photos                         Letters
         Texting


12.      At the start of the link did you think pupils from the other school were :


         Very friendly                               Friendly


         Unfriendly                                  Very unfriendly


13.      Did you enjoy meeting the pupils from the other school?                 Yes
                 No


14.      Did your feelings about the pupils from the other school change during and
      after the link?
         Yes                   No


15.      Would you like to take part in a link like this again?           Yes
         No




SECTION FIVE : HOW TO IMPROVE THE LINK


16.      In your order of preference (from 1-6), what were your favourite parts of the
      link?


         Visits to the other school                  Their visit to our school


         Visits outside both schools                 Meeting new people
        Finding out about other people                  The work we did


17.     In your order of preference (from 1-6), what were your least favourite parts of
the link?
        Visits to the other school               Their visit to our school


        Visits outside both schools              Meeting new people


        Finding out about other people                  The work we did




18.     Which of the following do you think might make the link better? (please indicate
        all those that apply)


        More visits to the other school                 More visits outside both schools


        If the teachers swapped classes                 More meetings to learn about
each other


        A social meeting




SECTION SIX : OTHER INFORMATION


19.     Are you :               Male                    Female


20.     What age are you : 9 years               10 years      11-14 years          14+
years
21.     What type of school do you attend?       Controlled           Maintained
        Integrated


22.     Is your school :               Primary                 Post-primary
23.   Have you been involved in another link programme at this school or at another
school?
      Yes             No


24.   Are you a member of any of the following? (please indicate all those that apply)


      Youth Club                              Brownies


      Boy Scouts                              Girl Guides


      Girls Brigade                           Boys Brigade


      Bridginis                               GAA


      Sports Club




25.   In which Education and Library Board is your school?


      BELB                                    NEELB


      SEELB                                          SELB


      WELB
APPENDIX 2


FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS


  1.   Can we make a list of all the things you did on the Programme?


  2.   What things have you learned about the other school?


  3.   What do you think the other school learned about having a link with you?


  4.   Do you think it would be a good idea to stay in touch with the other school?


  5.   Are there other school you would like your school to have a link with?


  6.   Can you help us make a list of things that would make the Programme a
       better one?
APPENDIX 3




NB : 1 represents a ‘yes’/ ‘agree’ response and is highlighted for referral.




Q1.    Why do you think your school has a link with another school?


       So that I/we can learn more


         Response                      Frequency                   Valid Percentage
             0                             185                          55.7%
             1                             147                          44.3%
           Total                           332                          100.0%


       So that I/we can make new friends and learn about each other


         Response                      Frequency                   Valid Percentage
             0                             111                          33.4%
             1                             221                          66.6%
           Total                           332                          100.0%


       So that I/we can have a day out


         Response             Frequency                            Valid Percentage
             0                             281                          84.6%
             1                              51                          15.4%
           Total                           332                          100.0%


       So that I/we can learn outside our ordinary classroom


         Response                      Frequency                   Valid Percentage
             0                             184                          55.4%
             1                             148                          44.6%
          Total                         332                       100.0%




Q2.   Why do you think you and your class were part of the link?


      So that I/we can learn more


       Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
            0                           165                          49.7%
            1                           167                          50.3%
          Total                         332                       100.0%




      So that I/we can make new friends and learn about each other


       Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
            0                           100                          30.1%
            1                           232                          69.9%
          Total                         332                       100.0%


      So that I/we can have a day out


       Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
            0                           269                          81.0%
            1                           63                           19.0%
          Total                         332                       100.0%


      So that I/we can learn outside our ordinary classroom
         Response                  Frequency               Valid Percentage
              0                       177                       53.3%
              1                       155                       46.7%
            Total                     332                      100.0%




Q3.     Where did you do the work with the other school?


        At your school


         Response                  Frequency               Valid Percentage
              0                       290                       87.3%
              1                        42                       12.7%
            Total                     332                      100.0%


6     At the other school


         Response                  Frequency               Valid Percentage
              0                       289                       87.0%
              1                        43                       13.0%
            Total                     332                      100.0%


        Inside both schools


         Response                  Frequency               Valid Percentage
              0                       203                       61.1%
              1                       129                       38.9%
            Total                     332                      100.0%
7     Outside both schools


         Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
              0                            23                         6.9%
              1                           309                        93.1%
            Total                         332                        100.0%




Q4.     What kind of work did you do with the other school?


8     We learned about the past


         Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
              0                           115                        34.6%
              1                           217                        65.4%
            Total                         332                        100.0%


        We learned about the environment


         Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
              0                           236                        71.1%
              1                            96                        28.9%
            Total                         332                        100.0%


        We learned about our new friends, their school and where they live


         Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
              0                           179                        53.9%
              1                           153                        46.1%
            Total                         332                        100.0%


        Games and activities


         Response                     Frequency                 Valid Percentage
             0                        184                     55.4%
             1                        148                     44.6%
            Total                     332                    100.0%


        Other people and places


         Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
             0                        251                     75.6%
             1                         81                     24.4%
            Total                     332                    100.0%




9     We found out about their views and opinions


         Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
             0                        206                     62.0%
             1                        126                     38.0%
            Total                     332                    100.0%


        Something else


         Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
             0                        279                     84.0%
             1                         53                     16.0%
            Total                     332                    100.0%




Q5.     Do you remember the names of anyone from the other school?


         Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
            Yes                       298                     91.1%
             No                        29                     8.9%
          Missing                      5                      0.0%
            Total                     332                    100.0%
Q6.   If yes, how many do you remember?


       Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
           1                        46                      15.4%
           2                        51                      17.1%
           3                        50                      16.7%
           4                        47                      15.7%
      More than 4                   105                     35.1%
        Missing                     33                       0.0%
          Total                     332                     100.0%




Q7.   Do you remember the teacher’s name from the other school?


       Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
          Yes                       113                     34.8%
           No                       212                     65.2%
        Missing                        7                     0.0%
          Total                     332                     100.0%


Q8.   How was most of the work done?


      By myself
       Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
           0                        315                     94.9%
           1                        17                       5.1%
          Total                     332                     100.0%


      With my own class


       Response                  Frequency             Valid Percentage
           0                        278                     83.7%
           1                        54                      16.3%
          Total                     332                     100.0%
      With people from both classes


        Response                      Frequency           Valid Percentage
            0                            40                    12.0%
            1                           292                    88.0%
          Total                         332                   100.0%


10 Back in my own classroom


        Response                      Frequency           Valid Percentage
            0                           301                    90.7%
            1                            31                    9.3%
          Total                         332                   100.0%




Q9.   Is the work different from your usual class work?


        Response                      Frequency           Valid Percentage
           Yes                          124                    38.2%
           No                            27                    8.3%
          A bit                         174                    53.5%
         Missing                         7                     0.0%
          Total                         332                   100.0%




Q10. Is your class still in touch with the other class?


        Response                      Frequency           Valid Percentage
           Yes                          253                    76.4%
           No                            78                    23.6%
         Missing                         1                     0.0%
          Total                         332                   100.0%
Q11. If yes, how?


     E-mail


       Response     Frequency   Valid Percentage
           0           294           88.6%
           1           38            11.4%
         Total         332          100.0%


     Meeting


       Response     Frequency   Valid Percentage
           0           137           41.3%
           1           195           58.7%
         Total         332          100.0%


     Phone


       Response     Frequency   Valid Percentage
           0          286            86.1%
           1           46            13.9%
         Total        332           100.0%


     Photos


       Response     Frequency   Valid Percentage
           0           313           94.3%
           1           19            5.7%
         Total         332          100.0%


     Letters
        Response                    Frequency                Valid Percentage
             0                         273                        82.2%
             1                         59                         17.8%
          Total                        332                       100.0%


11 Texting


        Response                    Frequency                Valid Percentage
             0                         285                        85.8%
             1                         47                         14.2%
          Total                        332                       100.0%




Q12. At the start of the link did you think pupils from the other school were :


        Response                    Frequency                Valid Percentage
       Very friendly                   48                         14.6%
         Friendly                      208                        63.2%
        Unfriendly                     43                         13.1%
     Very unfriendly                   30                         9.1%
         Missing                        3                         0.0%
          Total                        332                       100.0%




Q13. Did you enjoy meeting the pupils from the other school?


        Response                    Frequency                Valid Percentage
           Yes                         262                        78.9%
            No                         70                         21.1%
          Total                        332                       100.0%




Q14. Did your feelings about the pupils from the other school change during and
      after the link?
        Response                    Frequency                 Valid Percentage
           Yes                         198                         59.6%
           No                          134                         40.4%
          Total                        332                        100.0%




Q15. Would you like to take part in a link like this again?


        Response                    Frequency                 Valid Percentage
           Yes                         277                         83.4%
           No                           55                         16.6%
          Total                        332                        100.0%




Q16. In your order of preference, what were your favourite parts of the link?


12 Visits to the other school


        Response                    Frequency                 Valid Percentage
            0                           32                         9.6%
            1                          300                         90.4%
          Total                        332                        100.0%


      Their visit to our school


        Response                    Frequency                 Valid Percentage
            0                           78                         23.5%
            1                          254                         76.5%
          Total                        332                        100.0%
        Visits outside both schools


         Response                        Frequency          Valid Percentage
              0                             18                   5.4%
              1                            314                   94.6%
            Total                          332                  100.0%


        Meeting new people


         Response                        Frequency          Valid Percentage
              0                             16                   4.8%
              1                            316                   95.2%
            Total                          332                  100.0%


        Finding out about other people


         Response                        Frequency          Valid Percentage
              0                             20                   6.0%
              1                            312                   94.0%
            Total                          332                  100.0%


        The work we did


         Response                        Frequency          Valid Percentage
              0                             79                   23.8%
              1                            253                   76.2%
            Total                          332                  100.0%




Q17. In your order of preference, what were your least favourite parts of the
link?
Visits to the other school


  Response                    Frequency   Valid Percentage
      0                          26            7.8%
      1                         306            92.2%
    Total                       332           100.0%


Their visit to our school


  Response                    Frequency   Valid Percentage
      0                          23            6.9%
      1                         309            93.1%
    Total                       332           100.0%


Visits outside both schools


  Response                    Frequency   Valid Percentage
      0                          77            23.2%
      1                         255            76.8%
    Total                       332           100.0%


Meeting new people


  Response                    Frequency   Valid Percentage
      0                          31            9.3%
      1                         301            90.7%
    Total                       332           100.0%
      Finding out about other people


       Response                         Frequency         Valid Percentage
            0                              78                  23.5%
            1                             254                  76.5%
          Total                           332                 100.0%


      The work we did


       Response                         Frequency         Valid Percentage
            0                              22                  6.6%
            1                             310                  93.4%
          Total                           332                 100.0%




Q18. Which of the following do you think might make a better link?


      More visits to the other school


       Response                         Frequency         Valid Percentage
            0                             249                  75.0%
            1                              83                  25.0%
          Total                           332                 100.0%




      More visits outside both schools


       Response                         Frequency         Valid Percentage
            0                             117                  35.2%
            1                             215                  64.8%
          Total                           332                 100.0%
  If the teachers swapped classes


       Response                 Frequency   Valid Percentage
          0                         249          75.0%
          1                         83           25.0%
         Total                      332         100.0%


  More meetings to learn about each other


       Response                 Frequency   Valid Percentage
          0                         194          58.4%
          1                         138          41.6%
         Total                      332         100.0%


  A social meeting


       Response                 Frequency   Valid Percentage
          0                         136          41.0%
          1                         196          59.0%
         Total                      332         100.0%




Q19.       Gender


       Response                 Frequency   Valid Percentage
         Male                       158          47.7%
        Female                      173          52.3%
       Missing                       1           0.0%
         Total                      332         100.0%
Q20.       Age


       Response             Frequency   Valid Percentage
        9 years                48            14.6%
       10 years                81            24.6%
   11-14 years                147            44.7%
       14+ years               53            16.1%
        Missing                3             0.0%
         Total                332           100.0%




Q21.       Type of school


       Response             Frequency   Valid Percentage
       Controlled             170            51.7%
   Maintained                 159            48.3%
        Missing                3             0.0%
         Total                332           100.0%




Q22.       School level


       Response             Frequency   Valid Percentage
        Primary               203            61.7%
   Post-primary               126            38.3%
        Missing                3             0.0%
         Total                332           100.0%
  Q23.       Have you been involved in another link programme at this school?


         Response                   Frequency                Valid Percentage
           Yes                         149                         45.6%
            No                         178                         54.4%
         Missing                         5                         0.0%
           Total                       332                        100.0%




  Q24.       Are you a member of any of the following?


13 Youth club


         Response                   Frequency                Valid Percentage
            0                          203                         61.1%
            1                          129                         38.9%
           Total                       332                        100.0%


     Brownies


         Response                   Frequency                Valid Percentage
            0                          324                         97.6%
            1                            8                         2.4%
           Total                       332                        100.0%


     Boy Scouts


         Response                   Frequency                Valid Percentage
            0                          317                         95.5%
            1                           15                         4.5%
           Total                       332                        100.0%
    Girl Guides


     Response       Frequency   Valid Percentage
          0           318                95.8%
          1            14                 4.2%
         Total        332                100.0%


    Girls Brigade


     Response       Frequency       Valid Percentage
          0           301                90.7%
          1            31                 9.3%
         Total        332                100.0%


    Boys Brigade


     Response       Frequency   Valid Percentage
          0           304                91.6%
          1            28                 8.4%
         Total        332                100.0%


    Bridginis


     Response       Frequency       Valid Percentage
          0           324                97.6%
          1            8                  2.4%
         Total        332                100.0%


14 GAA


     Response       Frequency       Valid Percentage
          0           304                91.6%
          1            28                 8.4%
         Total        332                100.0%
  Sports club


       Response                   Frequency                 Valid Percentage
          0                           197                         59.3%
          1                           135                         40.7%
         Total                        332                         100.0%


Q25.       In which Education and Library Board is your school?


       Response                   Frequency                 Valid Percentage
        BELB                          75                          22.7%
        NEELB                         64                          19.4%
        SEELB                         71                          21.5%
        SELB                          30                          9.1%
        WELB                          90                          27.3%
       Missing                         2                          0.0%
         Total                        332                         100.0%
APPENDIX 4*
1.     Can we make a list of all the things you did on the Programme?


Pupil responses were various, ranging from curricular to more social examples.
Activities are classified under the following : non-voluntary organisations (NGOs),
curricular, social, sporting, other.


      NGOs            Corrymeela; Ulster Museum; Speedwell; Ulster Folk and
                      Transport Museum; St Patrick's Heritage Centre; YMCA.


     Curricular       History project (Victorians, Vikings, WW1, Famine, Stone
                      Age)
                      Environmental project (weather, mini beasts, timber)
                      Science project (electricity); Art.


     Activities       Puppet Show; Music; Dancing; Fund-raising.


      Social          Theatre;     Pantomime;     Cinema;   Shopping;    Chinese
                      restaurant; McDonalds; Burger King; Beach.


     Sporting         Swimming; Football; Bowling; Games.


       Trips          Belgium; Isle of Man; Business Centre; W5; Lilliput Land;
                      Farm; Nerve Centre; Long Tower; Derry Walls; Tower
                      Museum; St Columb's Park House; Cultural Heritage
                      Centre, Galway; American Folk Park; Springhill; Woodhall
                      Activity Centre; Somme Heritage Centre; Ardclinis Outdoor
                      Centre; Bus Tour.


       Other          Visits to their school; Visits to each other’s school; Shook
                      each others hands.




* the most common responses are emboldened throughout
2.      What things have you learned about the other school?


Pupil responses have been grouped according to personal information; similarities;
differences and knowledge [?].


      Personal      Names;       Age;   Address;    Family;   Friends;   Religion;
     Information    Hobbies; Personalities; Their community; Football teams;
                    Their teacher; Their school and the work they do;
                    Favourite things; Likes and dislikes.


     Similarities   Just like us; Same curriculum and similar books; Shared
                    tastes in clothes and music; Supporting the same football
                    team; Friendly.


     Differences    Religion; Uniform; Hairstyles; Accent; Funny names;
                    Sports played; The way the school is run; Subjects offered;
                    The way the work is done; No common ground; Unfriendly;
                    They smoke in the toilets.


     Knowledge      Respect for each other; Respect for the other religion;
                    Politics; Finding out about other nationalities.




3.      What do you think the other school learned about having a link with you?


      Personal      Name; Age; Address; Family; Hobbies; Likes and
     Information    Dislikes; Favourite things; Religion; Their community;
                    Friends; Personalities; Our school; Our teacher; Football
                    teams; Second Names.


     Similarities   Just like us; We live close to each other.


     Differences    We're different from each other; Where we live; Our
                    friends; The sports we play; Subjects our school does;
                    Difficulties some of us have.


     Knowledge      We are friendly; We are talented; We are kind; We
                    respected their religion; Nothing, because we don't talk
                    about it; We are all one religion; New subject area; We
                    changed the stereotypical view of our school; We changed
                    the stereotypical view of our pupils; How our school worked.




4.     Do you think it would be a good idea to stay in touch with the other
       school? What ways would you do it?


Most pupils agreed that they would like to stay in touch with the other school. A few
pupils were less certain. The reasons given are listed below.


     Yes     Letters; Penpals; Develop 1:1 friendships; Get to know more
             about them; Exchanging Christmas/birthday cards; More trips;
             Longer trips; Spend more time with each other; Joint Sporting
             Activities; Meet up more regularly; Visit each other more often;
             Email; Phone; Text; Meet outside school; Social meetings (eg
             cinema); More joint activites (eg putting on plays); More joint
             projects; More school visits; After school activities; Swap
             teachers; Take turns in deciding what to do; Reunion after primary
             school; More mixing between two classes; Sleepovers away from
             home; Invite to each others house; Invite to parties or discos.


     No      Bullying; Other groups should be included; Short-term nature of
             links do not allow continued contact




5.     Are there other schools you would like your school to have a link with?
The reasons most commonly given for and against another school link are identified
below.


      Yes           With school in the nearer area; New links would develop new
                    friendships; Schools similar in size; Family in school; Friends in
                    school; Previous school; School of same religion; Integrated school;
                    Special School; Single sex school; School in Republic of Ireland;
                    Secondary school (for P6/7 classes); Other school is friendly; Pupils
                    are nice.


       No           School may be too small; Country school may be too isolated; School
                    may be too far away; Trips may be limited.




6.       Can you help us make a list of things that would make the Programme a
         better one?


School-based                Involvement of more schools; Involvement of more
                            children; More visits between schools; More classroom-
                            based work; More mixed groups; Involvement of more
                            teachers; More interaction with teachers.


     Active Learning        More debates to find out opinions; Smaller working
                            groups; More activities that require co-operation; More ice-
                            breakers; Greater consideration of relevance of ice-
                            breakers.


Active Engagement More chances to become friends; More chances to talk and
                            share experiences; Meet families; Weekly letters; More 1:1
                            engagement; Pre-residential meeting; Informal end-of-
                            exchange engagement.


            Trips           More trips; Longer trips; More travel; Overseas trips;
                 More imaginative       trips; No uniform trips; More
                 residentials; Being able to sit next to each other on the
                 bus.


    Sport        More sporting activities : football, GAA, bowling, rugby,
                 tennis, badminton, ice-skating, hockey, swimming, motor
                 bike racing.


Other Activity   Crafts; Cookery.


   Social        Disco; Fashion Show.
BIBLIOGRAPHY


Hughes, J and Donnelly C. (2001). Community Relations as a Policy Priority for
Northern Ireland. University of Ulster, School of Policy Studies.


Northern Ireland, Department of Education.        (2002).   A Review of the Schools
Community Relations Programme 2002.


Northern Ireland, Department of Education. (1982). The Improvement of Community
Relations : The Contribution of Schools. DENI Circular 1982/21.


OFMDFM. (2003). A Shared Future : A Consultation Paper on Improving Community
Relations in Northern Ireland. Belfast, OFMDFM.


Robinson, G. (2003). Northern Ireland Communities Drifting Apart. University of
Ulster Report.