I'll be happy and smiling all the time” - The impact of relational and safety learning for 8-12-year-old children

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Authors
Dyer, E.
O'Hagan, A.
Bridgman, Geoffrey
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2019-07
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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New Zealand
Jade Speaks Up (Violence prevention programme)
primary students
secondary students
violence prevention programmes
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Dyer, E., O'Hagan, A., & Bridgman, G. (2019, July). I'll be happy and smiling all the time” - The impact of relational and safety learning for 8-12-year-old children. Paper presented at the Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ) 2019 conference, Wellington, Queen Margaret College.
Abstract
This paper evaluates the impact of Jade Speaks Up (JSU), a safety and relational learning programme run for 1300 children in years 5-8 in eight New Zealand primary and intermediate schools. This is the first year of a 3-year pilot funded by ACC who view the programme as a violence prevention initiative that will reduce claims for compensation for acts of violence in the future and want to see it, if successful, rolled out across New Zealand. The programme is designed to run in weekly lessons over a 6-8 week period. JSU involves one-day teacher training; a manual of lesson plans and activities; and resources, including a dynamic a 7-minute NZ made animation on how children can take action against things that frighten them like bullying and domestic violence. The evaluation involved control and experimental groups; pre, post and follow-up tests; assessment batteries that had measures of wellbeing, emotional literacy, trust, use of safety skills, classroom environment, change and value in questionnaires for children and teachers; and interviews with teachers and school managers. We found that children made significant progress in wellbeing (11% drop in the number of at risk children), emotional literacy and the use safety skills. Teachers said that there were significant changes in the classroom environment, particularly in the areas that were of most concern to them and felt that the programme was helpful or very helpful in these areas. 81% of the children felt that the programme was useful, 76% made positive comments about programme outcomes and those that were negative, neutral or no comment improved significantly at follow-up in their appreciation of safety skills and outcomes of their use. Teachers were even more positive at follow-up than at post-test.
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