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Title: Extra-curricular activities in English secondary schools : what are they? : what do they offer participating students? : how do they inform EP practice?
Author: Sullivan, Patrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 1576
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Research has indicated extra-curricular activities (ECAs) to be beneficial to those who participate in them. These potential benefits relate to students’ academic, social and emotional and physical development. Despite the common occurrence of ECAs in English secondary schools, there is a lack of research in this specific area. Much of the existing literature appears to omit what motivates students, both in their participation and choice of ECAs. This research, adopting a multi-informant approach, aimed to provide further insights into ECAs within the context of English secondary schools. The research aimed to provide greater clarity as to how school-based ECAs may be defined and their rationale. The research also aimed to provide further insight into their potential associated benefits and the motivation of students who choose to participate in them. Forty-eight participants (20 students- aged 11-15, 14 parents, 10 ECA leaders and 4 senior leaders) across four schools, in a south-east England county, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Each interview was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Fifteen main themes, which related to four research questions, emerged from the analysis. The current findings indicated a wide variation in the availability, type and context of ECAs taking pace in English secondary schools. The findings also highlighted ECAs as potential environmental contexts to further support students’ academic, personal, social and physical development, as well as influencing parent views. Students’ participation in ECAs was found to be influenced by a range of factors- who was involved, individual differences, perceived associated benefits and individual features of the ECAs. There were a number of implications for Educational Psychologists’ (EPs) emerging from this research. These related to: EPs exploring students’ learning and social, emotional and mental health in ECAs, EPs developing schools’ awareness and understanding of school-based ECAs and EPs highlighting features of ECAs which help to create a positive learning environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available