I joined University Centre Doncaster in 2013 to undertake a foundation degree in Early Childhood Development and Learning in Practice. I then went on to complete a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. Throughout my studies I have always found the development of children’s social and emotional development fascinating. I developed a keen interest in attachment theories and how adverse experiences in early childhood impacts children’s social and emotional development. With this in mind, I decided to focus my research dissertation in this area.
This research focussed on exploring how children are supported in relation to their social and emotional development in a primary school setting. The aims of this research were to highlight the different social and emotional interventions, identify if they are effective and to discover if early intervention takes place.
The case study approach was used as the methodology during the research, and mixed methods were used to gather the data. Semi-structured interviews were completed and non-participant observations took place. Goodman’s (1997) strengths and difficulties questionnaires were handed out to practitioners, parents and the children who took part in the research. These documents were then analysed to explore if social and emotional interventions in the setting enhanced children’s social and emotional development.
The key findings that have emerged from the research are that, the setting attempts to promote social and emotional development through 2 interventions, circle time and Thrive®. Thrive® is promoted effectively and children make improvements in relation to their social and emotional development and prosocial behaviour. Circle time is less effective, as it is not consistently implemented throughout the school. Practitioners lack of understanding regarding social and emotional development and their unwillingness to support children, places further pressure on the minority of practitioners who understand that these children need to be supported.