The purpose of the present investigation was to attempt to improve the adjustment of students transferring to a new high school part way through the year by the introduction of a buddy scheme. During the period between March 7th and September 18th,1978,54 new students were randomly allocated to an experimental group (i.e. paired with a buddy) or to a 'no buddy' control group for three weeks from the date of their enrolment. The buddies consisted of 12 volunteers from each of years seven to ten,who attended four training sessions with the counsellor (four for each form). The training centred round a discussion of their feelings and needs when encountering new school situations and led to a delineation of practical things which could be done to help new students. Emphasis was also given to communication skills. After the new students had been at the school for a month (or 20 school days),they completed L.S. Wrightsraan's School Morale scale and a student questionnaire which provided two measures of adjustment,viz. the students' perception of whether or not they had formed new friendships and their 'adjustment' to school. At the end of their first two months,the number of days absent (apart from those for sickness) were noted. There was no significant difference between the adjustment of transfer students in the experimental group compared to the control group as measured by the four outcome measures. That is,there was no significant difference between the two groups as measured by School Morale scores,their perception of the formation of new friendships,adjustment to school (a questionnaire measurement) or the mean number of days absent. Buddies with effective communication skills were successful in helping new students make a satisfactory adjustment to their new school. The continuation of the scheme was favoured both by the buddies and by the transfer students. Buddies felt that the scheme helped new students to settle in more quickly to the classes and to make friends. Transfer students felt that the scheme helped them to learn about the school very quickly,to meet the teachers and to make friends.
|Date of Award||1 Jan 1979|