A process evaluation of an outreach physical activity program in an inner-city primary school

Afroditi Stathi, S J Sebire

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Background: Inner-city schools experience substantial difficulties in providing sufficient physical activity opportunities for their pupils. This study evaluated the Y-Active, an outreach physical activity and well-being program delivered in an inner-city primary school in London, UK by a third-sector partner.

Methods: A process evaluation focusing on perceived effectiveness and implementation issues was conducted using qualitative case-study methodology. Semistructured interviews and focus groups were conducted with Year 5 and Year 6 pupils (N = 17, age range = 9 to 11 years), Y-Active sports leaders (N = 4), the school head teacher, class teachers (N = 2), and the Y-Active administrator. Transcripts were thematically analyzed and multiple informant and analyst triangulation performed.

Results: The Y-Active leaders created a positive learning environment supporting autonomy, balancing discipline and structure and providing self-referenced feedback, excellence in tuition and a strong focus on fun and praise. Pupils reported improvements in self-confidence and competence, self-discipline and interpersonal relationships. School staff and Y-Active leaders highlighted that their partnership was built on trust, top-down leadership support and open lines of communication between the provider and the school.

Conclusions: Collaboration between third sector service providers and inner-city schools represents a promising means of increasing children's physical activity and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S239-S248
JournalJournal of Physical Activity & Health
Issue numberSupplement 2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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