"Work hard and never give up": A narrative exploration of the school experiences of pupils who have migrated to England

Bhardwaj, Amber May (2022). "Work hard and never give up": A narrative exploration of the school experiences of pupils who have migrated to England. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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The UK is a diverse and multicultural country with large numbers of both children and adults living in the UK having been born abroad. Research, however, has suggested outcomes for pupils who were born abroad and moved to the UK (migrant pupils) may be poorer than for UK born pupils, both in terms of academic attainment and wellbeing (OECD, 2012, 2018). Despite this, there is limited existing literature exploring migrant pupils’ views of their school experiences in the UK.
This study explores the school experiences of migrant pupils who have moved to England from non-English speaking countries. Narrative interviews were used with five secondary aged migrant pupils to consider what they viewed to be significant school experiences in their education, both positive and negative. The study examined how their experiences changed over time from their initial arrival to the present day, and what was deemed significant to both their wellbeing and academic attainment at different stages.
The findings provide in-depth insight into the unique journeys and experiences of these migrant pupils within their education in England. Key challenges within participants’ narratives were their initial experiences of adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, learning a new language, and peer difficulties. For most pupils, academic difficulties were evident throughout their narratives, although many also indicated increased enjoyment of learning, motivation, confidence, and a greater sense of school belonging as they adjusted to their new school and began to learn English. Making friends appeared to be a key turning point which helped lead to these improvements. Aspects of school that allowed pupils to feel involved and experience a sense of achievement, such as extra-curricular activities and academic progress, were also cited as important to these positive changes. Key implications for further research and professional practice for educational practitioners and educational psychologists (EPs) are discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12918


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