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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School Postgraduate study

Miss Kimberley Young

PhD student

Miss Kimberley Young's photo

Kimberley Young is a part time PhD student at Southampton Education School, University of Southampton.

Research interests

How can a Physical Education-based intervention support raising attainment for pupils with dyspraxia in core subjects?

The aim of this research is to develop an intervention programme for pupils with dyspraxia. The idea is using Physical Education lessons to build in specific motor skill activities into warm-up sessions as the lessons start. This will develop motor coordination which in turn improve handwriting, which links to focus, confidence and attainment in other curriculum areas.

By writing these into scheme of work pupils do not need to lose valuable lesson time to attend intervention sessions (if any at all). Dyspraxia is difficult to diagnose and many pupils who have it go unnoticed which can lead to lack of support and understanding from schools. The lack of funding in schools is another factor that can impact who gets intervention and so even with a formal diagnosis this isn’t always possible. The programme will allow for pupils to access motor-specific skills which have been proven over time and in numerous studies to benefit motor coordination and ability in pupils.

Year 7 pupils in a mainstream secondary school will be taking part in the programme run over two academic terms. PE classes are selected at random, with two groups taking part and two control groups. The intervention will take place at the start of each PE lesson so pupils get 10 minutes of motor skill activities 4 times per fortnight. Data to collect will be the schools on in year data from exams, class tests and data drops via reports.

A speed of handwriting test pre and post testing is carried out with all pupils in intervention and control groups to gauge ability, and a threshold developed for what will be deemed dyspraxic tendencies due to lack of formal diagnosis pupils coming into schools.


Professor Marcus Grace and Mr David Galbraith .

Research group

Mathematics, Science and Health Education Research Centre

Miss Kimberley Young
Southampton Education School University of Southampton Building 32 Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

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