Exploring Levels of School Belonging for Traveller and Non Traveller Students through a bespoke Music Intervention in an Irish Post Primary School.


  • Deirdre Starr
  • Theresa Tierney


School sense of belonging, post primary school, music, intervention, Traveller students



This project, which took place in an Irish post-primary school was an intervention which involved a class of Music students.  The project explored how a music intervention which included Traveller community culture and traditional music impacted on scores on measures of school belonging for members of Traveller community and their non Traveller community peers.


The music intervention was developed by the post-primary school’s assigned Educational Psychologist and the school’s Music teacher and was funded by the school. The intervention was delivered over a ten week period.  During the ten weeks, six specialised musical experiences were delivered during regular timetabled Music classes. The participants , a class of twenty six pupils which included nine Traveller students attended a rural DEIS co-educational post-primary school in the South East of Ireland and attended music lessons as part of their school curriculum. The school facilitated participating pupils to complete questionnaires pre and post intervention. Data was collected using The Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (PSSM) and The Belonging Scale (Frederickson & Baxter, 2009). Full data was gathered for nineteen of the twenty six pupils. 


Results of this intervention found a positive increase in the scores on both the PSSM and The Belonging Scale for the Traveller and non Traveller students indicating a higher sense of school belonging /membership after the intervention.  Discussion of the findings and issues arising as well as implications for further work in this area are presented.



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How to Cite

Starr, D. ., & Tierney, T. (2023). Exploring Levels of School Belonging for Traveller and Non Traveller Students through a bespoke Music Intervention in an Irish Post Primary School . REACH: Journal of Inclusive Education in Ireland, 36(2). Retrieved from https://reachjournal.ie/index.php/reach/article/view/564