AbstractThe University of ManchesterRachel LyonsDoctorate in Educational and Child Psychology'An evaluation of the use of a Pyramid Club to support shy and withdrawn children's transition to secondary school'2011The transition from primary to secondary school is regarded as one of the most difficult in children's educational careers and the negative academic, social and emotional effects of an unsuccessful transition have been widely documented, with many practitioners identifying the transition to secondary school as a key intervention point (Galton, Morrison and Pell, 2000, Turnbull, 2006). Shy and socially withdrawn children are particularly vulnerable at this time. Pyramid Clubs, a short-term selective and preventative therapeutic group intervention offer a promising model of support, but a robust evidence-base is currently lacking (Munoz, Mrazek, and Haggerty, 1999; Shepherd and Roker, 2005). This study evaluated the use of a Pyramid Club to provide a 'bridge' of support before, during and following nine children's transition to secondary school. The study was conducted from a critical realist stance and quantitative and qualitative methodology were adopted within an embedded single-case study design. The study had two aims; to evaluate the effectiveness of the club; and to explore the process, in order to understand the club's mechanism of effect. Pre-and post-intervention teacher report data were collected in conjunction with club leader, club member and parents' perspectives, obtained though focus groups and individual interviews. The researcher also observed each club meeting. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The findings indicate the club offers an effective method of support. The children enjoyed the club experience and a range of social-emotional gains were reported. The findings were used to propose a theoretical framework based on the concept of resilience, to explain how Pyramid Clubs can be successfully used to support vulnerable children's transition to secondary school. Core elements, which were considered to be essential components of the intervention, were identified to aid future implementation and evaluation of Transition Pyramid Clubs.