Research confirms positive effect of Pyramid clubs

Research confirms positive effect of Pyramid clubs

Pyramid image Researchers at the University of West London, in partnership with ContinYou, have shown that Pyramid after-school clubs deliver significant reductions in peer and emotional difficulties, together with improvements in pro-social skills for those children who would otherwise slip under the radar as a consequence of being quiet, withdrawn or disengaged socially.

The research, published online this month in the British Journal of Educational Psychology followed 103 7 year olds, who attended Pyramid after-school clubs in Ealing and Manchester, and compared them to 282 of their classmates.

Using a proven and well-regarded assessment method (the Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) both before and after children’s attendance at the ten-week Pyramid club, the research found significant improvements in the children’s social skills, peer integration and self-confidence. 

The research confirms the findings of an earlier study. It points to the Pyramid early intervention/therapeutic method as having the potential to cut short many of the problems that can lead to much more substantial mental health problems for children as they grow and as their school careers progress.

Bronach Hughes MBE, ContinYou’s Pyramid After-School Club Co-ordinator, said:

‘Pyramid after-school clubs target children who internalise their difficulties, particularly those who are shy, quiet, withdrawn or anxious, and who find it difficult to make friends or cope in larger groups. Within a school setting they often underperform academically and can be socially isolated. They find it difficult to ask for help and, as a result, are often not offered any. They are particularly vulnerable and at risk of the future development of depression and other internalised disorders. It has been shown that teachers are less likely to recognise that they have a problem than children with externalising disorders.’

Further phases of the research are planned, alongside plans by ContinYou to make Pyramid after-school clubs accessible to more children who would benefit.

Notes to editors

  1. ContinYou leads the development and delivery of Pyramid after-school clubs nationally. For details on the success of the programme, email
  2. University of West London led the research. For more information, email Dr Maddie (Madeleine) Ohl, C.Psychol, Admissions Tutor and Lecturer in Psychology:


‘These results are very encouraging. They provide further evidence of how Pyramid clubs can help this group of children who often get overlooked.’ (Lead Researcher Dr Madeleine Ohl)