Cristin O'Kane


The overriding aim of this investigation was to determine whether or not a correlation exists between a child’s drop-out level from physical activities and their academic attainment. The sample population consisted of 114 Primary 6 pupils, 57 females and 57 males, aged 9 to 10 years. These individuals attend five schools across Northern Ireland, from a variety of social backgrounds in both rural and urban settings.

For the purposes of collecting information pertaining to the chosen sample pupils, each individual completed a questionnaire detailing their current levels of participation in and their dropout rates from sporting/physical activities, including the type of activity in which they partake. Academic attainment was measured using standardised scores for the Progress in English (PIE) test. Stanine bands were used to group the standardised scores into three categories consisting of low, middle and high ability. Once the data was gathered, the results were added to a database using Microsoft Excel and presented in a variety of graphs to allow ease of comparison and analysis.

The study revealed that there was little correlation between the pupils’ drop-out rates from physical activity and academic attainment. The study did however reveal that although drop-out rate may not produce a correlation, the current levels of participation do have a positive relationship with academic attainment.