The first meeting - in Iceland March 2015

March 15th:

  • 4Meeting of participants in the project: The impact of sandplay and storytelling on children‘s learning and emotional- behavioral development.
    Presentation of the meeting.
  • Main tasks of the project: 1. The use of sandplay and storytelling in regular schoolwork. Implementation in all three countries. 2. Research project. Implementation in all three countries. 3. Dissemination of the project: Workshops, toolbox, article, internet, training courses/conference.
  • Participants:
    • Bucharest: Scoala Gimnaziala nr. 156: Ionel Puscas principal, Daniela Androsca special need teacher. C4C - Communication Association that supports longterm social inclusion of disabled youth or youth with difficulty to adjust to school curricula: Simona Danciu special need teacher, speach therapist and sandplay specialist.
    • Ennis: Ennis National School: Siobhan Whyte psycholog and sandplay specialist, Anne Mc Mahon special education teacher, Liz Spring special education teacher, Padraig Kelly special need teacher. Aideen de Faoite psychologist.
    • Reykjavík: Ártúnsskóli: Rannveig Andrésdóttir principal, Erna Matthíasdóttir project manager for the project Health Promoting school in Ártunsskóli, Svanlaug D. Thorarensen class teacher for 6 -12 years old, Kristín Unnsteinsdóttir special need teacher and sandplay therapist.
  • 1Sandtray play in Education: 1. The method used as a tool to initiate imaginative thinking and creative expression among pupils in their regular school work and in special need education. 2. The method will be presented for teachers in workshops and with an introductory toolbox (handbook). 3. Implementation in all 3 countries.
  • Research project: 1. Sandplay and storytelling as a therapeutic method for students who have disabilities such as poor learning skills or attention and/or emotional problems. 2. Implementation in all three countries run by three sandplay therapists and the project is a part of a comparative research project. 3. Presentation of the outcome in annual rapports, a professional article, training courses/conference.
  • Dissemination plan: 1. Workshops for teachers (the participating teachers and invited teachers) and a toolbox (introductory handbook). 2. Rapports about the implementation in each country. 3. Rapports about the research project. Article in a professional journal. 4. A logos. 5. A homepage. 6. training courses in each country. 7. Conference.
  • Responsibility of tasks: A team of editors (the national contactperson +1) from each country that will be responsible for the distribution of tasks among other members of the project and the final products; workshops, introductory handbook, reports, article, organization of transnational meetings, and training courses/conference.
  • Ongoing evaluation: 1. Discussions and evaluation of the whole project on transnational meetings. 2. Dr. B. Turner acts as an external quality assurance expert, concerning handbook, workshop/training course, qualitative analyses, article. 3. Questionnires at workshops.
  • Transnational meetings: 1. Reykjavik meeting and conference – March 2015 2. Bucharest- September 2015 3. Ennis – April 2016 4. Country? – Conference – Autumn 2016.
  • Budget presentation – Rannis– Þorgerður Björnsdóttir.
  • Discussion groups: 1. Research project: Siobhan, Simona, Kristín. 2. Teachers: Erna, Svanlaug, teachers from Ireland and Romania. Look at work in the classrooms and hear about the experience of the Icelandic teachers.
  • National groups: 1. Matters of discussion: Distribution of tasks (see slides 4-8). 2. Financial matters. 3. Meetings.

March 16th-17th:

  • Presentation and a 2 days train-the-trainers workshop run by the team of Artunsskoli on an implementation of Sandtray Play in Educationand as a tool to initiate creative imagination and expression among regular students in their school work held at Artunsskoli for teachers from the partner schools and for teachers from some Icelandic schools in the Reykjavík. Presentation for all the participants of the model research project in Iceland 2005-09 by Unnsteinsdottir. Workshop and training course evaluation. 


Here is a brief summary of the discussion that took place at the project’s first transnational project meeting in Reykjavik. The group from each country answered a few questions about the project, its beginning and what visions and hopes the teams have for the continuing of the project.

1. Question:  How and when are you starting on the implementation of sandplay and storytelling in a school setting in mainstream and special education (providing of trays, sand, miniature), planning on themes?

Irish team plans to start from March to June 2015. The focus will be on a discussion with the school management, construction of sandtrays and gathering resources, e.g. miniatures and reading material. The team will identify suitable pupils, incorporate sandtray play into education plans and lease with mainstream teacher (Timetabling and themes).
Romanian team is planning on starting the implementation by choosing a theme and has already decided to work with the Romanian fairytales. They will be working with one class (30 pupils) and will be organizing individual, group and pair work. The team is planning on starting at the end of April 2015 and intends working with 4 children at the same time.
Icelandic team has been working with several themes during the last years but are planning on beginning a new theme next autumn in connection with the Erasmus+ project. The theme will be related to the school forest and the school curriculum for the age group that will take part in the theme project. The team hasn’t decided on specific themes yet but is considering themes like trees, birds or mice. It seems likely that we will take the theme mice with the eldest group in the Kindergarten and the 1st class which will be 36 children. This theme will be carried through in the spring semester 2016.

Question 2: How and when are you starting on the implementation of the research project/ therapeutic method?

Irish team claims that psychological assessments on two of the children are completed and the other two children will be assessed in the next two weeks (middle of April). One child has a sandtray completed and the second child will start sandplay in the beginning of April. The team claims that psychological assessments on two of the children are completed and the other two children will be assessed in the middle of April. In the middle of May 6 trays will be completed with 2 children and 4 with 1. Siobhan is planning to start with the 4th child at the end of May.
Romanian team will first of all finish the initial evaluation of the children (they tested the children with only two tests – WISC and ASEBA). The results from the Romanian language and math tests will prove useful. Given all the facts, the children will make their first tray in sandplay by the end of May.
Icelandic team has already started with the first group in February 2015. The plan is to invite  the children to make as many trays as possible before the end of term in the beginning of June (probably 8 trays) and finish the rest (4 trays) in autumn 2015. Final analyzes (standardized scales and tests) will take place in March 2016.

Question 3: First report at the end of May or June 2015, who will be responsible?

Irish team: Anne Mc Mahon with regard to school and Siobhan White with regard to therapy.
Romanian team: Simona Danciu. 
Icelandic team: Kristín Unnsteinsdóttir.

Question 4:  Ideas for a logo for the project?

Irish team did at that time not come up with an specific idea.
Romanian team were thinking of a combination between a book (storytelling) and a tray filled with figures (sandplay).
Icelandic team considered something linked to sand and sandplay but no definit idea.

Question 5:  A homepage?

Romanian team points out that both Romanian organizations (Sc. Gimnaziala 156 and C4C) have their own websites and the group wandered if it would be OK to create a new website for a project with a limited time span. The team also wandered if Erasmus+ maybe has some free of charge website where we could promote our project.
Icelandic team is considering to ask Gudrun Kristinsdottir to have a supervision for that part of the project. Gudrun is a former college from Artunsskoli. She took care of the school homepage and was the computer administrator. This homepage would then be a subpage of the homepage of Artunsskoli.

Question 6:  What do you think you can accomplish before the next meeting?

Irish team expects that all 4 children will have completed their 12 sandtrays and all pretests will be completed.
Romanian team will observe and analyze if and how the sandplay and sandtray play plan can be implemented in a school environment.
Icelandic team will organize the theme work for next school year, start the implementation and give information about how the research is going.

Question 7:  What are your wishes for the program of the next meeting in autumn 2015?

Irish team would like to have a discussion on any difficulties experienced in the introduction of the sandtray play in the different schools.
Romanian team would like to discuss a SWOT analysis of the whole process.
Icelandic team would like to have a report from each country and a discussion on how things have been going, what has been a success and what has not been going as well as we had expected, where we are going from here, future planning and organization.

The results from the discussion groups from each country show clearly that all groups are very enthusiastic about the project and have many ideas that they like to go ahead with and implement. As should be expected the ideas are many and differ in many ways and that is precisely what a team work is all about and it will be interesting to see how the project will develop from here.