New literacy projects given funding to expand

Almost £4 million will be shared among six educational projects, focused on a variety of topics

A strategy that helps pupils understand why they have to learn about grammar is among a number of small-scale projects that have received funding to expand.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research organisation has today announced that it will allocate almost £4 million in new grants to six projects. These projects have previously been piloted in small, randomised trials, and found to boost pupils’ attainments.

Literacy projects

The EEF will now recruit 920 primary schools – more than 48,000 pupils – to test the projects on a larger scale.

These projects include:

  • Grammar for Writing

Delivered by the University of Exeter, this programme helps pupils to understand how linguistic structures convey meaning, making grammatical rules less abstract. It was previously found to result in the whole class improving by the equivalent of two months.

  • Accelerated Reader

This software allows schools to screen pupils quickly, in order to determine their reading level, and then to match them with popular books at the relevant level. It also highlights where interventions are needed, and what kinds of interventions might work best in each situation. Smaller trials resulted in an improvement in pupils’ reading ages of between three and five months.

  • Catch-Up Literacy

Led by teaching assistants, this is a one-to-one literacy intervention for pupils between the ages of 6 and 14. The programme teaches pupils a range of reading strategies, including phonics. In the smaller trial, it was found to result in two months’ progress among pupils.

  • Thinking, Doing, Talking Science

Delivered in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University, this programme aims to make science lessons in primaries more practical and creative. It trains teachers to encourage pupils to use higher-order thinking skills. It was previously found to result in between three and five months’ additional progress among pupils.

  • Affordable Primary Tuition

This intervention recruits university students and recent graduates, and trains them to offer one-on-one and small-group tuition in schools serving large numbers of disadvantaged pupils.

  • Read Write Inc and Fresh Start

This project will test the impact of two synthetic-phonics literacy programmes. Read Write Inc is intended for early infants readers and also children in Years 3 and 4 who are still having difficulty with speed and accuracy. Fresh Start is a catch-up programme for children still struggling to read at the end of primary school.

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