Schools

Schools sought for EEF trials to boost science and reading

Schools sought to take part in trials of Ascents 121, Focus4Taps and FFT Reciprocal Reading

Schools sought to take part in trials of Ascents 121, Focus4Taps and FFT Reciprocal Reading

Schools are being sought for trials to find out if mentors can boost GCSE science results and for projects that to improve science and reading in primary schools.

The Education Endowment Foundation, which works to build an evidence base for teaching and learning interventions, has announced three upcoming trials that schools in England can take part in.

Chief executive professor Becky Francis said after pandemic disruption it was “really exciting that we are able to resume the important work of testing the impact of education programmes”.

The first project is a trial of Ascents 121, which aims to improve year 11 pupils’ science attainment by training undergraduate students to deliver weekly, one-to-one mentoring sessions to pupils in the lead up to their GCSE exam.

A trial of the scheme was funded in 2019, but Covid disruption and changes to GCSE grading meant it was “not possible to complete an impact statement”.

The EEF is looking for secondary schools in London, the south west, East Midlands, and north of England to take part in the trial, which will be evaluated by NatCen.  

The second scheme is Focus4Taps, which aims to raise scientific attainment by providing “high quality professional development” for science subject leaders and teachers over the course of an academic year.

The EEF’s previous trial of the approach found children who took part made an average of two months’ additional progress.

Primary schools can also take part in the EEF’s trial of FFT Reciprocal Reading. This is a “structured, targeted”, 12-week intervention, delivered to support pupils in years 5 and 6 who are struggling to understand texts.

Francis said it was “more important than ever that schools have assurances that the teaching and learning approaches they are investing resources in are going to have the desired effect on pupil progress”.

Schools can find opportunities available to them on the EEF’s website

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