Using Self-Regulation to Improve Writing - An Effectiveness Trial

This project aims to improve free-school-meal pupils’ writing ability prior to the end of Key Stage 2. Memorable experiences are used as a stimulus for pupils’ writing then the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) intervention is implemented. SRSD is a six stage structured approach to teaching writing. It uses frameworks and mnemonics to aid organisation and it involves self and peer assessment. Pupils set goals for their writing, evaluate what they produce and positive behaviours are reinforced. It is being delivered by the Calderdale Excellence Partnership, who will train trainers from Leeds Local Authority and CfBT, who will in turn train teachers in the approach.

This programme was previously trialled in an EEF efficacy trial.

Why are we funding it?

SRSD has already been tested in multiple randomised controlled trials and shown to have a range of positive effect sizes, depending on the students’ characteristics and the way in which it is delivered. The EEF efficacy trial is in line with these previous findings, showing a large positive impact on writing outcomes. The overall effect size for writing was +0.74. The intervention appeared to have a larger effect for those pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM), with an effect size of +1.6 standard deviations for those pupils, however due to a smaller sample size this result was not statistically significant. This project will test a more scalable version of the intervention and also explore further the impact of the intervention on FSM-eligible pupils.

How are we evaluating it?

This programme is being evaluated by a team from the York Trials Unit at the University of York, led by David Torgerson. It has been designed as a randomised controlled trial involving eighty schools. Primary schools will be randomly allocated to either begin the programme in September 2015 or to benefit in the following academic year.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Spring 2017.