Mind the Gap sought to improve the metacognition and academic attainment of pupils in Year 4. There were two aspects to the intervention. The first involved training teachers in how to embed metacognitive approaches in their work, and how to continue to effectively and strategically involve parents. This training took place over a day and was provided by a consultant. The second component focused on parental engagement and offered families the opportunity to participate in a series of facilitated workshops where children and parents work together to create an animated film. Sessions were coordinated by a practitioner who helped participants to think about how they are learning, create learning goals and reflect on their progress; to be metacognitive about the learning process they were engaged in together. The families were offered 2 hours of workshops per week for 5 weeks (10 hours in total).
The project targeted schools in four areas of England: Birmingham, Devon, London and Manchester. It was delivered by the Campaign for Learning, with assessments carried out by Durham University. Delivery started in September 2012 and finished in October 2013.
The project was evaluated using a randomised controlled trial, which compared the interventions to a ‘business-as-usual’ control group. It is important to note that it was eligibility for the animation course, not participation, that was randomised, so the results must be regarded as estimating the effect of being offered the animation course (alone or in combination with teacher training, as appropriate) rather than participating in it.