Education Endowment Foundation:Rapid Phonics

Rapid Phonics

Norfolk Council
Implementation costThe cost estimates in the Toolkits are based on the average cost of delivering the intervention.
Evidence strengthThis rating provides an overall estimate of the robustness of the evidence, to help support professional decision-making in schools.
Impact (months)The impact measure shows the number of additional months of progress made, on average, by children and young people who received the intervention, compared to similar children and young people who did not.
Project info

Independent Evaluator

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Durham University
A phonics programme for older readers.
Schools: 35 Grant: £148,000
Key Stage: 2, 3 Duration: 2 year(s) Type of Trial: Efficacy Trial
Completed January 2014

Rapid Phonics is a synthetic phonics intervention intended to improve decoding skills and reading fluency. It teaches the relationship of word sounds to their corresponding letter groups in a structured way. In this evaluation, the intervention was delivered across the transition between primary and secondary school to Year 6/7 pupils who had not reached Level 4b in English at the end of Key Stage 2.

Rapid Phonics pupils received one-and-a-half hours of tuition per week, in groups of four or fewer, by specialist teachers from Norfolk County Council. The intervention was delivered over six weeks in the summer term of 2013 (end of primary school) and six weeks in the autumn term of 2013 (start of secondary school) to 201 pupils from 22 primary schools and then in 13 secondary schools across Norfolk. Pupils were individually randomised to receive the intervention or to a waitlist control group, who received the intervention at the end of the trial.

The project was funded as part of a round of projects dedicated to literacy catch-up for pupils at the primary-secondary transition who do not achieve Level 4 in English by the end of Key Stage 2.

ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
Intervention vs control (all pupils)
Months' progress
(Effect size 0.05)
Intervention vs control (FSM only)
Months' progress
(Effect size 0.07)