Education Endowment Foundation:Spaced Learning

Spaced Learning

Hallam Teaching School Alliance
Implementation cost
Evidence strength Not given for this trial
Impact (months)
Independent Evaluator
Queen’s University Belfast
Queen's University Belfast logo
A teaching approach where content is intensively taught multiple times with breaks in between.
Schools: 15 Grant: £357,720.0
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 1 year(s) 5 month(s) Type of Trial: Pilot Study
Completed Jul 2016

This report describes the development and pilot evaluation of SMART Spaces. This programme aims to boost GCSE science outcomes by applying the principle that information is more easily learnt when it is repeated multiple times, with time passing between the repetitions. This approach is known as spaced learning’ and is contrasted with a massed learning’ approach, where content is learnt all at once with no spacing. The development of the programme was led by a team from the Hallam Teaching School Alliance (HTSA). SMART Spaces prepares Year 9 and 10 students for GCSE examinations at the end of Year 10. Teachers were trained to deliver three lessons focused on chemistry, physics, and biology curriculum content, which were repeated over three consecutive days. Pupils did an unrelated physical activity in the spaces between intensive repetitions of science content. Teachers received one day of training and were provided with PowerPoint slides to deliver during the lessons.

The Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) worked with HTSA to develop SMART Spaces, test its feasibility, and test three different approaches to arranging the spaced learning across the three days.

This project was jointly funded by the EEF and Wellcome Trust as part of the Education and Neuroscience partnership.

Project type:Pilot Study
Key stage:Key Stage 3
Cost per pupil:£10