Education Endowment Foundation:The 5Rs approach to GCSE Maths resits (21/22 and 22/23 trial)

The 5Rs approach to GCSE Maths resits (21/22 and 22/23 trial)

Association of Colleges
Project info

Independent Evaluator

The York Trials Unit logo
The York Trials Unit

Trial to test a year-long programme focusing on revision techniques and key GCSE maths content, with set lesson structure and content, and diagnostic tests.

This trial is no longer recruiting.

The 5Rs approach aims to enhance the support that teachers give to 16 – 19 year-old students resitting GCSE Maths in order to improve their attainment. The programme includes three teacher training days, short diagnostic tests, a scheme of work including lesson plans and a defined lesson structure, and access to online resources for teachers and students. Each 5Rs lesson is structured into five sections: Recall (recalling key Maths facts), Routine (completing practice questions), Revise (revising one specific topic), Repeat (practising exam questions) and Ready (focusing on exam technique).

As part of the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund, the EEF is commissioning a number of efficacy trials of programmes that show promise for increasing pupil attainment. These trials will take place in the Research School Commissioner regions of the North, East Midlands & Humber, West Midlands. 5Rs will also be recruiting settings in the rest of England.

Pass rates for students re-sitting GCSE Maths are extremely low, and the post-16 sector requires evidence about what works for these students. Just 40% of young people eligible for Free School Meals achieve passes in GCSE Maths and English, compared with 68% of their better-off peers. The underlying principles of the programme, including interleaving, practice testing and distributed practice, are grounded in previous research. The programme also uses established methods, like new representations, to differentiate the revision year from the previous GCSE experience of students.

We had originally planned to evaluate the project through a two-year randomised controlled trial, due to a challenging recruitment landscape in the post-16 sector. The first year of the trial was successfully recruited to, however not enough settings were recruited in year two to have make the trial statistically secure, and so the decision was made to not continue with the second year of the trial. Outcome data will be collected from the first year of the trial and included in the final report, however this data will not be statistically secure and so will need to be read with that in mind.

The evaluation report will be published in Autumn 2024.