The Vocabulary Enrichment Full Programme combined three existing programmes – the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP), Sounds-Write and Literacy Plus – and aimed to improve the reading abilities of pupils in Year 7. VEIP is a structured scheme that teaches children new words and encourages them to use these words in speaking and writing; Sounds-Write is a phonics programme; and Literacy Plus targets pupils at Key Stage 3 who are behind with their literacy skills and provides additional support to move them from Level 3 to Level 4 in English.
Bolton Local Authority devised the full programme and supported its delivery in twelve local schools. Schools were encouraged to use the three elements of the programme to build their own scheme of work. Existing class teachers in the schools received training on all three elements and delivered the intervention to Year 7 pupils who had not reached a secure Level 4 in English at the end of Key Stage 2. The intervention replaced these pupils’ usual English lessons for three consecutive half terms between September 2013 and February 2014 (approximately 19 teaching weeks). The frequency and length of lessons depended on the schools’ individual timetabling arrangements.
The programme was evaluated using a randomised controlled trial, which compared the intervention to a ‘business-as-usual’ control group. As the teachers delivering the programme had supervision and support from the development team, this evaluation is an efficacy trial.
The delivery and evaluation of this project was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation as one of 23 projects focused on literacy catch-up at the transition from primary to secondary school. It was one of four projects funded with a particular focus on reading comprehension.