Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
This study will assess the effectiveness of Let’s Think Secondary Science (LTSS), a series of 19 science lessons taught alongside normal science lessons to students in Year 7 and through into Year 8. They are designed to help pupils improve their thinking skills as well as their science achievement. We will conduct this study across two years with 2013/14 Year 7 classes in 50 secondary schools in England.

Who can participate?
Schools with a Year 7 and Year 8 in Yorkshire/North East, Midlands and South West.

What does the study involve?
Schools will be randomly assigned either to use Let’s Think Secondary Science starting in September 2013 and ending in June 2015, or to be a comparison school, teaching science as usual. After June 2015, all participating schools, including the comparison schools, will be able to use Let’s Think Secondary Science if they wish. At the end of the two years, students will complete assessments in science, English, maths and thinking skills. Teachers will either undergo training and school visits to support them in using LTSS lessons, or will teach science as usual in the control schools. LTSS teachers will also receive in-school support from a member of the senior management team and peer-to-peer support.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
All Year 7 science teachers at each intervention school will receive professional development sessions in science teaching, and a set of science lesson plans and resources. This opportunity will also be given to science teachers at the control schools after the two-year trial period finishes.
Where is the study run from?
Institute for Effective Education, University of York (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
May 2013 to July 2015.

Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK).

Who is the main contact?
Dr Pam Hanley

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Pam Hanley


Contact details

Institute for Effective Education
Berrick Saul Building
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Let's Think Secondary Science: testing a cognitive development programme for science: a cluster randomised controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The use of a set of 19 science lessons based on Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education principles across the first two years of secondary school will have a positive impact on students' science attainment and their attainment in English, Maths and thinking skills.

Ethics approval

The Education Ethics Committee, University of York, 20/08/2013

Study design

Cluster randomised controlled trial with random allocation at school level stratified by region (three regions involved)

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Science education


Science teachers in the treatment group will undergo training and deliver LTSS lessons to their 2013/14 cohort of students. Teachers in the control schools will teach science as usual.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Science assessment based on curriculum and age-appropriate questions from pre-existing KS3 SATs tests.

Schools will be asked to administer the post-test measures in June 2015

Secondary outcome measures

1. GL Assessments Progress in Maths
2. GL Assessments Progress in English
3. GL Assessments Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)

Schools will be asked to administer the post-test measures in June 2015

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

Schools with a Year 7 and Year 8 in Yorkshire/North East; Midlands; South West.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

50 schools (c17 per region)

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Children in eligible year group in eligible schools whose parents do not wish them to take part
2. Children who start the school after spring term 2014 (i.e., miss more than four terms of LTSS lessons)

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Institute for Effective Education
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 802 1676

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes