Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
13/07/2017
Date assigned
11/08/2017
Last edited
24/07/2017
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The aim of this study is to assess how effective the Grammar for Writing programme is at improving the writing skills of Year 6 pupils. Grammar for Writing is a way of teaching writing that assumes that rather than teaching grammatical rules in the abstract, teachers should help pupils to understand how linguistic structures convey meaning. The programme is designed to be delivered by teachers as standalone units of work or as a series of units within a whole class setting. Each unit is around 4 weeks’ worth of work. A previous study looked at whole-class and small-group delivery of one unit adapted for Year 6 after Key Stage 2 SATs assessments. However, this found only limited effects. This evaluation of Grammar for Writing focuses on whole-class delivery of two units of Grammar for Writing during Year 6.

Who can participate?
Year 6 teachers and pupils at schools that have not have taken part in the previous Grammar for Writing study or introduced the programme previously

What does the study involve?
Participating schools are randomly allocated to one of two groups: either the intervention group or the control group. Year 6 teachers in the intervention group schools receive 4 days of training and deliver two units of work to their Year 6 classes. Teachers in the control group schools teach Year 6 writing using 'business as usual' methods. The pupils in both groups undertake two writing assessments from past Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs (pre-2013) at the end of the Summer term 2017. Their KS2 scores for reading, writing and spelling, punctuation and grammar from the Summer 2017 assessments are also collected from the National Pupil Database (NPD). Key Stage 1 English results are also collected from the NPD. Teachers undertake a short online survey and grammar quiz at the beginning and end of the study.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Pupils may benefit from an improvement in their writing skills. There are no anticipated risks as the programme has been tested previously.

Where is the study run from?
The programme is delivered by the University of Exeter and Babcock LDP (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2016 to October 2017

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

Who is the main contact?
Dr Louise Tracey

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Louise Tracey

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8304-613X

Contact details

Department of Education
Berrick Saul Building
University of York
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

Evaluation of the Grammar for Writing programme – a school-level randomised controlled trial

Acronym

Study hypothesis

The aim of this study is to independently assess whether the Grammar for Writing programme, delivered to Year 6 pupils leads to improvements in children's writing skills.

Ethics approval

The Education Ethics Committee, University of York, 04/04/2016, ref: 16/18

Study design

Two-armed effectiveness randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Other

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request an information sheet

Condition

Teaching writing

Intervention

Schools are randomly allocated to intervention or control conditions. Randomization will be at the school-level to reduce the possibilities of diffusion which could occur with an in-school design. Schools were stratified by region (North-East/not-North-East) and then randomised using minimisation on a 1:1 allocation within region. Randomisation was conducted and recorded using MinimPy software (Saghaei & Saghaei, 2011).
1. Year 6 teachers in intervention schools receive 4 days of CPD and deliver two units of the Grammar for Writing programme to their Year 6 classes
2. Teachers in control schools teach Year 6 writing using 'business as usual' methods

The children (control and intervention) will undertake two writing assessments from past Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs (pre-2013) at the end of the Summer term 2017. Their KS2 scores for reading, writing and spelling, punctuation and grammar from the Summer 2017 assessments will also be collected from the National Pupil Database. Key Stage 1 English results will also be collected from the National Pupil Database to act as a baseline measure. Teachers will undertake a short online survey and grammar quiz at the beginning and end of the study.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Combined results of two tasks from past Key Stage 2 (KS2) writing assessments (pre-2013) independently administered to children in Year 6 classes in evaluation schools by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) in June 2017

Secondary outcome measures

Year 6 children's Key Stage 2 assessment scores on each element of literacy (writing; reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling) in Summer 2017. This data is collected nationally and will be accessed through the National Pupil Database

Overall trial start date

01/03/2016

Overall trial end date

20/10/2017

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Eligible schools will not have taken part in the previous Grammar for Writing trial or have implemented the programme previously
2. All Year 6 teachers and Year 6 pupils in eligible schools
3. Half of schools will be from the North East and the other half will come from across the rest of England
4. There will be a high proportion of disadvantaged schools (on average 29% EverFSM as defined in the National Pupil Database)

Participant type

Other

Age group

Mixed

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

150 schools; c.7,500 pupils

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Although they do not have to be two-form entry, very small schools (fewer than 20 Year 6 pupils) will be kept to a minimum
2. Schools who have implemented the programme previously
3. Parental opt-out for use of pupil data

Recruitment start date

04/04/2016

Recruitment end date

05/10/2016

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Exeter
Knightley Streatham Drive
Exeter
EX4 4PD
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of York
Berrick Saul Building
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Government

Website

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/

Funders

Funder type

Government

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Evaluation Report and Executive Summary to be published on the Education Endowment Foundation website in Summer 2018.

IPD sharing statement
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be stored in the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) data archive subject to the agreement of the Department for Education. The EEF intends to have an open data policy whereby this data will be accessible for research purposes.

Intention to publish date

01/08/2018

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes