First reports from the IEE Innovation Evaluation Grants published

11 September 2018

The first two reports from projects funded by the IEE Innovation Evaluation Grants have now been published.

Part of the Research Schools Network project, these pilot evaluations of innovations in teaching and learning approaches support the network’s goal of improving the attainment of pupils by increasing the use of evidence-based practices. The evaluations are small-scale, and test the kinds of innovations schools are interested in.

The first report, Vocabulary Banking: A strategy for boosting vocabulary and reading comprehension at KS3 investigates whether it is possible to accelerate rates of vocabulary development by training pupils in an active reading strategy called “Vocabulary Banking”.

Pupils were provided with A5 booklets called Word Banks in which to collect words they thought they could reuse in other contexts and subjects. Each banked word secured a point, and pupils were able to secure a bonus point for each word that was successfully reused in another context or subject. Pupils used their Word Banks in English, history, geography, religious studies, and citizenship.

The evaluation found that “banking” vocabulary improved outcomes on reading comprehension for previously high-attaining pupils in early secondary.

Implementation of Knowledge Organisers in Year 8 English lessons evaluates whether the use of Knowledge Organisers and regular quizzing improves pupils’ knowledge and therefore improves their assessment scores.

Pupils were given Knowledge Organisers at the beginning of a new unit of work, which contained everything they were expected to know, and were encouraged to use their Knowledge Organisers to complement and assist with their work. The first five minutes of every lesson involved a five-question recap covering knowledge included in the Knowledge Organiser and learnt in lessons from the previous day, week or unit.

Although elements of the innovation were popular with pupils and teachers, the evaluation found that the use of Knowledge Organisers in an English class in Year 8 had a negative effect on pupil progress and, particularly for previously lower-attaining pupils.

As each of these projects were carried out in one school, it is not possible to generalise their findings. However, they show that it is possible for schools to carry out evaluations of small-scale innovations and make them as robust as possible.

We will be publishing more reports over the coming year, and more information about the Innovation Evaluation projects can be found here.

And if you want to find out more, please come along to our conference in November – details here.

Posted on 11 September 2018
Posted in: News