The Education Endowment Foundation evaluated the impact of the ReflectED programme using a randomised controlled trial involving 1,858 pupils across 30 schools in five areas throughout England over the academic year 2014/15. The evaluation examined the impact on the math and reading achievement of Year 5 pupils, and also their attitudes toward reading and math.
The ReflectED programme was developed by Rosendale Primary School to improve pupils’ metacognition — their ability to think about and manage their own learning. This includes the skills of setting and monitoring goals, assessing progress, and identifying personal strengths and challenges. The evaluation findings showed:
- Year 5 pupils who took part in the trial made an average of four months’ additional progress in math (ES = +0.30) compared to those in the control groups.
- There was also evidence that pupils in the programme developed a more positive attitude toward math.
- However, in reading they made two fewer months’ progress than the control group (ES = -0.16) and developed a slightly less positive attitude toward the subject.
The evaluation also found that most schools were already teaching metacognitive and reflective skills similar to those taught in the ReflectED programme, which are likely to have continued in the control group classes. This might have limited the impact that ReflectED had on teachers’ practice and pupils’ outcomes.