A study has used memorable visits and self-regulation to improve the writing of children in Year 6 and 7 in the UK.
The Education Endowment Foundation project involved 23 primary schools and their Year 6 teachers in West Yorkshire. Eleven schools were randomly allocated to receive training, from an external consultant, in the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) approach. Twelve schools were allocated to the comparison. SRSD provides a clear structure to help pupils plan, monitor, and evaluate their writing. It aims to encourage pupils to take ownership of their work. Memorable experiences, such as trips to local landmarks or visits from World War II veterans, were used as a focus for writing lessons.
The project appeared to have a large positive impact on writing outcomes:
- The overall effect size for writing, comparing the progress of pupils in the project to similar pupils who did not participate, was +0.74. This was statistically significant, and equivalent to approximately nine months’ additional progress.
- The approach was even more effective for pupils eligible for free school meals, although this was not statistically significant.
The study concluded that together with evidences gathered from other countries including the U.S., the findings suggested the Self-Regulated Strategy Development approach had substantial promise as a literacy catch-up.
Source: (Open Access): Torgerson, D., Torgerson, C. Ainsworth, H., Buckley, H., Heaps, C., Hewitt, C. & Mitchell, N. (2014). Improving writing quality: Evaluation report and executive summary. London: Education Endowment Foundation.