Research School Network: What is it like to sign up for an EEF trial? An insight into trial participation


What is it like to sign up for an EEF trial?

An insight into trial participation

by Aspirer Research School
on the

Ever wondered what it would be like to sign up for one of the research trials on the EEF website? Here our ELE, Carol Pope, sets out the start of their trial of Children’s University’.

Puss Bank School and Nursery in Macclesfield is one of the schools which has been selected to take part in the Children’s University research project. The Children’s University is a charity that encourages, tracks and celebrates learning that takes place beyond the classroom. The purpose of the research is to measure the impact of Children’s University on the development of essential skills in children.

The children in our Year 5 cohort were invited to take place in the research project. 75% agreed to participate. The remaining 25% will still have access to the Children’s University (CU), but will not form part of the research study.

The project was launched to the children at the beginning of this term. They have all been given a login which allows them to access the CU from home, as well as in school. They will collect virtual stamps on a passport for any learning/​activities they participate in outside of the classroom. These can come from out of school clubs, activities offered by the CU or additional activities set up by the school. Clubs which the children already attend out of school are being asked to enrol in order to receive verification which will then allow the children to collect stamps when they attend. The children will have goals to aim for and will graduate at the end of Year 6. The project is being led by the school principal, Mrs Kathy Nichol. My role, as Research Lead, is to be part of the team leading the project, to monitor the participation of children over the next 18 months and to assess the impact on the outcomes for these children at the end of Year 6.

Further information on Children’s University:

Children’s University was first run as an efficacy trial and showed an average of +2months in Dec 2017, read more here. The current trial, that Puss Bank are part of, is an effectiveness trial and the report will be published in Spring 2023, you can read more about it here.

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