Research - primary schools
At Book Trust we regularly evaluate our programmes. Here is a quick summary of the findings of some of the most recent research.
Booktime Libraries survey 2013-14
The survey was sent out to all local authorities who received Booktime resources for their libraries to gain feedback on how the Booktime resources had been used in their local authority. In total, there were 154 responses to the survey.
Overall, respondents were very positive about Booktime, praising the opportunities it creates for interaction between libraries and schools and for the promotion of library services. Additionally it was seen as a valuable tool to promote reading.
The overwhelming majority of respondents reported that holding a Booktime event had helped to promote the library and its services (98%) and increased children's enthusiasm for the Booktime books (95%), as well as strengthening links with local schools, helping them to make contact with parents/children who did not previously use the library, increasing library membership and increasing library loans.
Booktime parent and teacher surveys 2013-14
Book Trust sent out the Booktime teacher and parent surveys to schools who receive Booktime. Schools were asked to send out the parent survey to parents/carers of children in Reception and the Reception teacher(s) were asked to complete the teacher survey. The parent survey received 260 responses and the teacher survey received 259 responses.
Parents were generally very positive about the Booktime programme with over 95% of respondents having read both of the books with their child and the majority reporting their child had enjoyed reading the books and that they had fun reading the books together. Over 90% agreed that the Booktime books were of a high quality and 75% agreed that the other Booktime resources were of a high quality.
Teachers reported that the children had reacted very positively towards the books with over 90% stating that children showed excitement at receiving the books and that the books were appropriate for the children. Around two thirds of teachers also reported that Booktime had increased children's enjoyment of reading (69%). Finally, the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that Booktime is a good service for schools (97%).
Evaluation of The Ant Club 2013-14
Qa research were commissioned to carry out an evaluation of The Ant Club during 2013-14. The evaluation consisted of a survey of teachers involved in delivering The Ant Club and in-depth case studies with 10 schools.
It is clear from the survey and case studies that levels of satisfaction with The Ant Club are high and that it is a valued resource. The survey indicates that teachers have seen specific improvements in children's confidence and speaking skills - this has complemented the focus on oracy mentioned by several case study schools and has also been helpful for children with English as an additional language. The Rhyme Challenge has played a key role in this.
In a recent evaluation of Booktime in England 2012-13 (National Foundation for Educational Research, April 2013) Respondents reported a variety of impacts of the Booktime programme.
Increased children's enjoyment of reading was the most frequently reported impact (66 percent mentioned this), followed by increased frequency of shared reading at home (50 per cent).
When asked about the frequency of reading related activities, the greatest influence of Booktime on teachers appears to have been on the frequency of delivering reading activities with parents and carers.
'Booktime is a well-liked and much respected programme, and schools that receive the Booktime book packs really value the resource. Perceptions of the books are extremely positive, and the books are well-used by schools.' National Foundation for Educational Research, April 2013
The Ant Club evaluation 2012-13
An independent evaluation of The Ant Club was carried out for Book Trust by the Institute of Education, University of London. The Institute of Education found clear evidence that teachers viewed The Ant Club as providing high quality teaching and learning resources.
- Teachers' views of their effectiveness were consistently high, particularly recognising the excellent contribution to teaching and learning that the resources made, and the positive impact on children's engagement.
- The resources were seen to be well planned, well produced, resulting in successful engagement of children, and with considerable potential in supporting schools' wider attempts to engage with parents.
- They were seen by teachers as particularly effective in areas where pupils arrive at school with particular language needs.
- Key recommendations for improvement focussed on encouraging a more holistic approach to using each of the resources involving all four key skills, and even greater attention paid to supporting writing skills.
According to an independent final evaluation by the University of Sheffield, 'Everybody Writes: exploring writing beyond the classroom', March 2011, Everybody Writes has been recognised to:
- Have a significant impact on children's attitudes towards and attainment levels in writing
- Have a significant impact on boy's writing
- Improve teachers' pedagogical and subject knowledge
- Have a positive impact on the whole school culture of writing
- Have a positive impact on reluctant writers and those at risk of underachieving
- Encourage freedom and creativity within the curriculum
- Create a network of teachers committed to improving and enjoying writing in their schools
- Bring teachers together to share good practice
- Encourage schools to work with poets, strorytellers, actors, musicians, artists, scientists, businesses and children's authors
- Be successful in building sustainability
- Produce high quality printed resources which have been well received by teachers
'Everybody Writes has been outstandingly successful in meeting its objectives. A wide range of innovative and creative work has taken place in schools which has impacted on pupil engagement and achievemant and teacher's subject and pedagogical content knowledge. The projects have left a valuable legacy for other teachers of writing through the website case studies.' University of Sheffield, March 2009