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Cognitive Acceleration. Let’s Think in English is designed on exactly the same principles as Cognitive Acceleration in Science Education (CASE) which was developed and repeatedly trialled over 30 years at King’s College London. It shows that structured development of students’ cognitive skills over two years raises their attainment by between 1 and 2 GCSE grades – see Evidence of success : The Adey Report. CASE has been proved to raise students’ attainment significantly in at least 20 international trials – see Let’s Think in Science (CASE) efficacy [PDF document].

Education Endowment Foundation. We are applying to EEF through King’s College London for funding for a major randomised control trial of the effectiveness of Let’s Think in English.  If approved, this would begin in September 2019.  We hope lots of schools will join us in this free trial.

Inter-Community School, Zürich. Alex Black and his colleagues experienced a structured training programme in Let’s Think in English and used the lessons fortnightly for a year with Year 5 and 6 classes. At the end of the year the students  achieved significantly increased attainment in Reading, Narrative Writing and Expository Writing comparable to the top 14 International Baccalaureate schools in the control sample (effect sizes of +0.30, +0.12 and +0.42 respectively).  They also achieved significant increases in scientific reasoning ability as measured by Piagetian science reasoning tests and mathematical literacy as measured by ACER. This further confirms work by Adey and Shayer that cognitive acceleration raises general, not just subject-specific, cognitive skills. See Effects of a one-year Let’s Think In English intervention in an International School.

Hampshire. At six schools in Hampshire, two teachers taught LTE lessons fortnightly to Year 8 and Year 9 classes throughout 2013/14 with regular support meetings. The students were teacher-assessed at the beginning and end of the year for Reading and Writing and took two different APP tasks in response to an unseen text in timed conditions with a shared mark scheme in September 2013 and June 2014.

All the students made better progress than expected with the free school meal (FSM) students making the greatest progress:

Year 8 TA Reading – 3+ sublevels progress : All students 28% FSM 38%
Year 8 APP Reading – 2+ sublevels progress : All students 61% FSM 90%
Year 8 TA Writing – 2+ sublevels progress : All students 65% FSM 100%
Year 9 TA Reading – 4+ sublevels progress : All students 15% FSM 28%
Year 9 APP Reading – 3+ sublevels progress : All students 42% FSM 50%
Year 9 TA Writing – 3+ sublevels progress : All students 38% FSM 44%

London Schools Excellence Fund Trial. In 2013 – 2015, 35 secondary schools and 8 primary schools, all new to Let’s Think in English, were recruited in London and their staff trained and supervised in delivering LTE lessons fortnightly. In secondary schools, two Year7/Year 8 classes experienced LTE lessons (trial classes) and two other KS3 classes received no LTE lessons (comparison classes). 5 primary schools provided one trial and comparison class and 3 provided two of each. All the classes took pre- and post-tests (GL Assessment’s Progress in English tests) which assess spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as comprehension both fiction and non-fiction.

Owing to delay in the awarding of funding, the schools undertook the LTE programme for two terms (first year) or three terms (second year).

The expected average gain in one year as assessed by the Progress in English tests (i.e. without intervention) is +3.0.

The LTE primary classes’ average gain exceeded that of the comparison classes by +2.45 (= almost 10 months).

The LTE secondary classes’ average gain exceeded that of the comparison classes by +2.9 (= 11+ months).

The LTE classes therefore made almost double the progress on one year or less than the comparison classes.

The teachers also assessed their teaching as much improved in every respect – see Teacher Efficacy Survey [PDF document].

Ofsted. When Ofsted observe an LTE lesson, they are highly complimentary about pupil engagement and the quality of learning evidenced by the lesson.

What Ofsted says:

In a Year 7 English lesson, pupils were challenged to generate their own hypothesis about language and draw on quotes to back up their ideas. The teacher’s skilful questioning motivated and challenged all pupils and their excitement in the class discussion and debate was tangible.

Pupils were challenged to discuss their ideas about a story based on very limited information. Skilful questioning probed pupils’ understanding and engaged them in quite a sophisticated debate which developed their critical thinking very well.