A new study has concluded that there is an optimum amount of time for children and young people to sleep in terms of how well they perform in school, and more is not necessarily better. The research, published in the Eastern Economic Journal, used data from 1,724 primary and secondary pupils to explore the relationship between sleep and performance on standardised tests.
Findings showed a statistically significant relationship between the two, with the most beneficial amount of time varying by age. This ranged from 9-9.5 hours for 10-year-olds to 7 hours for 16-year-olds.
Source: Sleep and Student Achievement (2012), Eastern Economic Journal,38(33).
The IEE’s Robert Slavin has taken part in a radio debate in the US about how best to teach pupils with English as an Additional Language. In the US, many pupils receive bilingual teaching and this has attracted the attention of Republican Presidential election candidates.
Source: English Immersion: The Bilingual Education Debate (2013), The Take Away
This study from Early Childhood Research Quarterly tested whether a literacy curriculum supplement integrated with media can improve literacy outcomes for young children. The curriculum supplement incorporated video clips from programmes such as Sesame Street as well as online games, hands-on activities and professional development.
Findings showed that the supplement had positive impacts on children’s ability to recognise letters, sounds of letters and initial sounds of words, and children’s concepts of story and print.
Source: Supplementing literacy instruction with a media-rich intervention: Results of a randomized controlled trial (2012), Early Childhood Research Quarterly,27(1)
The latest findings have been published of a rigorous study on the effectiveness of 105 “small schools of choice” (SSCs) in New York City. These academically nonselective schools, each with approximately 100 students per year in grades 9 to 12 (age 14–18), were created to serve some of the district’s most disadvantaged students. They are located mainly in areas where large failing high schools had been closed. According to MDRC, which carried out the research, the schools emphasise academic rigour and strong and sustained personal relationships among students and faculty. In addition, most were founded with community partners who offer additional teaching support and resources, and provide students with additional learning opportunities.
A 2010 study showed that SSCs are markedly improving academic progress and graduation prospects for their students. In this new policy brief, the analysis is extended by a year, and shows that SSCs have positive and sustained impacts on graduation rates, as well as a positive effect on a measure of college readiness.
Source: Transforming the high school experience: How New York City’s new small schools are boosting student achievement and graduation rates (2010), MDRC
The Pupil Premium Toolkit is a resource commissioned by the Sutton Trust, and more information has just been published. The idea is that the Toolkit gives teachers and schools guidance on how they might best spend the Pupil Premium to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, specifically in terms of the strength of evidence to support particular practices. The information shows the impact of a particular approach in terms of the extra months of progress a child might be expected to make.
Source: Education Endowment Foundation, Sutton Trust
The Department for Education has published three new reports on the Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE). EPPSE has followed around 3,000 children since 1997, when they were 3.
The latest reports look at the factors that influence Year 9 students’ social-behavioural outcomes; maths, English, and science outcomes; and a range of other measures, including enjoyment of school and anxiety.
There are many valuable findings, including, for example, that pupils who had a “positive transition” from primary school were more likely to have higher attainment in maths, English, and science. Time spent on homework was also a relatively strong predictor of better attainment and progress in all three core areas.
Source: EPPSE 3 to 14 final report from the key stage 3 phase: influences on students’ development from age 11 to 14 (2012), Department for Education.