Pupils who went to summer school had improved their literacy performance at the end of the summer. This randomised trial, from Early Childhood Research Quarterly, examined the effects of a summer literacy programme on struggling readers in the US where summer holidays are longer.
Overall, pupils who didn’t attend summer school showed mean declines in the reading of nonsense words (a standard test of fluency) of approximately five words per minute over the summer. Children who attended summer school at the end of Kindergarten (Year 1) had a fluency gain of approximately 12 words-per-minute. Pupils at the end of Grade 1 (Year 2) had a fluency gain of 7.5 words per minute.
The findings are generally consistent with previous studies of summer school effects and the summer learning outcomes of children, and suggest that summer school can be a useful strategy to support learning over the summer months.
Source: Summer school effects in a randomized field trial (2012), Early Childhood Research Quarterly 28(1)