Peter Rudd , Pauline Wade
01 October 2006
In 2005-6 a team from NFER carried out an independent evaluation of the implementation of Renaissance Learning mathematics and reading programs in selected Specialist (secondary) and feeder (primary) schools in London. The research involved matching schools implementing the programs (14 ‘treatment’ schools) with seven similar schools where the program was not being implemented. Standardised tests were carried out with one or two classes of pupils in each school and, in addition, eight teachers using the programs were interviewed.
The key finding regarding pupil attainment was that the most significant improvements in test scores occurred in primary reading and secondary mathematics schools. In primary mathematics and secondary reading schools, the findings are less conclusive, though there are many reasons, as to why this might be so. Staff interviewees agreed that one of the most significant strengths of the Renaissance Learning programs was that they motivated pupils. Pupils responded well to being in charge of their own rate of progress and seeing that progress confirmed. Pupils and teachers also liked the ‘instant feedback’ that the programs gave. All the interviewees said that they would recommend the use of the program to colleagues in their own and other schools.