GraphoGame Rime: Evaluation Report and Executive Summary

Jack Worth, Julie Nelson, Jennie Harland, Daniele Bernardinelli, Ben Styles

04 May 2018

NFER was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation and Wellcome Trust to independently evaluate GraphoGame Rime. GraphoGame Rime is a computer game designed to teach pupils to read by developing their phonological awareness and phonic skills. GraphoGame Rime was developed and delivered in schools by a team led by Usha Goswami at the University of Cambridge.

The project involved 398 Year 2 pupils with low phonics skills in 15 schools in Cambridgeshire. It was a pupil-randomised controlled trial designed to determine the impact of the intervention on pupils’ reading attainment. A process evaluation used case-study visits, telephone interviews and analysis of data on pupils’ usage of the game to capture the perceptions and experiences of participating teaching staff and pupils.

Key Findings

  • This study provided no evidence that GraphoGame Rime was effective at improving reading outcomes over and above business-as-usual, and this was a highly secure result. Because the project focused on pupils who had been identified by the Year 1 phonics screening check as having low skills, comparison group pupils did receive other literacy support, including additional literacy support in small-groups and one-to-one activities, for similar amounts of time to the GraphoGame Rime group.
  • Teachers reported that they felt sufficiently well trained and found the intervention easy to set up and implement. Teachers, senior leaders and pupils considered GraphoGame Rime highly engaging, motivational and enjoyable. Findings suggest that all schools implemented the programme with a relatively good level of fidelity.
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