This NFER report has been produced for the Education Endowment Foundation and its evaluation of the Vocabulary Enrichment Full Programme, which aimed to improve the reading abilities of pupils in Year 7 who had not reached a secure Level 4 in English and/or reading at the end of Key Stage 2. The intervention combined three existing programmes - the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP), Sounds-Write (phonics) and Literacy Plus. Bolton Local Authority designed the Full Programme and supported its delivery in 12 local schools.
In this evaluation, the intervention replaced pupils' usual English lessons for three consecutive half terms between September 2013 and February 2014 (approximately 19 teaching weeks). NFER was responsible for a number of trial activities including the production of the final report.
- The evaluation did not provide any evidence that the Vocabulary Enrichment Full Programme had an impact on attainment in reading.
- The intervention would have benefited from a pilot stage to refine the design of the Full Programme, because there was considerable variation in the way that teachers combined the three components.
- Pupils generally appeared to engage well with the intervention. However, some higher-ability pupils found the programme too easy and teachers felt that they should not be in the study.