Evaluation of White Rose Maths' Reception Jigsaw Programme

Sarah Tang, Eleanor Bradley, Kerry Martin, Gemma Schwendel and Ben Styles

05 October 2023

Research report on the EEF website

The Education Endowment Foundation commissioned the NFER to undertake an evaluation of White Rose Maths’ Reception Jigsaw programme. This evaluation ran in schools from Autumn 2020 until Summer 2022. An updated report including the longitudinal follow-up that took place in Summer 2023 will be published in 2024.

The Reception Jigsaw is a continuing professional development (CPD) programme developed for reception teachers and teaching assistants. The programme involves five CPD sessions and five school coaching visits generally spread over a five-month period.

A randomised controlled trial (RCT) was run to evaluate whether the programme had an impact on children’s mathematical attainment and the confidence of their teachers in teaching mathematics in the early years. An implementation and process evaluation ran alongside the RCT to better understand teachers’ views of the programme and how it worked in schools.

Key Findings

  • Children in Reception Jigsaw schools made the equivalent of one additional month of progress in maths, on average, compared to children in other schools. This result has a high-security rating.  These results are not statistically significant. This means that the statistical evidence does not meet the threshold set by the evaluator to conclude that the true impact was non-zero   
  • Children eligible for free school meals made no additional progress in maths, on average, compared to children in other schools. This result has a lower security rating than the overall finding because of the smaller number of pupils
  • There was evidence that the Reception Jigsaw programme led to reception teachers being more confident in teaching mathematics
  • The programme was well received by schools. Reception teachers reported positively about the support they received throughout the Reception Jigsaw programme, finding it relevant to their teaching practice, high quality, and impactful in terms of the changes they made to their practice and environment
  • Year 1 teachers also reported positively about the support, but less so compared to reception teachers. However, they could see that it would help them with supporting pupils to transition from reception to Year 1, and to build on knowledge pupils had gained in reception