English Mastery, a knowledge-rich, key stage three curriculum and teacher development programme delivered by Ark Curriculum Plus, has been selected for a two-year Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) efficacy trial.
The trial is being funded by the Department for Education’s (DfE) Accelerator Fund, which aims to support schools across the West Midlands, East Midlands and the Humber, and the North adopt research-informed practices to improve educational outcomes.
An earlier EEF efficacy trial was affected by the 2020 and 2021 partial school closures. An updated evaluation – which will focus on the implementation of the programme rather than its impact on attainment – will be published later in 2022.
The new trial, which will be independently evaluated by a team of researchers from Sheffield Hallam University, is designed to build on the promise of the first trial and find out whether similar results can be achieved in a large number of schools.
Nick Wallace, English Mastery’s Head of Programme, said:
“English Mastery provides teachers with a coherent curriculum programme that builds year on year. The content is carefully sequenced to help students master the ideas, concepts and stories that have shaped the world. We’re really proud of the programme and eager to take part in this research. Great curricula and professional development can transform student outcomes and their enjoyment of English, and we are looking forward to working with teachers and colleagues from the EEF, Sheffield Hallam University and Department for Education to show this.”
120 schools from the West Midlands, East Midlands and the Humber, and the North will participate in the trial which will assess the impact of a knowledge-rich curriculum on student outcomes in English across Years 7 and 8. It will also consider whether centralised, coherent curricula can contribute to reducing teacher workload.
Venessa Wilms, Ark’s Director of Education, said:
“A fully-sourced curriculum such as English Mastery has the potential to have an enormous impact on the quality of education in a school. The English Mastery programme helps teachers, subject and school leaders to grapple with the intent and impact of their English curriculum, and the comprehensive professional development programme supports schools to implement it successfully. English Mastery allows teachers to place their focus where it really belongs– on their students in the classroom, unlocking their love of language and literature.”
Emily Yeomans, Director of Research at the EEF said:
“There’s promising evidence that English Mastery can have a positive impact on students’ outcomes, particularly those with low prior attainment. This trial will tell us whether these positive findings can be translated into a large number of schools across England.”
Since the announcement of the first trial in 2019, English Mastery has improved the equality, diversity and inclusion in English Mastery’s curriculum and training programmes. You can find out more about their work and read their report here.