Evaluating the effects of a maths coaching programme on Year 6 pupil premium pupils
Description of the innovation
This project enabled six schools to each identify two groups of up to four underachieving disadvantaged Year 6 pupils (up to eight pupils in total in each school) with high to middle prior-attainment to receive the CoachBright programme before their SATs tests in May 2019.
Summary of the evaluation
Forty-seven Year 6 pupils from six primary schools across London were involved in the intervention. A further 48 Year 6 pupils from six other, comparable, primary schools acted as controls. According to 2018–19 data, both intervention and control schools had relatively high levels of disadvantage in their pupil population. Both intervention and control pupils completed the epiSTEMe Maths Attitude Questionnaire pre- and post-intervention. They also sat the 2018 Maths SATs Paper 2 reasoning test pre-intervention so that scores could be compared to the scores they obtained on their 2019 Maths SATs Paper 2 reasoning test post-intervention. Year 6 teachers of intervention pupils also provided attainment predictions and outcomes data and wrote short assessments of their eight pupils’ learning, confidence and motivation in maths pre-, during and post-intervention.
Summary of findings
This very short intervention (six hours per pupil) had a small but positive impact (effect size = +0.06) on mathematics attainment as measured by pre- and post-test data. Teacher assessment data appears to support these findings, since 68% of pupils met ambitious targets set by their teachers, with 6% exceeding their target, and 62% of pupils exceeding teacher’s predictions of their likely attainment without the intervention. However, control group teachers were not asked to provide teacher assessments, target data or descriptions of pupil progress so it is not possible to know how similar pupils who did not receive the intervention progressed against these targets.
Teachers’ qualitative feedback also supported the positive effect of the project, with 64% of pupils being seen to make positive progress. Although the intervention had no measurable impact on pupil attitudes towards mathematics, as measured by the pupil attitudes questionnaire, teachers’ qualitative feedback did identify perceived improvements to resilience and confidence.