Using testing to improve the quality of learning in reading

Description of the innovation

‘Go Through’ sessions are lessons where a teacher provides whole-class feedback on a reading test. The teacher initially marks all reading tests. They then deliver a specific lesson in which they model how they would answer the questions, sharing their thought processes with the class. The lesson focuses on questions which many pupils got incorrect and on common misconceptions from the test. Pupils are taught specific reading comprehension skills and techniques. Pupils make changes and corrections to their test paper during ‘Go Through’ sessions and use testing notebooks to record their personal targets and learning points.

Summary of the evaluation

Sixty-four Year 5 pupils in two parallel classes participated in the evaluation. One class was allocated to be the intervention group while the other acted as a control group. The intervention class took three reading tests followed by three ‘Go Through’ sessions each half term for five months. The control class also took three reading tests each half term but did not carry out a structured review of the test.

NFER Year 5 reading tests were administered to all participating pupils as a pre- and post-test. Reading comprehension outcomes were reported.

Summary of findings

On average, pupils in the intervention group made more progress in reading comprehension than pupils in the control group (effect size = +0.37). In particular, the percentage of pupils scoring above age-related expectations (standardised score of 115 and above) increased more in the intervention group than in the control group.

Lead school 

  • Ocker Hill Academy, Sandwell

Main findings

  • Effect size = +0.37 for reading comprehension

Download the protocol document