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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Curriculum Centre Word and World Reading

A research project of the School of Education.


The Word and World Reading programme is a one-year pilot intervention aimed at improving the literacy and reading comprehension of pupils in early Key Stage 2 (Years 3and 4). The rationale behind The Curriculum Centre's project is that children need background knowledge and understanding to be able to comprehend what they read, and those with a broad base of factual knowledge find it easier to learn more. The focus of the programme is on vocabulary to address the vocabulary gap between disadvantaged and affluent children. This project involved 21 schools across England (11 treatment schools; 10 control schools) and a total of 2,274 pupils (Year 3= 1,188; Year 4= 1,086).


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Curriculum Centre (£81100.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)


The primary outcome measure is improvement in reading comprehension, which is expressed as an effect size.


This will be measured using the difference in the gain scores between the intervention pupils and their matched equivalents, on the GL Progression in English (PiE) tests. In addition, there will be a post test only comparison of a bespoke test designed by the Curriculum Centre.


This project which began in June 2013 is still in progress and will end in July 2014.


From the School of Education