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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Writing Bundle: Calderdale Excellence Partnership

A research project of the School of Education.


The Improving Writing Quality intervention delivered and supported by the Calderdale Excellence Partnership (CEP) provides memorable experiences for pupils in year 6 before the transition to year 7. The intervention includes professional development for primary and secondary school teachers in key elements of the writing intervention Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD), including discussion, modelling and planning. Pupils continue to receive the intervention when they move into year 7. The intervention aims to help improve pupils’ writing skills during the transition from year 6 to year 7, especially the writing skills of year 6 pupils who were working at KS2 level 3 or a fragile level 4.

23 schools in West Yorkshire (feeding into 3 secondary schools) were randomly allocated to be offered the intervention either in 2013 (intervention group) or in 2014. The intervention was offered to all pupils in year 6 and the pupils who are predicted to achieve level 3 or an insecure level 4 in English in the autumn term when they are in year 7. The intervention will be delivered between May and December 2013.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • An Evaluation Of The Calderdale Excellence Partnership Project (£10477.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)


The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded the University of York Trials Unit and Durham University (£55K) to independently evaluate the intervention asking ‘What is the effectiveness of the Improving Writing Quality intervention compared with “business as usual” on the writing skills of participating children?’

The project is jointly co-ordinated by Professor David Torgerson (York Trials Unit, University of York) and Professor Carole Torgerson (School of Education) and. The other members of the evaluation team are: Dr Natasha Mitchell (York Trials Unit, University of York); Hannah Buckley (York Trials Unit, University of York); Hannah Ainsworth (York Trials Unit, University of York); Dr Laura Jefferson, York Trials Unit, University of York); Clare Heaps (School of Education).


A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial is being employed. The Progress in English (PiE) 11: Second Edition (Long Form) test, GL Assessment, will be used for the main literacy outcome. The primary outcome will be the combined score on the 2 writing tasks within the test. Secondary outcomes will be scores on the reading, spelling and grammar components of the test. The difference in writing scores between pupils in the intervention and control group will be compared using a regression analysis with post-test result as the response variable. Regression models will also be used to compare differences between the intervention and control groups with respect to the secondary outcomes of reading, spelling and grammar.


The team will report their results in April 2014.

The protocol for the randomised controlled trial is available on the EEF website:


From the School of Education

From other departments