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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Writing Bundle: Discover

A research project of the School of Education.


Independent Evaluation of the Discover Children’s Story Centre summer writing workshop

The Discover Children’s Story Centre summer writing workshop intervention is being delivered and supported by the London-based Discover Children’s Story Centre. The intervention provided summer writing workshops to children between year 6 and the start of year 7, and involved a four week summer programme for children in order to improve reading and writing skills. The programme included a variety of workshops, including poetry and literacy sessions, in which children also had the opportunity to engage with professional poets and writers. A range of enrichment activities were also provided including: drama, sports activities and trips around London, such as West End performances and visits to the Olympic Park.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded the University of York Trials Unit and Durham University (£30K) to independently evaluate the intervention asking ‘What is the effectiveness of the Discover summer writing workshop intervention compared with a “business as usual” control group on the reading and writing abilities of participating children?’


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Discover 2013/14 (writing Bundle) (£5543.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)


This is a pragmatic individually randomised controlled trial involving 124 pupils. As a result of lower recruitment than expected (250), a randomisation allocation ratio of 3:2 (intervention: control) was used. The pupils were randomly allocated to either: Discover 4 week summer programme or a different school based reading and writing intervention in the Autumn term 2013 (delivered in secondary schools by the Developer).

The Progress in English (PiE) 11: Second Edition (Long Form) test, GL Assessment, was used for the main literacy outcome in September 2013.

The project is jointly co-ordinated by Professor David Torgerson (York Trials Unit, University of York and Professor Carole Torgerson. 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).


The team will report their findings in Dec 2014.

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


From the School of Education

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