Noctua School Alliance

Member Area

Strategic School Improvement Fund

Research: SSIF

Noctua TSA, together with Bradford Birth to 19 TSA and funded by the DfE Strategic School Improvement Fund, is supporting over 60 schools in Leeds and Bradford to improve the progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils in Speech, Language and Communication, and so impact upon outcomes in Early Years, Y1 phonics and beyond. Evidence shows that delays in speech and language create significant barriers for disadvantaged pupils in accessing education, at least up to the age of 16.

What's involved in the project?

There are 4 strands to the project:

1. School to School Support

2. Early Years Interventions: Schools involved in this project will benefit from four, evidence-based, interlinked strategies in addition to SLE support, for improving EY and KS1 phonics outcomes:

- Nuffield Early Language Intervention: This intervention targets improving outcomes for children with poor speaking skills. Research suggests strong links between using this      approach and gains in learning in EYFS
- Easy Peasy App: Parents can use this smartphone app at home. It contains games for adults at home which support the development of S&L through parent-child interactions
- 50 things to do before you're 5: A resource and online materials to promote parent facilitation of 50 experiences for YR children, promoting parent-child interaction and thus S&L
- Quality First Teaching in the Early Years: Training will be given for teachers and EYFS leaders on 'quality first teaching' for all pupils, especially the disadvantaged, in order to support children's learning.

In addition SLE peer support, coaching and mentoring will be provided for all EY settings: This will aid implementation of the project interventions and ensure sustainable improvement.

3. Whole School Oracy development:
If participating schools wish to focus on 'Closing the Word Gap' as a whole school development, they can access Noctua's series of workshops which aim to aid English leaders in implementing a whole school approach to vocabulary development and they will be able to access SLE support to facilitate this in school.

4. Governor Training: A series of 3 workshops led by a National Leader of Governance will provide training for Governing Bodies upon monitoring the effectiveness of interventions in school.

How are we evaluating it?
A process evaluation will be carried out by North Yorkshire Coast Research Schools and will be published Easter 2020.

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