Five new cultural learning trials with the EEF and RSA

February 2018

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) are looking for schools to take part in trials of five different cultural learning approaches. They need 400 primary schools and are particularly interested in hearing from schools in areas where deprivation is high and arts participation is low.

The programmes – which include whole-class music, drama sessions and illustration – will be evaluated through randomised controlled trials that will test their impact on academic attainment, as well as on skills and behaviours like resilience, self-confidence and creativity. The aim of the trials is to get more information about how the arts can help pupils make progress, in order to help schools make the best use of their funding.

To find out more and to register your school’s interest, please visit the individual project pages on the EEF’s website:

  • The Power of Pictures, an intervention where teachers and their pupils work with author-illustrators to learn how to use picture books to boost reading and writing skills.
  • The Craft of Writing, which will find out if developing teachers’ skills as writers can help improve Year 5 (eight and nine year olds) pupils’ writing confidence and their motivation to write.
  • Speech Bubbles, a programme where teaching assistants work with theatre practitioners to deliver weekly drama sessions to five-to-seven year olds who lack confidence in communicating, have difficulty communicating or have poor attention and listening skills.
  • Young Journalist Academy, a programme that sees journalists work alongside pupils to help them write and publish newspaper articles, as well as to put together radio and TV packages.
  • First Thing Music, a structured music education programme based on the Kodály approach where students learn the basics of music through daily singing and musical games.

Schools can express interest in taking part by clicking through to the individual project pages and registering their interest.

The trials form part of the RSA’s Learning About Culture programme.