Research

Delivering assessments that are grounded in the latest, high-quality research

For over 35 years, GL Assessment has provided assessments and services for children’s education, mental health and well-being.

Many of GL’s assessments, such as CAT4, NGRT and the Progress Test Series, have been used in a number of educational research papers supported through the Educational Endowment Foundation and leading academic institutions.

We work with a number of educational experts to deliver assessments that are grounded in the latest, high-quality research. In addition, we have our own in-house team of pychometricians, statisticians and researchers who make major contributions to the field of educational research. As a leading publisher of educational assessments, GL Assessment regularly meets with policy makers and responds to consultations.

By working with external research agencies, we can ensure that our assessments are developed by the foremost specialists in those fields.

Our list of research partners includes:

  • NFER
  • University of York
  • University of Cambridge
  • King’s College
  • University of Nottingham (MARS)
  • University of Reading
  • Institute of Education
  • University of Exeter

We continue to build new relationships with other leading research organisations.

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Reports

A selection of reports published by GL Assessment and studies in which our assessments are referenced

Research Papers

Many of GL’s assessments, such as CAT4, NGRT and the Progress Test Series, have been used in a number of educational research papers supported through the Educational Endowment Foundation and leading academic institutions.

 

A range of our assessments have been referenced in the following research papers

Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)

Philosophy for Children
Education Endowment Foundation: Durham University
Philosophy for Children is an approach to teaching in which students participate in group dialogues focused on philosophical issues. The primary goal of this evaluation was to assess whether a year of P4C instruction for pupils in Years 4 and 5 would lead to higher academic attainment in terms of maths, reading, and writing. The project also assessed whether P4C instruction had an impact on cognitive abilities, and used our Cognitive Abilities Test as part of the evaluation.

 

New Group Reading Test (NGRT)

Switch-On Reading
Education Endowment Foundation: 
Nottinghamshire County Council
Switch-on Reading is an intensive 10-week literacy intervention. It is delivered on a one to one basis by staff, most commonly teaching assistants, who have been trained in the approach. The purpose of Switch-on is to achieve functional literacy for as many pupils as possible, and so to close the reading achievement gap for vulnerable children working below age-expected levels. The students' reading was meansure with NGRT.

Response to Intervention: A targeted programme of support for low achieving pupils
Education Endowment Foundation: CUREE and AfA3As
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a targeted programme that uses a tiered approach to identify the needs of low achieving pupils. The approach begins with whole class teaching (Tier 1), followed by small group tuition (Tier 2) for those who need more attention, and one to one tutoring (Tier 3) for those who do not respond to the small group instruction. Our Progress in English (PIE) and New Group Reading Test (NGRT) were used to measure the effectiveness of the intervention.

Rhythm for Reading: Rhythm-based exercises to improve literacy
Education Endowment Foundation: Adamsrill Primary School
Rhythm for Reading is a programme which aims to improve children’s reading ability by taking part in rhythm-based exercises such as stamping, clapping and chanting, while reading musical notation. The intervention builds on the evidence of a link between the natural rhythm and phrasing of prose and intuitive reading comprehension. Our New Group Reading Test (NGRT) was used to measure the impact of the intervention.

Chatterbooks: Testing the impact of two library-based approaches which encourage children to read for pleasure
Education Endowment Foundation: Coventry University and the Reading Agency
Chatterbooks is an extracurricular reading initiative that aims to increase a child’s motivation to read by providing schools with tools and resources to encourage reading for pleasure. The intervention developed for this trial consisted of nine weekly one hour sessions where the pupils read and discussed an age-appropriate book. The programme was delivered by trained graduates to Year 7 pupils who had not reached a secure Level 4 in English at the end of Key Stage 2. Our New Group Reading Test (NGRT) was used to evaluate the impact of the scheme on reading ability.

Summer Active Reading Programme: A programme which provides reading material, events and support over the summer holidays
Education Endowment Foundation: Book Trust
This purpose of the project was to enhance children’s enjoyment of books and encourage them to see reading as a pastime rather than a chore. The Book Trust provided children about to enter Year 7 with a personalised parcel of literacy materials over the summer holidays. In addition, the children received support and encouragement from adult volunteers, and attend two day-long events, which involved games, literacy activities, and small-group work. Our New Group Reading Test (NGRT) was one of the assessments used to measure the impact of the project.

TextNow Transition: Testing the impact of a volunteer-led one to one reading programme
Education Endowment Foundation: Unitas
TextNow was originally designed for young offenders and aims to help children enjoy reading and develop confidence and fluency. The programme is delivered by volunteer readers over 10-15 weeks of daily 20-minute sessions, with a focus on informal guidance and encouraging enjoyment. Our New Group Reading Test (NGRT) was used as a post-test primary outcome reading measure.

Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention
Education Endowment Foundation: Bolton Council

The Vocabulary Enrichment Full Programme combined three existing programmes – the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP), Sounds-Write and Literacy Plus – and aimed to improve the reading abilities of pupils in Year 7. VEIP is a structured scheme that teaches children new words and encourages them to use these words in speaking and writing; Sounds-Write is a phonics programme; and Literacy Plus targets pupils at Key Stage 3 who are behind with their literacy skills and provides additional support to move them from Level 3 to Level 4 in English. NGRT was used to measure reading ability, sentence completion and passage comprehension.

Rapid Phonics
Education Endowment Foundation: Norfolk Council

Rapid Phonics is a synthetic phonics intervention intended to improve decoding skills and reading fluency. It teaches the relationship of word sounds to their corresponding letter groups in a structured way. In this evaluation, the intervention was delivered across the transition between primary and secondary school to Year 6/7 pupils who had not reached Level 4b in English at the end of Key Stage 2. In order to attain a balanced representation of reading ability between treatment and control groups, performances in three baseline measures - NGRT, Single Word Reading Test (SWRT) and Phonological Assessment Battery (PhAB) were used.

 

Progress Test in English (PTE/PiE)

Grammar for Writing: A literacy intervention for Year 6 pupils
Education Endowment Foundation: University of Exeter
Grammar for Writing is a literacy intervention that aims to improve writing skills of Year 6 pupils by providing contextualised grammar teaching. It encourages pupils to improve how their writing communicates with the reader by making connections between a linguistic feature and the effect it has on writing, rather than by focusing on grammatical inaccuracies. Our Progress in English (PiE) assessment was used to measure the improvement in general writing ability.

Future Foundations Summer School: A four-week academic summer school for Year 5 and 6 pupils
Education Endowment Foundation: Future Foundations
The Future Foundations Society CIC (Future Foundations) summer school programme is a literacy and numeracy catch-up intervention which provided extra schooling in the summer holidays. Pupils attending the four-week programme followed a specially designed curriculum involving regular literacy and numeracy lessons taught by trained primary and secondary school teachers. Our Progress in English (PiE) and Progress in Maths (PiM) assessments were used to measure the impact of the programme.

Discover Summer School: A creative writing summer programme for children during the transition to secondary school
Education Endowment Foundation: Discover Children’s Story Centre
The Discover Summer School was a four-week programme which aimed to improve the reading and writing skills of children during the summer between Year 6 and Year 7. The programme was targeted at pupils who had been predicted to achieve below Level 4b in English by the end of Key Stage 2. Our Progress in English (PiE) was used to measure the impact of the programme.

Using Self-Regulation to Improve Writing: A programme which aims to improve pupils' writing by promoting self-regulation
Education Endowment Foundation: Calderdale Excellence Partnership
The project aimed to use memorable experiences and an approach called ‘Self-Regulated Strategy Development’ (SRSD) to help struggling writers in Years 6 and 7. SRSD provides a clear structure to help pupils plan, monitor and evaluate their writing. It aims to encourage pupils to take ownership of their work and can be used to teach most genres of writing, including narrative writing. Our Progress in English (PIE) assessment was used to evaluate progress.

Changing Mindsets
Education Endowment Foundation: Portsmouth University

The Changing Mindsets project sought to improve academic attainment by supporting pupils to develop a growth mindset: the belief that intelligence is not a fixed characteristic and can be increased through effort. Previous research (Good et al., 2003; Blackwell et al., 2007) has suggested that holding this belief enables pupils to work harder and achieve better results. PiE and Measuring Success in Maths (MSiM) were used to measure the attainment of year 5 pupils in English and maths.

Graduate Coaching Programme: Improving the reading and writing skills of Year 7 pupils in four secondary schools
Education Endowment Foundation: Perry Beeches Academy
Across the project, 16 coaches were employed to provide academic support to pupils who had not reached level 4c in English at the end of Key Stage 2. Originally it had been intended that pupils would only receive one to one support, and that all coaches would be graduates. However, in practice pupils received a range of targeted support that varied between schools and most, but not all, coaches were graduates. The pupils’ abilities in reading, spelling and grammar was measured with PiE Short Form test.

Improving Numeracy and Literacy in Key Stage 1
Education Endowment Foundation: University of Oxford
Aiming to improve the numeracy and literacy abilities of pupils in Year 2 through two separate programmes of teacher training and accompanying teaching materials and computer games. The Mathematics and Reasoning programme aimed to develop children’s understanding of the logical principles underlying mathematics, and the Literacy and Morphemes programme aimed to improve spelling and reading comprehension by teaching children about sentence structure and morphemes. The primary outcomes were test scores on the Progress in English (PiE) 7 (short form) test for the literacy intervention and Progress in Maths (PiM) 7 test for the numeracy intervention.

 

Progress Test in Maths (PTM/PiM)

Future Foundations Summer School: A four-week academic summer school for Year 5 and 6 pupils
Education Endowment Foundation: Future Foundations
The Future Foundations Society CIC (Future Foundations) summer school programme is a literacy and numeracy catch-up intervention which provided extra schooling in the summer holidays. Pupils attending the four-week programme followed a specially designed curriculum involving regular literacy and numeracy lessons taught by trained primary and secondary school teachers. Our Progress in English (PiE) and Progress in Maths (PiM) assessments were used to measure the impact of the programme.

Affordable Individual and Small Group Tuition: Primary
Education Endowment Foundation: The Tutor Trust
The Tutor Trust is a Manchester-based charity that aims to provide affordable small group and one to one tuition to schools. The Trust recruits university students and recent graduates, which enables it to provide tuition at a competitive rate. It predominantly aims to support schools in challenging communities and pupils who are looked-after or eligible for free school meals. Schools were measured when using PiE and PiM.

Improving Numeracy and Literacy in Key Stage 1
Education Endowment Foundation: University of Oxford
Aiming to improve the numeracy and literacy abilities of pupils in Year 2 through two separate programmes of teacher training and accompanying teaching materials and computer games. The Mathematics and Reasoning programme aimed to develop children’s understanding of the logical principles underlying mathematics, and the Literacy and Morphemes programme aimed to improve spelling and reading comprehension by teaching children about sentence structure and morphemes. The primary outcomes were test scores on the Progress in English (PiE) 7 (short form) test for the literacy intervention and Progress in Maths (PiM) 7 test for the numeracy intervention.