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Nuffield Early Language Intervention wins Teach Early Years Award

By Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention has won 3 stars in the Teach Early Years Awards 2018.

The Teaching Early Years Awards aims to uncover the very best educational resources on offer to those supporting the learning and development of children aged 0-5. This year, more than 400 nominations were whittled down to 60 finalists. Shortlisted resources were judged on their effectiveness and value for money.

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention was awarded 3 stars in the Reception category.

The resource is sturdy and well made, and the package includes training for a TA and a teacher as well.” Sue Cowley, category judge

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is delivered in partnership with the Oxford University Press. The programme is an evidence-based oral language intervention for children in nursery and reception who show weakness in their oral language skills and who are therefore at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading. It is delivered over 30 weeks by teaching assistants in groups of 3-4 children.

The intervention was developed by a team from the University of York, who subsequently carried out a randomised control trial in 15 schools and feeder-nurseries across Yorkshire. After 30 weeks, the children who had received the intervention had improved expressive language skills, including the use of vocabulary and grammar. Their letter-sound knowledge and spelling also improved, indicating the foundations of phonics were in place.

In 2016, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published an evaluation study of the Nuffield Early Language Intervention. The statistically significant results from 34 schools demonstrated that the programme increased the attainment of levels of 4- to 5- year-olds in vocabulary, grammar and listening skills and improved language and children’s confidence. The EEF designated the intervention as a ‘promising project’ and the outcome from a further, larger-scale trial involving 200 classrooms will be published in Spring 2020.

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.

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