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Teaching grammar in primary schools: an evaluation of Englicious

Researchers: Professor Dominic Wyse | Dr Jake Anders ...

Project overview

This clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT) aims to assess the efficacy of Englicious, a set of web-based resources designed to support the teaching of English grammar, on the writing skills of children aged 6-7.

The primary school National Curriculum for England implemented from 2014 requires much more attention to the teaching of grammar than previously, including at Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7). However, while thousands of teachers are using Englicious, this is the first attempt to evaluate it formally. The findings will make an important contribution to a field in which there is currently very little robust research evidence.

Year 2 teachers from 30 London primary schools are being trained to use a manualised version of Englicious in their teaching of writing, while teachers from a further 30 schools have been assigned to a ‘business as usual’ control group. The programme’s efficacy will be assessed by comparing progress in writing between the two groups of children, from before the intervention to three months post-completion, taking into account a number of school and pupil characteristics.

The impact evaluation is complemented by a mixed methods implementation and process study exploring the mechanisms by which the programme might drive positive impact.

The project complements other work we have funded around both early literacy and the use of digital teaching tools.


  • Professor Dominic Wyse
    University College London
  • Dr Jake Anders
    University College London
  • Professor Julie Dockrell
    University College London
  • Professor Bas Aarts
    University College London

  • Eleanor Ireland
    Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.