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Thinking, Doing, Talking Science project for current Year 4 pupils

Dear Parent

Re: Thinking, Doing, Talking Science project for current Year 4 pupils

I am writing to let you know about an exciting project in which your child’s school is participating next year. Thinking, Doing, Talking Science is a professional development programme for teachers with a focus on creative, practical and challenging science lessons. It was developed by Science Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. Through a trial in Oxfordshire, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), this programme has been shown to significantly improve pupils’ attainment in and attitudes towards science. The current project will evaluate whether the programme continues to be effective when it is delivered by other primary science experts across England. The project will be independently evaluated by American Institutes for Research (AIR).

AIR will be randomly assigning participating schools to either an ‘intervention’ or a ‘control’ group. Teachers in the ‘intervention group’ will receive training in 2016/17 while teachers in the ‘control group’ will receive training in 2017/18.

Towards the end of their time in Year 5, pupils in all participating schools will complete a short science assessment and a questionnaire about their views of science that will be used to evaluate the programme. The test and questionnaire will be part of normal classroom activities and take approximately 50 minutes in total to complete. The results from the assessment will only be used for the research and will not alter the teacher’s assessment of your child’s progress. The assessments will be invigilated, collected and processed by NatCen Social Research. The results will only be accessible to the researchers in the NatCen and AIR teams working on the project. The data will be kept confidential, in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Only group results of the programme evaluation will be published. We will not use your child’s name or the name of the school in any report arising from the research.

We are asking for your permission to obtain information about your child from the school (including name, date of birth and Unique Pupil Number (UPN); please, see attached form). Information provided will be shared with a small group of researchers at NatCen Social Research and AIR. We will use the information provided to link with the National Pupil Database (which is held by the Department for Education and shared with the Department for Education, EEF, EEF’s data contractor FFT Education and in an anonymised form to the UK Data Archive). Once your child’s information is included in the data set, the data will be anonymised and no one will be able to identify individual pupils.

Complete the slip below only if you do not want your child’s school to share your child’s information with the evaluators and wish your child to opt-out of the project evaluation.

If you would like more information about this project, you can contact me, the principal researcher Sami Kitmitto from AIR at tdts@air.org or Rakhee Patel from NatCen at tdts@natcen.ac.uk or 0207 549 7002. The project has been approved by AIR’s Institutional Review Board, the ethics board for AIR. If you have concerns or questions about the ethics of this project, please contact the Chair of AIR’s Institutional Review Board at IRBChair@air.org.

Kind regards,

Sami Kitmitto

Principal researcher, American Institutes of Research

Consent letter – opt out


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