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Calderdale 2 - Independent evaluation of using self-regulated strategy development and memorable experiences to improve writing quality

We evaluated the effectiveness of the Introduction, Point, Explain, Ending, Links, and Language (IPEELL) intervention on the writing skills of year 5 and year 6 pupils. The results for delivery for one-year and two-years were contradictory and neither statistically significant.

Why did we do this research?

In 2013 approximately 85,000 pupils left primary school without having attained Level 4 or above in writing: a substantial minority of these pupils do not make the expected level of progress in secondary school. The Introduction, Point, Explain, Ending, Links, and Language (IPEELL) intervention is a writing process combined with ‘memorable experiences’ for students designed to act as a stimulus for their writing. Although promising, further research was needed to assesses effectiveness.

What did we do?

We undertook an cluster randomised controlled trial to test the intervention under ‘real world’ conditions and schools were randomised to either receive the intervention or to act as a ‘business as usual’ control group.   Writing outcomes were measured using Key Stage 2 (KS2) writing outcomes for the one-year trial and a bespoke writing test based on historic KS2 writing tests for the two-year trial. The process evaluation involved observations of the training sessions (both the teacher training and the training of the trainers), observations of lessons, and interviews with teachers.

Who was involved?

This project tested the impact of one year of IPEELL for children in Year 6 and the impact of the two years of IPEELL children who started it in Year 5 and continued in Year 6. IPEELL was delivered to all children in these year groups. Eighty-four schools and 2,682 children participated in the one-year trial and 83 schools and 2,762 children participated in the two-year trial.

What did we find?

Pupils who used IPEELL for two years made around two months’ additional progress in writing, compared to pupils who did not. The result was similar when considering only pupils eligible for free school meals who used IPEELL. The evaluation of pupils who used IPEELL for only one year, using a different writing test,  showed pupils had made less progress than comparison pupils. Again, the results were similar for pupils eligible for free school meals. Neither result was statistically significant.


Torgerson CJ, Ainsworth H, Bell K, Elliott L, Foundation I, Gascoine L, et al.(2018). Calderdale Excellence Partnership: IPEELL. Evaluation and executive summary. London: EEF. 

Calderdale Excellence Partnership: Evaluation report and executive summary (PDF , 3,090kb)


Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK


  • Carole J Torgerson

School of Education, University of Durham, Durham, UK


The research was funded by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF). The project was started in November 2014 and completed in April 2018.

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