This was a pilot study of a 4-week summer school set in one school in Edmonton, based loosely on the BELL approach. The process evaluation included observations of classroom teachings and activities as well as interviews with staff, key members of the project students and parents. The evaluation also aimed to estimate the effect size of the gain in teacher assessed and other scores based on those attending and not attending the summer school.
The intervention was multi-faceted, and intended to improve attainment of pupils facing potential disadvantage. The main purpose of the study was to assist in the formative development of the intervention for a larger trial to be conducted in 2013. This required close attention to delivery and the perceptions of participants.
The study involved preliminary discussions and meetings with EEF and the summer school researchers to decide on a feasible pragmatic design for the ‘mimic’ evaluation, and the timing and format of the in-depth field work.