The research behind our programme

Our programme was designed using evidence-based recommendations from The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), The Open University (The OU) and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Five ways our work is evidence-based

  1. A one-to-one programme
    EEF identified that “there is a strong and consistent body of evidence demonstrating the benefit of one-to-one or small group tutoring using structured interventions for children who are struggling with literacy.” All of our sessions are one-to-one with the child and a Bookmark volunteer.

  2. Regular, short sessions
    Our programme of 30 minute sessions, twice a week, for six weeks was developed from EEF’s guidance of keeping interventions brief, regular and maintained over a sustained period.

  3. A clear structure
    Each of our sessions is clearly structured into three parts: the child’s banded classroom book (to link back to classroom lessons, as recommended by EEF), the child’s own choice (to develop a reader identity), and literacy games and activities (to bring enjoyment into reading, as The National Literacy Trust have linked reading for pleasure to reading attainment, self-confidence as a reader, social skills and empathy).

  4. In a designated reading area
    A designated reading environment encourages children to read books for pleasure (The OU). Reading for pleasure is the most important indicator of the future success of a child, and is more important than the family’s socio-economic status (OECD).

  5. With trained, diverse volunteers
    EEF recommend that literacy interventions are delivered by those who have been trained to deal with literacy challenges, like all our Bookmark volunteers. The Oxford Language Report highlighted that a child who comes into contact with more words on a daily basis will have a broader vocabulary, and therefore reduced risk of adult mental health issues. Our diverse volunteer pool expose children to varied conversation, vocabulary, and opportunities for language acquisition.