Collection Method: Headteachers from local schools were invited to take part in the study. We then asked the school leadership to give their approval for us to conduct the research in their school. Following approval, parents were informed about the study, and given an opportunity to opt their child out of the assessments. Children attending participating schools, whose parents have not opted out of the study, were then invited to participate and given information about the study in age-appropriate terms, and asked them whether they want to take part. We only tested children who actively consented to take part and it was made clear that they could stop at any time. All children from the appropriate year group (Reception, Year 1 or Year 2) were invited to take part. No child was excluded unless their parents opted them out or if the child did not actively consent. Children who had difficulty understanding/ communicating were allowed to participate to the best of their ability and praised for their participation, as normal. The tests were designed for use with children at all levels of ability and verbal instructions were kept to a minimum. The assessments were conducted on a one-to-one basis in a quiet area close to the child’s classroom. Research Assistants who were experienced in working with children conducted the assessments. Research Assistants were trained to work with each child on a one-to-one basis, using the exact same verbal instructions and procedure for each child, praising the child for their efforts, regardless of their performance. Each phase of data collection was conducted over a three month period, requiring up to 6 sessions of approximately 20mins per child. The assessments we used were a combination of standardised tests of reading, memory and nonverbal reasoning plus bespoke measures. These measures are described in Cunningham et al. (2015). Children responded either by articulating the speech sounds, or through key presses which enabled them to repeat back the sounds. Laptops were used to present the stimuli through headphones and allow responses to be directly recorded onto a spreadsheet. In order to avoid causing discomfort, the tests were designed so that the initial material was easy, progressing to more difficult material, and tests that include a large amount of difficult material were discontinued once the child made a certain number of errors (see Cunningham, et al., 2015).

Funding: Economic and Social Research Council (ES/H031685/1)

Project: Tracking changes in the influence of broad auditory and specific phonological skills on beginning and intermediate reading performance
Date made available30 Mar 2017
PublisherUK Data Service
Date of data production9 Apr 2011 - 8 Dec 2016

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