Creative Futures: act, sing, play: evaluation report and executive summary

Document type
Haywood, Sarah; Griggs, Julia; Lloyd, Cheryl
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
1 June 2015
Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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Act, Sing, Play (ASP) offered music and drama tuition to Year 2 pupils. The aim of the programme was to evaluate whether music workshops had a bigger impact than drama workshops in terms of pupils’ maths and literacy attainment. The evaluation was based on the hypothesis that participation in high-quality music instruction promotes educational attainment over and above instruction in other artistic pursuits. The ASP programme was developed specifically for this trial and ran from September 2013 to June 2014: 909 pupils participated in 19 schools across London, Essex, Sussex and Coventry. In each participating Year 2 class, pupils were randomly allocated to one of three groups: violin or cello workshops (ASPstrings), singing lessons (ASP-singing), or drama workshops (ASP-drama). The two music groups (strings and singing) represented the treatment arms of the trial. Students in the ASP-drama workshops represented the control. Each workshop had around 10 students. Workshops were held once a week over 32 weeks.

This evaluation provides no evidence that ASP-music workshops had a greater impact on maths or literacy attainment than ASP-drama workshops. Analysis of students receiving free school meals similarly found no evidence that ASP-music workshops had a greater impact on maths or literacy than ASP-drama workshops.

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