HEROES - the results are in!
HEROES is a series of original novels and plays, created with series editor Frank Cottrell Boyce, aimed at engaging reluctant Key Stage 3 readers. Since its launch in 2011, schools around the country have been telling us how the HEROES series is making a real difference in their classrooms. Based on this fantastic response, we decided to take a closer look at how HEROES has impacted real teachers, in real classrooms, with real students.
For 5 months, we worked with twelve teachers in ten schools who have been using the HEROES resources with over 200 students.
And the results are in…
HEROES Impact Report
The HEROES Impact Reportbrings together the results of this trial, focusing on the impact the series has on 5 key areas.
Click on a link below to read a brief summary of the results or read the full report.
HEROES impact on...
Confidence and Ability
Attitudes to Reading
Boys and Girls
The Teaching Experience
The HEROES series aims to raise students’ confidence and reading ability through an uncompromising focus on engagement. The 200 participating students were asked whether they enjoyed reading in English lessons. Before the trial, 53 said they enjoyed it a lot. After completing a HEROES book in class this had nearly doubled to 102.
“This series just seems to get it right when it comes to stories our pupils can relate to… All of the pupils who don’t normally engage did, and they were desperate to take part in the activities and score points – especially the boys!”
Cartmel Priory School, Cumbria
HEROES is designed to engage students in reading in order to build their confidence and success as readers. All teachers participating in the trial reported that the HEROES series significantly raised weaker students’ confidence as readers.
“The series had a very big impact on their confidence, which grew throughout the six weeks. I’d say they’re much more comfortable reading now than they were before, and I think that will carry on. I think it will be a lasting thing.”
St Mary’s High School, Hertfordshire
Schools reported that the HEROES series not only raised confidence but also had a positive impact on students’ ability and participation.
“Combined with the enthusiasm and confidence boosts, I know there has been an improvement in reading. Even in terms of writing, looking at the tasks they are so much better because they have been engaged with the activities.”
Cartmel Priory School, Cumbria
The books and teaching support in the HEROES series aim to foster a love of reading through great stories and cutting-edge digital resources. Every school reported that attitudes to reading had improved among the group that studied a HEROES text using the ActiveTeach resources.
“They’re now quite happy to read from books and this wasn’t the case before we started HEROES. Yesterday, for the first time, we went outside and read for pleasure. All of them took a book – for this place, that’s an achievement.”
The Harbour School, Portsmouth
The HEROES series was created to engage statistically the biggest group of underperforming readers (boys) with reading. Schools were asked to comment on how well the girls in their groups had responded to the resources, with interesting results. Some reported no difference between boys and girls. Others said that there was a greater impact on boys, who were now able to match the girls’ enthusiasm for reading.
“The most interesting thing was seeing the lowest ability boy in the class vying with the highest ability girl in the class to get the next point. That shows, if you like, that there wasn’t a difference between boys and girls.”
Glebelands School, Surrey
At the end of the trial period, every teacher who participated in the trial stated that they will use the series again and would recommend it to other teachers.
“It’s different and it has worked, and they’re focused and they loved it, and that’s what you look for. From a teacher point of view, you can’t ask for anything more really.”
Bay House School, Gosport