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The Butterfly Effect: Clear-cut, Powerful and Quantifiable

From Child to Community

We have long known the powerful effect that Butterfly teaching exerts on our children’s reading performance: a net improvement in reading age of over one year, on average, for just 20 hours’ teaching (see our teaching for more on how Butterfly classes are organised). And we know that it is possible to uplift the literacy of an entire neighbourhood. Over a ten-year period in our extremely deprived ward of Westminster, improvement in eleven year olds’ reading was almost twice that for the borough as a whole.

Compelling New Data

We now have the results of a research study into the long-term educational impact of the programme. The study Learning to Read, Reading to Learn (download the PDF of the full report here) tells us that children who attended our Butterfly school were among those deemed most at risk of educational failure with:

  • Almost all from the area with the highest rate of child deprivation in the country
  • Twice the national rate of Free School Meals entitlement
  • Almost three times the national average for English as an Additional Language
  • 80% higher than the national average for Special Educational Needs
  • The majority were boys

Dramatically Improving Outcomes

YET – compared to similar local children who had not attended the programme, they were:

  • 25% more likely to achieve Level 4*or higher in Reading at Key Stage 2
  • 35% more likely to achieve Level 4* or higher in English at Key Stage 2
  • 90% more likely to achieve Level 4* or higher in both English and Maths at Key Stage 2
    (* national benchmarks for 11 year olds)

Early Interventions, Long Term Impact

Children who attended before they reached the age of 7 did better than those who attended later in their school careers:

  • 83% achieved a Level 4* or higher in both English and Maths – twice as high as local children who had not attended, and 11 percentage points above the statistic for pupils nationally

Also, Butterfly children, generally:

  • were more likely than their peers nationwide to achieve 5 GCSEs graded A* – C
  • had a better school attendance rate in 2005-10 than would be expected from national figures

This is the power of the Butterfly Effect – find out how you can support us in spreading it.

Download the full report, Learning to Read, Reading to Learn, for further information.