New Zealand Findings

Results from Programmes run in South Auckland and Northland*

This page has a simplified analysis of results of the programmes from 2011/12 to 2019/20 aimed at reducing summer reading loss (also called summer learning loss, summer slide or summer slump). There are links to the more detailed reports that were provided to the participating schools.

New Zealand research on summer reading loss shows results for all the programmes, except that in 2011/12, have been very positive with students, especially the lower ability groups, improving over the summer.

The programmes were run primarily with students in Years 3 – 5 and with approximately equal numbers of males and females.  

In all studies the students chose books that were at their independent reading ages.  Where Maths books were given out these were at their GLoSS stage.   

Books were dropped off by home visitors with at least 2, and usually 3, visits over the summer.

*in Northland from 2016/17


Summer of 2019/20

South Auckland

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

12 low SES

516

Year  3

6 – 10 books(self-selected)

 

612

Year 4

 10 books(self-selected)

 

486

Year 5 

 10 books(self-selected)

50

Year 6

 10 books(self-selected)

Students at higher reading levels received 6 books, while others received 10. They selected books at their estimated independent reading level.

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 2.14 or 0.9 months, over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scale scores by 3.08, which is 2.3 months at this level.

Year 5 students improved their scale scores by 2.79, which is 2.9 months at this level, and is higher than the expected progress of 2.5 months.

Year 6 students improved their scale scores by 1.27, which is 1.7 months, over the summer.

As with this, and many other interventions, the well-below students gained the most in all year levels.

Detailed Results »

Whangarei

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

6 low SES

149

Year  3

12 – 15 books(self-selected)

 

172

Year 4

12 – 15 books(self-selected)

 

173

Year 5 

12 – 15 books(self-selected)

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 0.07 over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scores by 1.96, or 1.5 months, over the summer.

Year 5 students improve their scores by 2.25, or 2.4 months, over the summer. 

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2018/19

South Auckland

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

12 low SES

582

Year  3

6 – 10 books(self-selected)

 

601

Year 4

 10 books(self-selected)

 

495

Year 5 

 10 books(self-selected)

46

Year 6

 10 books(self-selected)

Students at higher reading levels received 6 books, while others received 10. They selected books at their estimated independent reading level.

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 2.99 or 1.3 months, over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scale scores by 3.14, which is 2.3 months at this level.

Year 5 students improved their scale scores by 3.95, which is 4.1 months at this level, and is higher than the expected progress of 2.5 months.

Year 6 students improved their scale scores by 1.17, which is 1.6 months, over the summer.   

As with this, and many other interventions, the well-below students gained the most in all year levels.

Detailed Results »

Whangarei

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

6 low SES

135

Year  3

8 – 10 books(self-selected)

 

148

Year 4

 10 books(self-selected)

 

161

Year 5 

 10 books(self-selected)

Students received either 8 books (if above L26) or 10 books (if L26 or below).

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 0.79, or 0.14 months, over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scores by 4.33, or 3.2 months, over the summer.

Year 5 students improve their scores by 3.81, or 4.0 months, over the summer. 

The Year 4 and 5 students improved by more than would normally be expected over a 2.5-month period.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2017/18

South Auckland

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

10 low SES

375

Year  3

6 – 10 books(self-selected)

 

339

Year 4

 10 books(self-selected)

 

428

Year 5 

 10 books(self-selected)

122

Year 6

 10 books(self-selected)

Students at higher reading levels received 6 books, while others received 10. They selected books at their estimated independent reading level.

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 3.74 or 1.6 months, over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scale scores by 4.53, which is 3.37 months at this level, and higher than the expected progress of 3.37 months.

Year 5 students improved their scale scores by 3.44, which is 3.6 months at this level, and is higher than the expected progress of 2.37 months.

Year 6 students improved their scale scores by 0.57, which is 0.8 months, over the summer.
As with this, and many other interventions, the well-below students gained the most in all year levels.

Detailed Results »

Whangarei

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Books

5 low SES

159

Year  3

8 – 10 books(self-selected)

 

160

Year 4

 10 books(self-selected)

 

109

Year 5 

 10 books(self-selected)

Students received either 8 books (if above L26) or 10 books (if L26 or below).

Results

Year 3 students improved their STAR scale scores by 1.16, or 0.5 months, over the summer.

Year 4 students improved their scores by 6.66, or 4.93 months, over the summer.

Year 5 students improve their scores by 4.10, or 4.31 months, over the summer.

The Year 4 and 5 results were particularly rewarding as they improved by more than would normally be expected over a 2.5 month period.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2016/17

South Auckland

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

8 low SES

203

Year 3

6 – 10 books (self-selected)  

 

362

Year 4

6 – 10 books (self-selected)  

 

262

Year 5

6 – 10 books (self-selected)  

The study only involved reading (though one school also gave out one maths book to its students). Lower level students were given 10 books while higher readers, who were reading chapter books, were given 6. 

Results

The Year 3 students on average dropped their STAR reading scale-scores by 0.14 over the summer. This was an unusual result. However, it was noted that the pre-summer mean scale score of 74.53 was considerably higher than in previous years (68.75 in 2015/16 and 66.18 in 2016/17).

The Year 4 students improved in reading by 3.88 which was slightly higher than the expected progress of 3.37.

The Year 5 students improved by 2.67 which was greater than the 2.37 expected.

Detailed Results »

Whangarei

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

5 low SES

173

Year 3

12 – 15 books (self-selected)  

 

105

Year 4

12 – 15 books (self-selected)  

The Year 3 students on average improved their STAR Reading scale-score results by 2.81 over the summer but this was a little lower than the 5.75 average progress expected at that level for a 2.5 month period.

The Year 4 students improved in reading by 3.97 which was slightly higher than the expected progress of 3.37.  

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2015/16

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

7 low SES

277

Year 3

6 books (self-selected) + 1 maths

 

272

Year 4

6 books (self-selected) + 1 maths

 

104

Year 5

6 books (self-selected) + 1 maths

All groups got both reading books, plus some generic comprehension cards, and a maths book. These were dropped off during 3 visits over the summer.

Results

The Year 3 students on average improved their STAR Reading scale-score results by 3.39 over the summer but this was a little lower than the 5.75 average progress expected at that level for a 2.5 month period (this yearly average does include time at school).

The Year 4 students improved in reading by 3.79 which was slightly higher than the expected progress of 3.37.

The Year 5 students improved by 4.42 which was greater than the 2.37 expected. 

The Year 3 students on average improved their PAT Maths results by 0.81 which was less than the hoped for progress of 1.90 over 2.5 months.  However there was no slide.

The Year 4 students improved their Maths scale scores by 1.28 which was closer to the 1.72 expected at that level for that period.

The Year 5 students on average decreased their maths scores by 0.51 whereas the normal expected gain at that level is 1.27 for 2.5 months. 

“Well below” and “below” students made the most significant gains in both reading and maths.

Later comments:   Some schools thought that having both reading and maths books might have meant that students just did the reading which they might have preferred.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2014/15

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

9 low SES

500

Year 4

Books (12 self-selected)

 

 

 

Books + home support

 

 

 

Maths (2) + activity booklet

 

 

 

Maths (2) + activity bk + home support

 This programme worked with the Year 4 students in the same schools that had participated the previous summer – hence there were results for these children over approximately 14 months including 2 summer holidays.

The students were in the same groups as the previous year. The reading groups received 12 self-selected reading books and comprehension cards, and the maths students received 2 maths workbooks and a maths activity booklet.

Results

All four groups made similar gains in reading.

The average gain in scale score over the whole year, from February 2014 to February 2015, was 18.22 versus an expected gain of 16.2 so these students did start to close the gap compared to average expected national levels (on average these students started off below these levels).

All four groups gained in maths, with an average gain of 8.11 on the PAT maths.  This was slightly below the expected gain of 8.3 for 12 months.

The “well below” and “below” groups made the most gains in both reading and maths.

There was no significant difference between the reading and maths groups in either reading or maths – this followed the trend noticed in earlier years.

The “well below”, and “below” groups made the most gains.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2013/14

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

9 low SES

569

Year 3

Books (12 self-selected)

 

 

 

Books + home support

 

 

 

Maths (2) + activity booklet)

 

 

 

Maths (2) + activity bk + home support

For the groups with “home support” the home visitors were encouraged to spend time discussing the students’ progress during the 3 visits, rather than just dropping the books off.

Results

All four groups made similar and significantly higher gains, measured by the STAR reading tests, than expected.

All four groups made similar small gains in maths.

The low ability groups gained the most.

The maths groups improved in reading and the reading groups improved in maths. Same trend as in previous years but not clear why.

The “extra” support for parents did not seem to assist.  However, later comments from the home liaison (visitor) staff indicated that the amount of support they provided tended to depend on the interest and questions asked by the parents, rather than whether the child was in a “support” or “non-support” group.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2012/13

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

7

454

Year 3

Books (25 self-selected)

5 low SES, 2 high SES

 

 

Books  (25) + prompts (generic questions asked before and after reading books)

 

 

 

Maths (2 workbooks)

The books were dropped off during 3 visits over the summer.  The maths students were also visited.

Results

There was no “summer slide”. The books only group improved by 1.09 on STAR scale scores while the books + prompts improved by an average of 2.78 and maths group by 1.89.  It is not known why the maths groups improved in reading.    The biggest gains were made by the lower ability groups.

The maths groups improved their scale score in the PAT Maths test by 1.3, the books plus prompts by 1.14 and the books only had a small drop of 0.21.

The results were similar between both the high- and low-SES schools.

Results were generally better than the previous year – perhaps schools, home liaison people, and parents who had children participating the year before, had become more used to the process and what was expected.

Detailed Results »


Summer of 2011/12

Undertaken as part of research for a PhD.

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

10

600

Year 3

Books (25 self-selected)

7 low SES, 3 high SES

 

 

Books  (25) + quizzes (3)

 

 

 

Maths (2 workbooks)

 

 

 

Control (books after summer)

Results

There was a “summer slide” in both reading and maths and for both the high decile (high SES)- and low-decile (low SES) students.  The high-SES (socio-economic) students were, on average, at higher levels.

The STAR reading test results showed the Low SES and “at risk” students made better progress than the control groups. 

The Maths groups did not do any worse than the Books groups in reading (and vice versa). 

Later comments : the quizzes were too complicated and might have put students off.

Detailed Results »

Turner, L., & Tse, L. (2015). Solving summer slide: Strategies and suggestions. Set: Research information for teachers. 2015(1) , 16 – 24.


Summer of 2010/11 (Pilot Study)

No. of  Schools

No. Students

Year Level

Groups (randomly assigned)

1 low SES

81

Year 2 & 3

Books (15 self-selected)

 

 

 

Maths

 

 

 

Dot-to-Dot books (control)

Results

All groups made significant progress in reading (including the dot-to-dot control group).

There was no improvement or “slide” in maths for all groups.