Learning Through REAL Projects
Learning through REAL Projects is a pedagogical approach that involves students designing, planning, and carrying out an extended project. It seeks to provide pupils with independent and group learning skills both to meet the needs of the curriculum and to support their future learning. It particularly aims to improve their engagement in learning as well as practical literacy skills. REAL Projects are driven by an ‘essential question’ which has educational content. The projects encourage pupils to create a product through drafting and redrafting and then to exhibit their work to an authentic audience. The end result of a project is the production of a publicly-exhibited output such as a product, publication, or presentation.
Learning Through REAL Projects is delivered by teachers supported in many instances by teaching assistants, with further support from senior leadership colleagues.
Training and support is provided by the Innovation Unit. This takes the form of a 3 day induction experience, then follow-up support from a REAL Projects Classroom Coach who supports teachers implementing REAL Projects, and a REAL Projects Leadership Coach who supports school leaders.
Learning Through REAL Projects was evaluated by the Education Endowment Foundation in 2016, but the evaluation did not meet the quality needed to change its evidence rating.
The Education Endowment Foundation trial results found that the intervention did not have an impact either on the pupils' literacy performance, engagement or attendance. Five schools left the trial before it ended meaning the findings are not considered secure.