Rising Stars research

We understand the importance of research into the development of new resources to ensure that they are proven to work. We are confident that our resources are the very best, but you don't have to take our word for it. Take a look at the results of ongoing, research into their efficacy.  Click on a resource to find out more about the associated research.

Rising Stars Assessment Progress Tests

Formative assessments which help inform teacher judgement of children’s learning in relation to the new curriculum.

Research completed

At the start of the autumn term 2014/15, we commissioned Shift Learning, an independent research organisation specialising in education, to carry out a qualitative evaluation study on the impact of Rising Stars Progress Tests.

Six schools were involved in the study for an academic year. The Progress Tests were found to be effective in the following ways:

  • The results from the tests enabled teachers to target their teaching more effectively to ensure gaps in knowledge and understanding were addressed.
  • Teachers reported that completing the tests helped to engage children in their own learning as they provided opportunities for peer and self-assessment.
  • It was noted that children became more motivated to improve as they were able to see progress in a subject throughout the year.

Read the full report.

Rising Stars Assessment Optional Tests

End-of-year assessments in the style of the new National Tests, which support schools in assessing children’s knowledge, understanding and application of the new programmes of study.

Research in progress

In May 2015 we launched a quantitative research project with Shift Learning and AlphaPlus to analyse the Optional Tests for Year 5.

At the end of the summer term 2015, 40 schools (at least 1,200 pupils) submitted their Year 5 Optional Tests results to the study, which were analysed by AlphaPlus. You can read the results from Phase 1 here.

Phase 2 of the research will take place in the summer of 2016 and will involve Year 6 Optional Tests being taken by the same children that sat the Year 5 tests in summer 2015. Research results due August 2016.

Rising Stars Mathematics

A complete mastery scheme for teaching new curriculum mathematics to ALL children.

Research in progress

Rising Stars Mathematics is being thoroughly reviewed by 10 schools during its first year of publication, to research impact of the programme on children's progress and attainment. Standardised mathematics assessment PUMA will be used at the end of each term to review progress. Initial results will be published in Autumn 2016.


A whole class working memory programme that improves working memory and capacity to learn across the curriculum.

Research completed

MeeMo was developed out of research completed by Dr Richard Skelton, Child and Educational Psychologist and The University of Manchester. He found that by training children's working memory for 15 minutes a day, over a period of six weeks, you could significantly increase their working memory and therefore their capacity to learn. Key research findings included:

  • After 6 weeks of MeeMo training, children jumped up to the top 19% of their age group in their Short Term Memory (STM) test and up to the top 21% in their Working Memory (WM) test.

  • MeeMo had a long-term impact: children continued to improve jumping up to the top 14% for STM and top 16% for WM over the next 8 weeks

Read the full report.

Hayes Primary School in Bromley used MeeMo with 2 small maths groups in years 5 and 6. Key research findings include:

  • pupils’ short-term memory (mental storage) and working memory (processing) abilities had both increased by almost 30 percentile points, making them all well above average for their age in both areas
  • impact was also seen more widely in the quality of pupils' listening skills, their ability to focus on a task and their ability to not become distracted as easily

Read the full report.

Henwick Primary School in South London used MeeMo with a mixed ability year 3/4 class. Key research findings included:

  • Before using Meemo 17% of children had below average working memory, after the programme 100% children had average to above average working memory
  • Children with an above average working memory increased from 46% before the programme to 78% after the programme

Read the full report.

Research in progress

Research into the impact of MeeMo continues to be conducted, by doctoral students, Educational Psychologists and schools, specifically looking at the impact MeeMo has on maths and literacy skills at KS2. Preliminary findings will be available in teh autumn term 2015, with full reports due spring 2016.


A powerful reading and spelling intervention programme that can be used with Year 5 and Year 6 children and get them back on track to meet end of Key Stage 2 expectations in reading and spelling.

Research completed

Cothill School in Oxfordshire used Wordblaze throughout Year 5 with a group of children requiring reading and spelling intervention. The school used standardised reading and spelling tests to measure the reading and spelling ages of the intervention group over one academic year. Key research finding included:

  • On average that children progressed 2 times faster than expected in reading
  • On average children progressed 1.5 times faster than expected in spelling

Read the full report.

Research in progress

Rising Stars has 6 trial schools using the WordBlaze programme including Edgewood Primary School in Nottingham. They have been using the programme for 1 term and after initial positive results will be expanding the programme for a range of interventions across KS2. Read the initial research findings.

Achieve Revision and Practice

Brand new revision and practice resoruces written for the new Key Stage 1 and 2 National Tests.

Research completed.

Rising Stars commissioned specialist consultants to review the final National Tests Frameworks and sample papers and report on changes to the content domains that would be assessed, the performance descriptors, and the expected test questions types. This review has informed the content and structure of all the Achieve revision resources to ensure that they are the most reliable resoruces available to schools for 2016 National Test preparation.

Research in progress

Rising Stars has 11 trial schools using the resources with Year 2 and Year 6 children. Initial feedback will be published in January 2016 and final findings will be published after completion of the National Tests in May 2016.

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