Information for parents

If your child’s school has agreed to be part of the BLOCS study, find out more about what the study involves here.

Do I have to take part?

If your child is in Year 3 or Year 4 of a participating school, you will have received an email about the study, with a weblink to the information sheet and consent form. You do not have to participate.

What will my involvement require?

If you agree for your child to take part, we will then ask you to consent using our online consent form. You will be asked for background information such as your child’s name, class, school and date of birth. This will take up to five minutes to complete.

What will my child have to do?

Following your consent, we will ask your child to consent to taking part using a child-friendly online consent form. All participating children in studies 1 and 2 will complete four 30-minute sessions with a researcher, on different days. They will complete a LEGO® construction task (either using digital or physical Lego) as well as tasks that measure attention, memory, spatial and maths abilities. Tasks will be completed individually or in small groups during the school day at times agreed with your child’s teacher. For study 2, children will then take part in one of three intervention conditions (physical Lego construction, digital Lego construction, comic book intervention). The interventions each consist of twelve 30-minute sessions (two sessions per week for six weeks). We will then measure the children’s spatial and maths skills after the intervention.

Will I get to see my child’s scores?

This is a research study and the results from our measures will not be used to indicate an individual child’s talent and/or interest in maths or spatial abilities. All data will be anonymised and we will not be in a position to provide you with your child’s individual results.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We anticipate that your child will enjoy taking part, as the tasks have been designed to be fun games. You and your child’s school will receive a summary of our findings. This will include suggestions for both parents and teachers of activities that you might like to do with your child that could have a positive impact on their maths ability.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is organised by the University of Surrey and Loughborough University, and funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

What will happen to the results of the study?

A final report summarising the main findings will be sent to your school, and to you on request. The research findings will also be disseminated through publications and conferences. Anonymised data will be deposited to an open source online research data repository at the end of the study. These data may be used for future research. 

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