Spatial Cognition to Enhance Mathematical Learning logo

Information for parents

In this study, researchers from the University of Surrey, Loughborough University, University College Dublin and Birkbeck (the SPACE team) are using LEGO® to train spatial skills. An independent evaluation team from the Centre of Evidence & Implementation (CEI) will assess whether the SPACE programme is effective and feasible for teachers to deliver in Year 2 maths lessons. If your child’s school has agreed to be part of the SPACE study, find out more about what the study involves here.

Do I have to take part?

An aerial shot of multi-coloured lego bricks

If your child is in a participating Year 2 class of a participating school, you will have received an email about the study and an information sheet. The SPACE programme will take place during normal maths lessons and the content falls within the range of usual curriculum activities, therefore approval has been granted by the school headteacher for your child to take part in the programme. However, participation in the evaluation of the SPACE programme is voluntary and your child does not have to take part.

What will my involvement require?

If you are happy for your child to take part in the evaluation of SPACE, no further action is required. If you do not want your child to take part in the evaluation, please indicate via the opt-out form that was emailed to you and return it to your child’s school.

What will my child have to do?

All participating children will complete twelve 30-minute LEGO® construction sessions led by their classroom teacher or teaching assistant over six weeks. At the beginning and end of the six-week period the children will also complete a 45-minute whole class session involving tasks that measure spatial and maths abilities.

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 activities have been designed to be fun. 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, Loughborough University, University College Dublin and Birkbeck in partnership with the Think tank Learnus, and funded by The Education Endowment Fund.

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.