Project X CODE Training: Maximises impact and progress in reading

Provider: Every Child Counts
£795.00 (no VAT on this item) approx price for one TA and a link teacher: 3-day course with resources
£470.00 (no VAT on this item) approx price for a second TA: 3-day course with resources
£2,250.00 (no VAT on this item) approx price for 2 days of training for up to 12 staff, with resources
Accreditation opportunities: Schools can become accredited ECC schools

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Description This course trains teaching assistants to deliver Project X CODE, the highly effective Oxford University Press intervention for struggling readers in Year 4. High-quality training enables them to deliver the intervention effectively and to strengthen their support for reading across the school. Over 500 teaching assistants have already been trained and have supported pupils to make 12 months of progress in only 5 months.
Duration 2 or 3 days, at intervals

Every Child Counts's website
Categories Primary, Teaching and Learning, KS1, KS2, English / Literacy, Support Staff, Learning Support, Pupil Support, Inclusion, SEND, Out of school, In school, Feedback, Meta-cognition and Self-regulation, Phonics, Small Group Tuition, Teaching Assistants, Use of Pupil Premium, Identifies activities where TAs can support learning, rather than managing tasks, Provides support and training for teachers and TAs on how to work collaboratively , Ensures that teachers do not reduce their support or input to the pupils supported by TAs , Evaluates the impact of different strategies for deploying TAs, Teaching methods to support children in making connections between sound patterns they hear in words and the way words are written, Teaching of phonics should be matched to children’s current level of skill in terms of their phonemic awareness and their knowledge of letter sounds and patterns (graphemes)., Provides approaches to assess pupils’ needs accurately and provide work at a challenging level with effective feedback and support, Provides approaches for specific, accurate and clear feedback , Provides approaches for comparing what a learner is doing right now and wrong before , Provides approaches for a balance between support and challenge, Provides teaching approaches which encourage learners to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with careful implementation, Provides approaches to teach pupils explicit strategies to plan, to monitor and to evaluate their learning with and without support, Provides teaching approaches which encourage pupil engagement in planning and best approaches to tasks, Evaluation of process , Help schools find best way to spend Pupil Premium
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

Project X CODE training for teaching assistants or teachers helps schools to close the attainment gap for readers who have fallen behind.

This course trains teaching assistants to deliver the Project X CODE intervention.

Project X CODE embeds systematic synthetic phonics into a reading intervention programme targeted at struggling readers in Years 2 to 4.  It is published by Oxford University Press.

High-quality training for teaching assistants or teachers ensures that schools will achieve the maximum impact for Project X CODE and strengthen their teaching assistants’ support for reading across the school.  It is provided by Edge Hill University’s Every Child Counts experts.

How it works

Project X CODE is a highly motivational series of 3D adventure books, based on a structured progression of phonics, vocabulary and comprehension skills.  Teaching and Assessment Handbooks with detailed session notes enable a trained teaching assistant or teacher to deliver the intervention, supported by a Link Teacher.

The teaching assistant teaches a small group of children for half an hour four times a week.  Sessions are based on the books and help the children to overcome difficulties, develop their skills and enjoy reading.

Teaching Project X CODE is the highlight of my day - seeing how much the children enjoy their learning and watching their self-confidence grow.
Teaching Assistant, Belmont Primary School, Bexley

Evidence underpinning this approach

Over 8,000 children in Years 1 to 8 have been supported with Project X CODE by trained teaching assistants in 500 schools.

  • They made an average Reading Age gain of 12 months after 5 months of support
    almost 70% more than the gain achieved without training
  • Their comprehension scores rose by 70%
    over twice the gain achieved without training
  • 94% of them showed more confidence and interest in reading after Project X CODE 

The training hasn’t just helped our teaching assistant to deliver Project X CODE – it has transformed the way she supports children’s reading in class lessons.
Rachel Crouch, Headteacher, St Nicholas Primary School, Oxford

In an independent survey of the Head Teachers of Every Child Counts schools:

  • 90% rated it as ‘highly valuable’
  • 74% said they were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend ECC to another school
  • 89% identified significant impact on standards across the school 
How users/participants can evaluate success

The immediate impact is seen in the progress of children who take part in Project X CODE. Link teachers are trained to use a standardised test to assess children’s reading attainment on entry to and exit from the intervention. They use an online data system to record information about children’s participation and progress. Each school receives a termly report with detailed analyses of children’s progress and national comparisons against which they can benchmark their school’s outcomes.

Schools can expect to see big changes in teaching assistants' subject knowledge, confidence and ability to support pupils' reading in all aspects of their work beyond the intervention.

“The professional development, ethos and values imparted by Every Child Counts have had such a big impact on the teaching assistant that we have changed the way we use support staff. Teaching assistants are now organised into subject specialist teams for mathematics and literacy… and they find it rewarding to have such a strong focus to their role.  It has also helped me to ensure that appropriate provision is targeted where it is most needed.  This supports the school in its aim of raising attainment for all our children.’’

Schools can also expect to see improvements in link teachers' management of interventions.

Follow-up activities and support

The training course consists of two or three days.  Teaching assistants begin to teach pupils immediately after the first day and every subsequent training day includes discussion of their experiences and the pupils' learning.


“Many head teachers took an interest in the training and reported that it was the best they had ever seen.”
Independent Evaluation of ECC, DfE 2011

Training is delivered by an ECC Trainer accredited by Edge Hill University.  Two courses are available: 

1.  A group training course for teaching assistants

This is delivered at a local central venue.

  • 7 half days of group training over 2 terms
  • delivering the intervention
  • subject knowledge for teaching assistants
  • liaison with class teachers
  • school Link Teachers attend for 2 half days

Continuing teaching assistants who have previously been trained can receive ongoing support, including 3 half days of local CPD.

2.  In-school training for a school’s TAs and teachers

A Trainer delivers 2 days of training, 1-2 months apart.  The contents are adjusted to meet the school’s needs and can include:

  • delivering the intervention
  • subject knowledge for teaching assistants and teachers
  • liaison between TAs and class teachers
  • school management of the intervention

In both cases, schools also receive:

  • teaching resources
  • a standardised reading test to measure impact
  • access to the Every Child Counts online data system for one year, providing detailed analyses of children’s progress to help schools to evaluate and demonstrate the impact of Project X CODE
  • online guidance and downloadable resources
  • telephone and e-mail support
  • an optional visit to the school by the Trainer to support the delivery, management and evaluation of Project X CODE
  • opportunities for Every Child Counts accreditation

Training and support for all ECC programmes are available from local ECC Providers accredited by Edge Hill University and from the University itself. 

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.