The Apex Project tackles the single most important issue in education:

elimination of avoidable early literacy failure

What is Apex?

2019

The Apex project begins with an agreement to involve schools to test new literacy improvements.

NOW

Our project is underway, testing literacy improvement measures with ten participating schools.

Summer

2022

In 2022 we will produce a report and event to capture our findings and recommendations.

The issue of poor early literacy

1

Identifying the high-risk Year 2 score

Working below expectations Re Wr

29%

achieved GCSE grade 4 or above (2018)

Working above expectations Re Wr

97%

achieved GCSE grade 4 or above (2018)

In 2009's Year 2 cohort, 29% of all children who received a level 1 in Reading and Writing achieved a grade 4 or above in their English GCSE, nine years later.

By contrast, 97% of children who received a level 3 in Reading and Writing achieved a grade 4 or above at English GCSE.

2

The high-risk score in the whole year

Total cohort

23%

achieved a high-risk KS1 literacy score

In 2019, 153,591 students out of the total cohort in England of 663,214 (23%) received a high-risk literacy score.

3

The high-risk score in vulnerable groups

7-year-old boys

Free school meals

42%

achieved a high-risk KS1 literacy score

In 2019, 42% of disadvantaged boys received a high-risk literacy score, i.e. a score that gives them a less-than-50% chance of a grade 4 or above at English GCSE.

Read more about these numbers

We know that this issue is fixable.

For instance, Applegarth Academy in Croydon has a high deprivation among its students (more than double the national average of children eligible for Free School Meals) yet achieves exceptional levels of attainment.

In 2019, 90% of its Year 6 children achieved the expected level in Reading, Writing and Maths, compared to the average of 65% in England.

The Apex challenge

The challenge of the Apex Project is to turn what some brilliant head teachers and staff teams can do to eliminate early literacy failure, into the knowledge and understanding of the system that’s achievable in all schools.
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Ensuring that all children are age-appropriately literate is the biggest single step that the country can take to break our cycle of deprivation.”

Mike Fischer – Founder and Chairman, Fischer Family Foundation