Information for Parents

What is the PRISM study?

Child in Study

The PRISM Studies

PRISM stands for Premature Infants’ Skills in Mathematics, and there are two PRISM Studies so far. In 2012, we carried out the first PRISM Study in which we assessed the mathematics skills of 117 children who were born very premature and 79 children who were born around their due-date (called full term). The children were aged 8–10 years and in primary school when they took part in the study. You can read about the results of this study here .

Starting in October 2015 we will be carrying out the PRISM-2 Study.

What is the PRISM-2 study?

The PRISM-2 study aims to find out about the maths skills of children who were born premature when they are in secondary school. We will ask the children who took part in the first PRISM Study whether they would like to take part again, in PRISM-2, now they are in secondary school. If they do, they will be asked to take part in some activities to assess their maths and learning skills which will take place at school when a researcher comes to visit.

How long will the school visit take?

The visit will last for one day and will be organised like a normal school day so that your child has all his/her school breaks and lunch time as usual. If your child becomes tired s/he will be given breaks whenever necessary. If your child is unable to take part in all of the activities on the day it does not matter, we would still like to see your child to find out how they are getting on at secondary school. You do not need to be present at the assessment, but you are welcome to come and watch if you would like to.

Will I be given the results of my child’s assessments?

Yes, we will send you a letter detailing your child’s assessment results around a month after the school visit. We will send you a second copy of this to give to the school if you feel it would be useful for them to have the information.

Will I need to do anything?

We will ask you to complete a questionnaire to tell us about information relating to your child’s performance at school, such as his/her strengths and difficulties, behaviour and attention. We will also ask you some questions about your home and family that are relevant to your child’s education. We will also ask your child’s form tutor to complete a questionnaire to tell us how your child is doing at school and about his/her behaviour in the classroom. We would also like to access the National Pupil Database for information about any support your child receives in school and for their SATs results.

What will you do with all the information?

The information we collect about you and your child will be treated in the strictest confidence. It will be seen only by our study team and we will remove all personal information so that you or your child will not be able to be identified. When the study is finished, we will destroy the original paperwork and any videos we have made. When we publish the results we will not mention children by name and no child will be able to be identified from these reports.

Is there any benefit to taking part in the PRISM study?

There is no direct benefit to you or your child for taking part in this study. However, we will use the information to develop a training programme for teachers to show them the best ways to support children’s learning at school. We hope this will improve premature children’s attainment in the future. Your child will receive a detailed assessment of his/her mathematics skills and other abilities related to learning which you may find useful for your child’s education.

What do I need to do now?

Please take some time to decide whether you would like your child to take part in the study. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary. If you have any questions please use the details on the contacts section to get in touch. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.