Impact Stories - Reflective Learning - Global

A Winning Formula

The background


After being introduced to Apex High through its Collaboration Schools partner, Acorn Education, the school started using Reflective Learning throughout 2021. Being a relatively new school, Apex High has always been open to innovative programmes. It has implemented a similar programme to tackle backlogs in literacy, with both literacy and numeracy being a major need in the community where it is situated.

The baseline results


In this analysis, we will focus on two groups of learners, the 2021 cohort of Grade 10s and 11s, both of which worked on Reflective Learning. After conducting the baseline assessments, for those that completed all seven assessments, it was found that the Grade 10 learners had an average Maths competency of 3.4 grade-level, while the Grade 11 learners were at 4.1 grade-level average. 

The intervention


For the majority of the year, Apex High only had access to 20 computers. Despite implementing Reflective Learning across 900 students, it was able to provide students with one 45-period per week due to its extended day. Later in the year, the school were donated 200 tablets which could be used for extra contact time.

The improvements


The left-hand graph below compares the grade-level marks for the 2020 and 2021 cohorts of Grade 10 learners. The 2021 cohort started substantially behind the 2020 cohort (38% vs 72%), but by the end of 2021 ended well-ahead (53% vs 35%). The drop in the 2020 cohort can be explained by the impact of Covid-19, however, such a drop would be expected to perpetuate into the following year’s cohort. 

Instead, by implementing Reflective Learning, the 2021 cohort was able to improve nonetheless. This is shown in the right-hand graph which tracks the 2021 Grade 10 cohort over two years. In their Grade 9 year, the group did not improve over the course of the year. However, through 2021 their year-end average improved by 18%.

Doing a similar analysis for the 2021 Grade 11 cohort, the picture is similar. While the cohort started behind the 2020 cohort (49% vs 58%) and ended ahead of it (55% vs 47%), the two-year tracking shows something interesting. Over the course of 2020, the Covid-19 impact was far greater, with grade-level marks decreasing from 72% to 35%. However, by working on Reflective Learning, learners were able to arrest this decline and see marks start to improve in 2021 (starting at 49% in Term 1 and finishing the year at 55% in Term 4). This demonstrates the ability of Reflective Learning’s catch-up tool to tackle and reverse the effects of Covid-19 on learning loss.

When considering that learners are only approximately 20% through the catch-up process, one would expect there to be further improvements as they have more opportunities to interact with the programme.

High Improvement on the Lowveld

The background
In 2021, Ntiyiso Consulting sponsored a project which used Reflective Learning to assist 58 Grade 8 learners at Lowveld Academy in Limpopo. After introducing the programme to the school principal, Maths HOD and wider Maths department, th 

The baseline results
The school had fifteen computers available for the programme and stable connectivity ensured that no technical issues were run into. Covid-19 restrictions, however, did reduce the amount of contract time due to learners only attending school every second day. Learners had access to the lab in two-hour sessions, enabling them to complete all diagnostic assessments over five days. Even though the learners were in Grade 8, their average competency in Maths was just below Grade 4 level. 


The intervention
The school dedicated class teaching time to the programme, allowing learners to spend time in the school’s computer laboratory, under supervision, to do their catch-up. The majority of learners were provided one 40-minute period per week of contact time with Reflective Learning. 

The improvements

After working on Reflective Learning for two terms, learners had made significant progress in catching up their gaps. The improvements (green) for individual learners in the first two threads are shown below. Across all threads, the learners caught up 2.2 years in the space of six-months, with the largest improvement being 5.1 years.


These improvements in the Reflective Learning assessments translated into improvement in grade-level marks. When comparing the class mark in Term 1 (42% average) and Term 3 (64% average), the class average improved by 22% over the period of two terms. 

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