Doodle Den: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Childhood Development Initiative’s Doodle Den Literacy Programme, 2008-2011

Study Number (SN): 0083-00



Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative(CDI) (2008-11). Doodle Den: evaluation of the effectiveness of the Childhood Development Initiative's Doodle Den literacy programme [data collection]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0083-00. 



The study was a randomised controlled trial of an after-schools literacy programme. In total, 623 children were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups over the three cohorts. 464 children, 472 teacher child assessments and 197 parents completed both pre- and post-test questionnaires.
Data were collected on three primary outcomes and seven secondary outcomes, utilising a combination of child, parent and teacher responses. The primary outcomes comprised: a direct measure of the children’s overall literacy ability, a teachers’ rating of general literacy ability and a children’s writing ability item. The secondary outcomes included: school attendance; literacy activity; library activity; children’s reading activities at home; concentration and behaviour in class; children’s attitudes to literacy; and parental attitudes to reading.
Other, contextual data include child gender; which of the three cohorts the child participated in; the ethnicity of the child; the level of family affluence/poverty; and the number of sessions attended by the child.


• Children
• Literacy
• Education
• Evaluation



Pupils in Senior Infants class (aged 5-6 years) in Tallaght, Dublin: The main participants in the study were five and six year old children living and attending 7 different primary schools in an area of Dublin designated as an area of particular socio-economic disadvantage. Teachers in seven schools were asked to refer children to the Doodle Den programme on the basis of their needs as struggling beginning readers.

Observation units


Temporal coverage

Dates of fieldwork: 01/09/2008 to 30/06/2011

Time dimension

Pre- post randomised controlled trial rolling cohort study (3 cohorts)

Geographical coverage

Country: Ireland
Region: Dublin
County: Dublin
Town: Tallaght West
Administrative unit: 7 schools

Methods of data collection

PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): With interviewer (face to face, telephone or other)
PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): Self-completion (distributed by post, email or other)

Response rate



Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name File format/s Contents of file
DD Archive data.sav SPSS  Database


Documentation (available for download)

File name File format/s Contents of file
Doodle Den Summary Guide PDF Data description



Original report:

Evolution of the Effectiveness of the Childhood Development Initiative's Doodle Den Literacy Programme

RCT publication



Accessing the data

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Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.



Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Childhood Development Initiative" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Childhood Development Initiative’s Doodle Den Literacy Programme, 2008-2011 [computer file]. Belfast: Centre for Effective Education, School of Education, Queen’s University Belfast & Tallaght West: Childhood Development Initiative [producers], 2011. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive [distributor], 2014.


The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.