Welcome to the PRISM Study!

Child in study

PRISM stands for PRemature Infants’ Skills in Mathematics.

Each year, almost 13,000 babies are born very premature (before 32 weeks of gestation or more than 8 weeks before their due date) in England. Being born so early can have long lasting effects on a child’s development, particularly on children’s learning and achievement in school.

We are a group of researchers who are working together to find out about any lasting effects children born premature may experience, so that we can try to make helpful programmes to support this group of children in school.

We are particularly interested in understanding how children who were born very prematurely get on in school, and we are focusing on mathematics. Action Medical Research has provided us with funding so we can carry out the PRISM studies.

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 .

We are now starting the PRISM-2 Study, in October 2015. We will be asking all the children who took part in the first PRISM Study to take part again now they are aged 12-15 years and in secondary school. We want to find out how they are getting on at school and how their mathematics skills have developed over the last few years. We will use the information to develop a new web-based programme for teachers to show them how best to support very premature children’s learning at school.

We hope you find the information on this web-site useful, if you have any questions or comments please contact us using the contact details provided.

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