Two sets of assessment criteria were used in the project to evaluate pupils' narrative writing. The first set were the Assessment of Pupil Progress (APP) criteria. These were generic writing criteria devised for national use in the UK. The second set, referred to as the Assessment of Narrative Writing (ANW), were devised by the lead researcher, Paul Gardner, and were based on key elements of narrative.

The findings suggest a significant number of pupils demonstrate higher standards of writing when assessed against the ANW criteria than against the APP criteria. Although these findings are derived from a relatively small sample of pupils, the analysis suggests that across a larger population, such as a national sample in the case of Key Stage Two SATs, an assessment paradigm that values pupils' creativity rather than one that privileges technical accuracy could yield a different set of results from current data in the UK that suggests pupils' achievements in writing lag behind those for reading.

This aspect of the research can be found in the following paper:

Gardner, P. (2012) Paradigms and Pedagogy: revisiting D'Arcy's critique of the teaching and the assessment of writing. English in Education, Vol. 46 No. 2. 2012, 135-153