The age 11 sweep took place in 1969 and aimed to continue measuring the educational, social and physical development of the cohort.
Over 200 new participants, who had been born overseas in the same week, joined the study after moving to Great Britain.
Health visitors visited the homes of cohort members and conducted interviews with parents (mothers in most cases). Information was collected about household composition, housing, parental occupation, cohort member health, parental health, schooling and parental aspirations for their children’s future.
Cohort members completed a paper questionnaire about leisure activities and attitudes towards school. They were also each asked to write an essay about the lives they imagined themselves leading at 25.
The age 11 sweep involved a number of cognitive assessments:
- General Ability Test – containing verbal and non-verbal items.
- Reading Comprehension Test – constructed by the National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales (NFER) specifically for use in this study.
- Arithmetic/Mathematics Test – again constructed by NFER, especially for use in this study.
Information was collected from cohort members’ schools about type of school, class sizes, approaches to discipline, attendance, behaviour and ability.
The sweep also included a medical examination where height, weight, vision, vision, hearing, speech, and motor co-ordination were measured and any other medical issues noted.