The aim of the "Bremer Ostercamps" (spring break camps of Bremen) is to provide academic support to pupils at risk for not being transferred to the next class level. These spring camps take place during the German Easter holidays between the first and second term of the school year. Students receive additional training in school subjects in which they show below-average achievement. The curriculum particularly emphasis repeatition and consolidation of subject-specific contents as well as preparation for the final examination in mathematics, German and English.
Previous analyses of effectiveness of the "Bremer Ostercamps" show that 48% of the participating pupils could be transferred to the next class level. In addition, 39% could increase their final grade in the targeted subject by one grade. 72% of the attending pupils perceived the "Bremer Ostercamps" as helpful, and 65% had the impression of closing their perceived academic gaps in knowledge partly or completely.
The evaluation of the "Bremer Ostercamps" by the Institute for Empirical Educational Research was planned as a pilot study. The main interest of the study is to examine whether the camps' success is a result of the additional teaching support, or whether it is rather due to motivational changes. The results of the pilot study cannot provide conclusions about causal effects, but they indicate the program’s performance-related and motivational effects. Furthermore, this study suggests relevant methodological information for systematic evaluation of future spring camps.