Research & Development

Teaching Schools are a new feature of the education landscape in England and are modelled on the concept of teaching hospitals. They are designated by the National College to lead the training and professional development for staff, working with other schools and at least one university. Engagement in research, in collaboration with partners and other teaching schools, is an important part of their role.

Keri Griffiths, project lead, of Tuxford Academy said; “Using the latest local, national and international research and practice into what makes ‘great teaching can only benefit teachers and their students by improving further the quality of learning in schools across the Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance.”

Tuxford Academy has continued to develop and promote research and development as a key tool to drive the continual improvement of pedagogy and student outcomes. From 2012-2014 Tuxford, as part of the Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance, worked with the National College for the Leadership of Schools in a National Research and Development project to present conclusions and a written report, using ‘in-school research’, on ‘What makes great pedagogy?’.

This Research and Development project (which encompassed: Effective written feedback, Dialogic teaching, Pupil Improvement Partners, and Co-operative Squares to enhance group work) provided a key focus for staff Corporate Professional Development in 2013-2014. Staff responded very positively to training from their peers; the subsequent findings and strategies were added to the Teachers’ toolkit and its impact was clearly seen in subsequent lesson observations and marking reviews.

The current Research and Development focus areas from 2014-2016 encompass:

  • Growth Mindsets
  • Question-level-analysis
  • E-learning
  • The ‘Learning Pit’. 

The Research and Development ‘champions’ have researched these chosen areas and presented their research, potential outcomes and strategies to the teaching staff in a series of CPD twilights from September 2014 – June 2015. These Research and Development strategies will continue to be embedded and disseminated throughout 2015-2016.

Tuxford Academy has also been the Lead Co-ordinator in the National Research Project: ‘Closing the Gap Test and Learn’ and has helped East Markham Primary School to deliver the Growth Mindsets Intervention programme.

There will also be the potential for appointed staff to become involved in emerging Research and Development projects in the following areas:

  • Iris (using video in the classroom to enhance self-pedagogy)
  • More-able (further classroom and extended learning strategies to challenge more-able students)
  • Summer birth dates (strategies to ‘close any potential gap’ for those students born June-August)

Maggie Farrar, Executive Director at the National College for School Leadership, said; “Schools should be proud of their role in this initiative. Rigorous research like this is key to improving the quality of education for children and young people.

“The way we teach children and young people needs to be based on good evidence, in the same way doctors use evidence of what works when treating patients. Equally, just as practising doctors based in teaching hospitals drive medical research, so practising teachers should drive educational research.”

For further information contact: Keri Griffiths on 01777 870001 at Tuxford Academy. kgriffths@tuxford-ac.org.uk

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