Why engage in Research and Development in schools?

In a period of decentralisation, schools are often faced with a myriad of different strategies to improve progress/outcomes for students. As a result it often becomes difficult to decide which strategy is right . There is therefore a need for reliable and accessible evidence to inform decision making over the strategies to use.

Where we have come from…

Blue Coat school as hub of the Teaching School Alliance has been involved in small R and D projects over a few years. Having realised the significant benefits shown above of engaging in research the school has been working over the last year to become a research engaged school bringing teaching expertise together with the best external research evidence to improve the quality of teaching practise.

Working closely with the University of York the school has set out to create a culture in which research, evaluation and evidence are routinely used to identify and understand what works at Blue Coat.

With this growth in R and D activity the school has established a R and D team that are creating research projects in line with whole school priorities. As well as national projects, teaching staff have become very engaged in this and there are lots of examples of action research that is currently being carried out in school by different teachers and departments which are profiled below – these include:

  • Closing the Gap
  • Cornerstone Maths
  • Peer tutoring to develop literacy in year 7
  • The effect of single sex classes in year 8 German
  • Early interventions in year 7 to improve attendance
  • Developing Mental Toughness in year 11
  • Growth mindset strategies for Year 12

Where we are going…

Alliance partners get involved!

The move to an Alliance of schools has opened new exciting avenues and opportunities to get involved in more research through economies of scale and access to new expertise and resource among the Alliance partners
 The long term vision is to create a learning community of teachers and support staff which engages with the best evidence to inform practice.