Juliet Brookes, leader of NCTL’s school-based research and development team, describes the development of a national approach to support research in teaching schools.
The research and development national network was established in autumn 2011 to support teaching school alliances in their research and development work. It offers a way for them to collaborate and learn from each other at both regional and national levels, aiming to make research more accessible to schools and creating links with higher education institution partners.
We've worked with the network to support:
- opportunities for training, sharing expertise and widely disseminating ‘what works’
- a forum for networking between teaching school leaders and teachers
We’ve also encouraged a wide range of national, collaborative projects and conferences to create opportunities for teaching school alliances to share their research findings, explore what works, and stimulate debate.
The research that’s been published to date includes:
- Powerful professional learning – looks at the benefits of joint practice development and how it can effectively support the mutual learning of teachers, students and others
- Beyond levels – alternative assessment approaches developed by teaching schools, to support and capture progress
- Closing the gap with the new primary national curriculum – explores how the best schools continue to close the gap as they implement the new primary national curriculum
- Closing the gap: test and learn research report – school-based research testing teaching practices using experimental methods
The first collaborative network project focused on 3 national themes:
- What makes great pedagogy?
- What makes great professional development which leads to consistently great pedagogy?
- How can leaders lead successful teaching school alliances which enable the development of consistently great pedagogy?
Ninety-eight teaching school alliances have been pursuing their own areas of focus within the themes. In November 2014 we held an event where they showcased their findings. They highlighted their learning so far, best practice and the challenges they have faced, along with solutions to overcome these.
You can read all of the final reports on GOV.UK. You might also find interesting these 2 short recordings of staff from teaching school alliances explaining the focus of their work.
Coaching within the school
Dr Keith Watson, from Portswood Teaching School Alliance, talks about their success with coaching within their own school. A key element of their coaching culture involves ‘parrot-on-the-shoulder coaching’ where a coach provides real-time feedback on teaching.
Jane Hamer, from George Abbot Teaching School Alliance, discusses her project on coaching partnerships: putting good to outstanding teachers together and asking them to identify problems and share good practice.
For more information or opportunities to get involved with our work, visit our pages on GOV.UK.