The national research and development network seeks to support teaching school alliances to engage in research and development activities, working both with their individual higher education institution (HEI) partners and in regional and national networks.

Over time this work will build a practical understanding of how to address the key issues facing teaching schools as well as an evidence base that can inform schools more widely, supporting the drive to a more evidence-informed profession as detailed in the recent analytical review by Dr Ben Goldacre.

It aims to provide opportunities for training, sharing expertise and wider dissemination of what works and provide a forum for networking between teaching school leaders and teachers, so they can learn from and with each other.

There are a number of ways a teaching school can get involved in research and development, such as:

undertaking research and development projects within their alliance to identify and/or help tackle key school improvement priorities

participation in the national Closing the Gap: Test and Learn scheme designed to test school and classroom interventions with groups of schools that make a positive difference in closing the attainment gap

networking with other teaching school leaders, enabling the dissemination of learning from research including attendance at the research and development annual conference in November and participation in an online forum.

St Mary and St Thomas Teaching Schools Alliance are participating in the national ‘Closing the Gap’: Test and Learn scheme. The following 2 schools are involved in trailing interventions to support pupils in the classroom:

St Mary and St Thomas CE Primary School will trial 1st Class Number, a Mathematics intervention for Year 3 pupils.

St Austin’s Catholic Primary School will trail Numicon, a mathematics intervention programme.

The 2 schools will be part of the pilot programme this year, receiving resources and training for key members of staff and will deliver it over the next academic year. Results of the research will be analysed. If proved to be successful we intend to train other schools in the use of these interventions; therefore sharing good practice across the wider alliance so more children will benefit from quality interventions in mathematics.

Please see the documents below if you are interested in conducting your own small scale research:

Research design template

A zip file containing example R+D ideas

Guidance for maintaining separate intervention and control groups within a school

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