Action Research

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We are excited to share our work in action research at St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School, Withern. This is a significant contributor to the school’s improvement journey. What makes sharing this even more special is that we have a number of colleagues sharing their improvement journeys as well as lots of feedback from our pupils. This highlights our improvement as a whole community.

The teaching and learning journey at St Margaret’s CE Primary School has been characterised by a shift to a more collaborative, reflective and creative culture combined with a rigorous analytical approach to establishing what does and what does not work for the best outcomes for our pupils. This has enabled and empowered staff to re-focus on student learning and their role as facilitator of that learning. Our work on research engagement has been one strand of this journey. It has provided an excellent opportunity for teachers to use research as a vehicle for improving their practice and as a tool for reflection and self-evaluation.

Our research programme has focused on the key area of improving the quality of teaching and learning. Within this area, teachers have explored automaticity in mathematics and effective feedback, especially through digital technology. One particular highlight in 2014-15 was the school conducting and completing the write up of ‘the world’s first school-led randomised control trial’ (see link in navigation menu).

We shared our work via the Kyra Teaching School Alliance’s website and I was fortunate to present our work, alongside Tony McAleavy, Research and Development Director for CfBT Education Trust, at the Inspiring Leadership Conference in Birmingham in June. We were also contacted by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) who conducted a recorded interview with staff regarding school-led action research. More recently the DfE have been in touch with school in an effort to highlight our work as a case study school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Steve Higgins from Durham University who has contributed significantly to our developments in action research.

James Siddle, Headteacher