Research and Development
“A researching school is an improving school”
CTSN recognises the importance of being at the forefront of educational research. Research and Development is therefore one of the main activities of CTSN.
Conscious of the benefits of teachers being reflective practitioners, schools within the network each have their own well-established Research Communities. These comprise groups of lively, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers at different stages of their careers involved in a wide range of Action Research projects. These groups engender cross-curricular conversations where good practice is shared and also provide a vehicle for teachers to be reflective about their own classroom practice. The impact of all of this is a heightened quality of experience for the students at the schools where innovation becomes common place.
Engagement with cutting-edge research
CTSN have been involved in two national projects: ‘Closing the Gap, Test and Learn’ with the National College of Teaching and Leadership and ‘What makes great professional development which leads to consistently great pedagogy?’ with the Institute of Education, University College London (our work featuring in the final report). Research Communities based in CTSN schools have connected with CamSTar (Cambridge, School Teachers and Research) to underpin classroom based research. Last year, CTSN R&D schools worked collaboratively on research projects exploring ‘Life after Levels at KS3’ and ‘Developing Growth Mindset in pupils, teachers and parents’. A conference sharing the outcomes of these projects, with keynote speaker Tom Sherrington, was attended by 100 teachers from across the network.
Announcing a second cohort of the the joint IOE & CTSN Research ‘How do we know it work?’ project starting 1st March 2018 at Trumpington Park Primary school.
A great deal is known about the importance and potential impact of middle leaders in schools but the challenge remains of how to fulfil the role effectively in practice.
In a culture of continuous school improvement, middle leaders are charged with the responsibility to ‘make it happen’. As a result, they are often caught in an ‘implementation trap’ with little time to evaluate whether new initiatives are making a difference.
This programme, costing only £410 per delegate (for the seven sessions), aims to provide a supportive and reflective forum for early middle leaders from both primary and secondary schools to explore how to:
o robustly evaluate the impact of initiatives run in departments and within school
o share knowledge about excellent middle leadership practice within and across schools
o provide the space, conditions and support for staff to grow and develop their practice
o bring about evidence-informed change in pupil learning
o better understand the relationship between improved learning and outcomes
o better understand and develop the leadership conditions in schools that develop and embed cultures of outstanding practice.
The project runs from March 2018 to July 2019 primarily at Trumpington Park Primary but depending on the delegates other venues may be added. Sessions run 2.30-5.30pm.
Launch – 1 March 2018
Building an early/middle leader network
What do we understand by ‘evidence-informed practice’?
Developing a ‘focus for change’- F4C
Session 2 – 10 July 2018
Sharing baseline evidence Refining your F4C
What’s known about our issue?
Exploring the research base
Developing research tools
NB this session will be held at Saffron Walden County High School and will be followed by the CTSN Research Conference.
Session 3 – 25 September 2018
What’s known about the change process?
Leading evidence-informed change Evaluating interim impact
Session 4 – 21 November 2018
Sharing evidence of learning, impact and interim findings
Re-focusing for 2018-19
Session 5 – 28 February 2019
Bringing teams into research
How do we support staff to develop and change practice over time?
Re-visiting leading change
Session 6 – 23 April 2019
Tracking change –gathering evidence over time -where are we now?
Accessing new research.
Establishing impact strategy for the coming year.
Session 7 – 2 July 2019
Embedding new ML practices
Ensuring sustainability of the ML Network
How to apply
Schools are asked to apply on behalf of colleagues in their school. To do this, please email the CTSN R&D Administrator,
Jane Catley, firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
The first cohort of the CTSN, in collaboration with the Institute of Education, research project across CTSN Schools which started in January 2017 is continuing until June 2018 and many of its research outcomes will be seen at the CTSN R&D Conference (at Saffron Walden County High School on 10th July 2018).
If you are interested in learning more about research opportunities across CTSN, contact Jane Catley email@example.com