“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.
This year CTSN, in collaboration with the Institute of Education, will be Leading the following research project across CTSN Schools:
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 aims to provide a supportive and reflective forum for 22 early middle leaders from 11 Network schools (primary and secondary) to explore how to:
- robustly evaluate the impact of initiatives run in departments and within school
- share knowledge about excellent middle leadership practice within and across schools
- provide the space, conditions and support for staff to grow and develop their practice
- bring about evidence-informed change in pupil learning
- better understand the relationship between improved learning and outcomes
- better understand and develop the leadership conditions in schools that develop and embed cultures of outstanding practice.
The project runs from January 2017 to June 2018 is hosted across CTSN schools.
Sessions run 2.30-5.30pm
Launch – 16 January 2017
Building an early/middle leader network
What do we understand by ‘evidence-informed practice’?
Developing a ‘focus for change’- F4C
Session 2 – 14 March 2017
Sharing baseline evidence
Refining your F4C
What’s known about our issue? Exploring the research base
Developing research tools
Session 3 – 24 May 2017
What’s known about the change process?
Leading evidence-informed change
Evaluating interim impact
Session 4 – 25 September 2017
Sharing evidence of learning, impact and interim findings
Re-focusing for 2017-18
Session 5 – 21 November 2017
Bringing teams into research
How do we support staff to develop and change practice over time?
Re-visiting leading change
Session 6 – 14 March 2018
Tracking change –gathering evidence over time -where are we now?
Accessing new research.
Establishing impact strategy for the coming year.
Session 7 – 4 June 2018
Embedding new ML practices
Ensuring sustainability of the ML Network
If you are interested in learning more about research opportunities across CTSN, contact Jane Catley firstname.lastname@example.org