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Research for Learning Strands 2015/2016

Research for Learningmoving from Action Research to Research Strands

In 2015-2016 we would like all staff to opt in to a ‘research strand’ which we will work on collaboratively throughout the year. The structure will be slightly different to usual:

There will be on overall umbrella research question for the whole group but we will each refine an individual question relevant to our own subject and teaching group:

Eg: What is the impact of metacognitive strategies on learning? 

Classroom teacher: What is the impact of metacognitive strategies on the attainment grades of Year 10 English?



– There will be set reading which will be provided alongside the usual opportunity to read more widely too

– As a group we will then agree specific ‘interventions’ that we will all try (these will then be adapted to our own subjects). Eg What do we mean by metacognitive strategies? What does this mean? We will agree some specific classroom strategies to try based on our reading.  We will then:

– Benchmark the students and decide whether we will have any control groups

– Try out the interventions over a suitable time period

– Re test the students to evaluate the impact

– Share findings and disseminate across the school with a much greater emphasis on ‘Useable Knowledge’ i.e. classroom strategies that we can all try ourselves.


Throughout the year the on going findings of each research strand will be shared with all staff and the final recommendations that emerge will be disseminated to further develop teaching and learning in the school.

On our THS Research website we will have sections for each of the research strands and ultimately, each classroom teacher will share the strategies that they tried and what worked in their subjects in the relevant section.



There will be opportunities for staff to chair a research strand and each ‘research chair’ will receive training. The research strands are as follows:

RISE PROJECT: A national EEF funded project for English and Maths, evaluating the effects of engaging with research and applying ‘interventions’ that have shown to have had an effect on students’ learning in English and Maths.  In this strand, we will trial a ‘student research’ body who will work alongside Maths and English teams.


METACOGNITION: A look at the impact of ‘metacognition’ on learning. How does making learning processes explicit in the classroom impact on students so they can understand and manage their own leaning effectively?


GENDER AND LEARNING: Using specific research surrounding the achievement of boys and girls, we will devise strategies designed to close the attainment gap and maximise progress for all.


HOMEWORK FOR PROGRESS: What kind of homework tasks impact on learning best? How can we maximise students’ consolidation of learning outside of the classroom? We will use the current research to plan and evaluate purposeful homework setting to gather shared strategies that we can disseminate.


MEMORY FOR LEARNING:  Using the research on memory and testing, we will devise and try out strategies that will support the retention of knowledge over long periods of time to consolidate learning and improve students’ revision skills.


DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS: Why do our disadvantaged students underachieve compared to their peers? We will use the existing research to inform strategies that we will explore to close the attainment gap in our own context.


TECHNOLOGY FOR LEARNING: Does using tablets or students’ own devices in the classroom have an impact on learning? Using research, we will explore how we can incorporate new technologies into the classroom to improve learning.


**INDIVIDUAL OPTION**  For colleagues who feel strongly that there is an additional area they would like to explore outside of the areas outlined above, we would ask that you submit a research proposal that outlines your ideas and the proposed impact on learning you would like to explore.