Our research

Research report

Research, Review, Report

Edited by Rachael Fitzpatrick and Anna Riggall

This report showcases nine research studies conducted by two CfBT Education Trust Academies: St Marks Church of England Academy and Oxford Spires Academy

“One of the features that sets CfBT Schools Trust apart from other multi-academy trusts is our commitment to evidence informed teaching. All the schools in the Trust understand that having Education Development Trust as our principal sponsor presents a great opportunity to learn from, and harness, a wealth of education research expertise.” Chris Tweedale, CEO of CfBT Schools Trust 2014-2016.

 Research, Report, Review contains nine research studies conducted by middle leaders, teachers, a teaching assistant and one pupil in CfBT Schools Trust academies. This compendium is a great example of what can be achieved in schools through the dedication of senior leadership and Research Leads in promoting evidence-informed practice within their schools.

 This report is divided into four themes:

  1. Pedagogy: Three studies were conducted in the thematic area of pedagogy. The first report explores a range of techniques for introducing literacy into mathematics teaching; the second looks at strategies for improving outcomes among EAL students in science; and the final report investigates student engagement in physical geography.
  2. Student attitudes to learning: This section contains two studies. The first explores the perceived impact of a Year 12 reading mentor programme on Year 7 pupils. The second study is student-led piece that looks at girls’ attitudes towards PE and ways of increasing motivation and enjoyment of the subject.
  3. Middle leaders: Professional development and the role of middle leaders in increasing attainment Three studies place focus on the role of middle leaders. All reports accept middle leaders have a part to play in increasing attainment by working together and working with teachers in their respective departments. The first report looks at strategies that help increase attainment in Year 13 through the use of data. The second study investigates a professional development programme for middle leaders and the final study focuses on exploring the role of middle leaders to reduce within-school variation in pupil outcomes.
  4. Effective Feedback: The final theme ‘What makes effective feedback?’  is based on a school-wide research project that looked into effective feedback. This research involved teachers across all subjects, in addition to a school-wide survey of 500 pupils.

Helen Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford Spires who led the Effective Feedback research group, said: “The quality of research undertaken at Oxford Spires Academy enables us to ensure, most importantly, that we are employing cutting edge-pedagogy in the classroom. We are currently in our third year of producing research within our school, which we use to attain the highest standards of teaching and learning.”

Hannah Fahey, Senior Vice Principal and Teaching & Learning Lead at St Mark’s, said: “Research has encouraged teachers to be a more reflective which means that they carefully take time to examine the factors that shape learning. By combining research with reflection on practice, staff have been able to engage in a cycle of self-improvement; while involving pupils with the research has had an invaluable impact on staff understanding of their perspectives on learning.”