Action research: St Mark's Church of England Academy 2014

Edited by Anna Riggall

The fourth edition of action research at St Mark's Church of England Academy, this research report represents a significant contributor to the academy's improvement journey.

This year's practitioner research programme has focused on the key area of improving the quality of teaching and learning. Within this area, staff have explored areas such as effective revision techniques, how to improve marking and feedback, the effectiveness of joint practitioner development and which intervention strategies are most effective in Year 11. All of these are fundamental in improving teaching and learning at St Mark's and the recommendations will be shared to inform the school's next steps and vision for the future.

The culture at St Mark's is one which promotes experimentation, reflection and dedication to improvement. Research has played a role in the improvement journey of the school during the past four years and continues to play a role in driving improvement as staff and students aspire to achieve the Ofsted grading of ‘outstanding'. Key things continue to be important in practitioner research at St Mark's. These include the commitment of leadership to drive, prioritise, encourage and support research activity and to allow practitioners the opportunity to take risks.

Research activity at the school provides a means by which improvement priorities can be addressed. It provides meaningful opportunities for involvement by staff and students in setting and addressing these priorities, it is a vehicle to create topics for debate and a mechanism through which people in the school community can be brought into those debates. More and more, the research provides opportunities for the students too and is a way for students and staff to work alongside one another in the drive to improve the school as well as the outcomes for young people.