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Chiltern Teaching Schools Alliance
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Using research to understand and develop the best teaching and learning practices

Research and Development

Research and development, as one of the six key strands of work for teaching school alliances, is being developed within the Chiltern Teaching School Alliance through two initiatives. The overarching one is the Joint Practice Development Research Project (JPDRP) in partnership with the University of Sussex. Within the JPDRP, the alliance is working with the TDA on projects focussed on behaviour and literacy. There are currently five areas of action research that are characterised by schools within the alliance working together on them (hence 'joint practice'). The impact of the joint practice will be further evaluated by researchers from the University of Sussex, who also provide guidance and support for the research. The areas of research include:

  1. Teaching and Learning

The project is focusing on the use of coaching within schools to raise the quality of teaching, specifically to identify approaches that can secure consistently good teaching. The lead school is Oasis Academy, Enfield. The alliance has invested in remote lesson observation technology to support cross-school coaching.

  1. Reading and Literacy

The project is focusing on deepening ITT trainee knowledge and understanding of how phonics are used across all subjects and developing their understanding and application of the teaching of phonics . The lead organisations are Beech Hill Primary School and Challney High School for Boys with The Chiltern Training Group (CTG) SCITT. 

  1. Behaviour and Attendance

The project is looking at approaches to ITT that will result in an improvement in the behaviour and attitude in lessons taught by trainees. This will impact on all staff/trainees that see the approaches being modelled successfully. The lead organisations are Denbigh High School and Challney High School for Boys with CTG.

  1. Student Leadership

This project is focussed on involving pupils in improving the quality of teaching through student lesson observation and associated activities. Teams of year 9 "Teaching Partners" work with volunteer staff to feed back on their lessons and give suggestions for future planning. The lead school is Denbigh High School, working, initially with Lampton school in Hounslow and now also with Challney High School for Boys. Other interested schools will be engaged in the project as it develops.

  1. Transition

This project is has two strands. One strand is looking at at building on current induction programmes for pupils in year 7 with more focussed pre-induction work in year 6. The second strand is exploring strategies for closing the attainment gap between groups in Key Stage 5 through effective transition from Key Stage 4. The lead organisations are Beech Hill Primary School and Luton Sixth Form College.

Projects 2 and 3 are being conducted as part of a branch of work supported through the TA and in partnership with the Chiltern Training Group. All projects will initially run for the current academic year and the targeted outcomes, in addition those specific to each one, are to share practice and knowledge to drive improvements for pupils and staff, to help create products that will support others to improve and to identify high performing practitioners to work with practitioners in other locations.

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