Research School Network: How members of Aspirer Research School have used evidence to inform their practice this school year. Evidence informed practice IRL


How members of Aspirer Research School have used evidence to inform their practice this school year.

Evidence informed practice IRL

Read below to see how some of the Aspirer ELEs have taken the research from the EEF guidance reports and translated it into practice for their own contexts to improve outcomes for all pupils. If you would like more information about any of the below, then please get in touch.

John Barlow

Aspirer ELE / Assistant Principal (Teaching and Learning)/ Teacher of Geography, Penketh High School

The Improving Secondary Literacy’
guidance report has been invaluable in planning and implementing a whole-school approach to disciplinary literacy, reading rigorous texts and the explicit teaching of vocabulary. I’ve used the recommendations from the report to work with teachers on identifying the literacy demands of their subject area and then be able to plan for opportunities to expose pupils to the reading skills that each subject requires.

Alongside this we’ve developed a specific approach to teaching tier 2 vocabulary through our Learn.Use.Relate’ strategy, where teachers follow a three-step process to teach vocabulary in a specific and consistent way.

Finally, we’ve implemented a reading curriculum and form time reading for pleasure programme, built around the concept of reciprocal reading, taken from the guidance report. Teachers are now well-skilled in this technique and have the tools to teach reading confidently and well, whereas this had previously been an area of weakness. Whilst we feel that we’ve achieved a lot this year, we’ll continue to frame our developments on writing and oracy from the guidance report recommendations for the next academic year.

Lisa Hesmondhalgh

Aspirer ELE / Head teacher at Peover Superior Primary School / Director of English for the Aspire Educational Trust

Developing reading fluency has been a hot topic of conversation this year within the Aspire Educational Trust, particularity with the spotlight on reading practice in phonics. KS1 teachers are already familiar with ensuring that children have opportunities for repeated re-reading of decodable books to develop accuracy, automaticity and prosody. However, the release of the updated guidance report Improving Literacy in KS2in the autumn term, has ensured that key stage 2 teachers have begun to build key points from Recommendation 2 (Support pupils to develop fluent reading capabilities) in to their everyday teaching.

English subject leaders from the trust have unpicked Recommendation 2, as well as the newly released support from the EEF and Herts for Learning additional guidance – Reading Fluency Misconceptions
and Reading Fluency Glossary – to develop whole class and targeted small group reading sessions. Teachers are pleased with the impact this is starting to have on struggling readers in KS2, but still needs developing and embedding across the trust. Developing reading fluency will form a major part of the Aspire Educational Trusts development plan next year; we are excited to see the impact.

Alison Ainsworth

Aspirer ELE / Assistant Head at Cinnamon Brow CE Primary School

In school we use the EEF Guidance report: Metacognition and Self Regulated Learning
to aid teaching and learning strategies across the curriculum. We started the year with the delivery stage’ of reciprocal whole class reading and are now in the sustain stage, embedding and adapting to meet the needs of our children in all subject areas. We have also shared best practice with the use of scaffolds and a graduated approach to teaching and learning.

More recently, we have begun Voice 21- the oracy project. My role has been to begin the planning process for purposeful talk opportunities that will use deliberate application of thought to what is being said.

Georgina Morrison

Aspirer ELE Lead / Science Lead at Wilbraham Primary School

This year I have used the Implementation Guidance to make changes across a 3 form entry school. In my role as science coordinator, I have used the Implementation Guidance Report as a structure to implement change in the science teaching and learning across school. First, I identified areas for improvement, then created a plan to trial different approaches with different year groups. After the trialling period, I designed a series of staff meetings with clear outcomes and expectations along with time for celebration of good practice and further support.

Helen Wright

Aspirer ELE Lead / EYFS / Art and Design Lead

I have recently been selected as a Mentor for the DfE Early Years Covid-19 programme being rolled out from September 2022. I have been reading the recently published EEF documents, The Impact of COVID-19 on Learning: A review of evidence’ and The impact of COVID-19 on children’s socio-emotional wellbeing and attainment during the Reception Year.’ I am using this reading to ensure that I have a truly well-informed understanding of the impact of the pandemic on learning from the research and key findings within these reports. This information, together with practical resources signposted within the documents, will help me in my role as Mentor to support Early Years staff to focus on key areas within their settings to close the attainment gap.

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