: The importance of engaging with research together Teaching is a team sport, and connection is key to our success


The importance of engaging with research together

Teaching is a team sport, and connection is key to our success

by Tudor Grange Research School
on the

John bw

John Holmes

John leads School Improvement at Tudor Grange Academies Trust and, is the founding Director of Tudor Grange Research School

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John Holmes, Director of TGRS, talks about the importance of collaboration

We are in the privileged position of joining the Research Schools Network during a time period that has a claim to be a golden age of research evidence in education, with schools across the country united around the EEF’s rallying cry of using evidence to eliminate the link between family income and educational achievement.

This shared purpose is important because teaching is a team sport: we know that working together across year groups, departments, schools and regions to work out how to apply evidence, and to share things that have worked, yields better results.

Research evidence is our best guide on this collective endeavour, but the EEF’s guide to using the toolkit is clear that we must make use of our professional judgement when applying this evidence. This is why collaboration is so important, as we pool and share our experience and expertise as leaders and teachers. What we do, and what we have learnt matters. Children only get one go at education and we owe it to them to approach this research in the right way by

  1. Understanding the research tells us what has worked’ and not what will work’
  2. Looking beneath the headlines of the research: what were the key active ingredients? What key contextual factors were at play
  3. Carefully considering how this research might be applied in your context? What are the needs of your pupils and what barriers might they face?
  4. Thinking about the principles of good implementation: applying research is a process, not a one-off event
  5. Sharing your successes and collaborating with colleagues so that children in range of contexts can benefit from your learning and experience.

The role of the EEF is not to tell schools what to do. Rather, it is to support them in using research evidence so they can improve the quality of their teaching and learning. This is why we are so very excited to be working with our colleagues throughout the Research Schools Network, to bring people together for this shared endeavour. Over the coming year we will be:

  • Supporting teachers in connecting theory and practice, so that they are able to understand the latest research evidence and how to apply it to their specific contexts.
  • Sharing the very best examples of how research evidence has put into practice, to encourage and inspire. Our next blog post will showcase how one PP lead has devised an approach to support schools in understanding the differences in disadvantaged children, so that they can better understand the different barriers those children face. Click here to sign up to our Twitter (X) subscribers list and receive updates about future blogs and events.
  • Connecting schools throughout the region, promoting collaboration and building a sense of community and shared purpose. Click here to sign up for our newsletter, to stay up-to-date with all of our news and future events.

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