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Research School Network: 5 resources on the EEF website you may not have seen (yet!) The continually evolving EEF website is a ​‘go-to one stop shop’ for trusted evidence. Here are 5 gems we’ve referenced recently.

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5 resources on the EEF website you may not have seen (yet!)

The continually evolving EEF website is a ​‘go-to one stop shop’ for trusted evidence. Here are 5 gems we’ve referenced recently.

Metacognition

#1: Metacognition and Self-regulation: Evidence Review

For those wishing to go deeper than the guidance report does into the evidence behind metacognition and self-regulated learning, this evidence review provides a clearly structured and expertly detailed next step.

The review is helpfully divided into two sections:

  • Section 1: What are metacognition and self-regulated learning?
  • Section 2: How can these skills be improved, and what impact does this have on attainment?

Highlights include signposting to translate theory into practice, such as:

7. Teaching SRL and metacognition (page 27)

The evidence suggests that effective teaching of SRL and metacognition has two main elements:

  • The direct approach, through explicit instruction and implicit modelling by the teacher
  • The indirect approach, through creating a conducive learning environment, with guided practise, including dialogue and (scaffolded) inquiry

Summary (page 33)

The evidence suggests that a mix of approaches is necessary to effectively develop SRL and metacognitive knowledge and skills. Explicit teaching of strategies and teacher modelling, not least through verbalising while problem solving are an essential element of effective teaching in this area. However, in order to develop metacognitive reflection, it is also necessary to develop practise through dialogue and more open-ended, albeit guided, inquiry work in which pupils are given more autonomy over tasks within a framework of scaffolds, prompts and teacher guidance. The extent to which such inquiry activities require teacher guidance will itself depend both of the prior subject knowledge of the pupils and their self-regulatory and metacognitive skills.

10. Implementation of metacognitive interventions (page 42)

Where SRL and metacognition requires changing practise, as in the case of the interventions reviewed above, the question of implementation comes to the fore, not least as it is likely that at least some of the differential effects of interventions evaluated by EEF are due to implementation issues rather than to the content of the intervention in itself. Therefore, it is important to take into account what studies can tell us with regards to effective implementation.

…. and that’s where this next valuable resource comes in to play …

Implementation

#2: School’s Guide to Implementation online course

This valuable resource puts you in control of your professional learning on an essential topic-effective implementation. The interactive online course guides you through a selection of key activities associated to the guidance report and is introduced as below:

Schools are in a better than ever position to judge what will work in their classrooms. We have access to more robust evidence about what works’ in teaching and learning and, as the evidence base has grown, so too has teachers’ appetites for it. Nevertheless, one of the characteristics that distinguishes effective and less-effective schools, in addition to what they implement, is how they put those new approaches into practice.

Good implementation occupies a rarefied space of uncommon common sense’, with too few explicit discussions of the characteristics and qualities that make it effective. In response, in 2018 the EEF published Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide Implementation. The purpose was to begin to describe and demystify the professional practice of implementation – and to document our knowledge of the steps that effective schools take to manage change well.

This interactive course aims to support you in making, and acting on, evidence-informed decisions, drawing on the recommendations in the guide. It follows a case study of Bedlington Academy, in Northumberland, as they describe how they introduced a new teaching strategy across the school, called retrieval practice’.

As you work through the course you will see some interactive activities to complete. These can be done individually but they work best as collaborative exercises. There are links to a set of new supplementary resources and case studies, and explanations of some key concepts is provided by the guide’s co-author, Professor Jonathan Sharples.’

So, what’s not to like?

Click, read, get started, reflect, learn … repeat! Enjoy!

Tiered Model

#3: Support for School Improvement Planning – The Tiered Model

This section of the website provides school leaders with valuable school improvement planning resources and offers evidence-based guidance to schools to support their work for the upcoming academic year 2021 – 22.

Over the past year, schools have worked tirelessly to limit the impact of Covid related disruption on their pupils. Now, many will be looking ahead to ensure that they are able to provide sustained support, restoring learning that might have been lost since the onset of the pandemic, along with addressing future school improvement priorities.

This school improvement planning resources page offers evidence-based guidance to support schools in their preparations for the upcoming academic year 2021 – 22. It proposes a tiered model that focuses upon high-quality teaching, targeted academic support and wider strategies to aid school leaders’ existing school improvement planning efforts.

Recommended in the EEF’s Guide to the Pupil Premium, the tiered model is designed to help schools focus on a small number of strategies with the greatest potential to make a meaningful difference for their pupils.

Each of the three tiers signposts to further reading whilst the model itself is resourced with implementation questions, examples of plans and an editable template to support next steps.

SEL

#4: New EEF case studies - Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

EEF Learning Behaviours specialist and secondary school SENCo, Kirsten Mould, has been compiling a new series of case studies, designed to amplify key messages from the evidence and show how they have been successfully applied in real classrooms. 

Our very own Woodhall Primary School is proud to have contributed a case study explaining how they have trained Emotional Literacy Specialist Assistants to support pupils in developing social and emotional learning strategies.

EEF case studies focus on key themes drawn from our EEF Guide to Supporting School Planning: A Tiered Approach, which schools have already been working hard to strengthen this year: high-quality teaching, targeted academic support and wider strategies.

A key high-quality teaching and targeted intervention strategy is improving social and emotional learning. When carefully implemented, social and emotional learning can increase positive pupil behaviour and well-being, and academic performance. An overarching theme from the EEF guidance report, Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools, is the importance of implementation and the monitoring of progress, with school leaders prioritising this work if it is to have impact.’

These case studies add further to the resources available on this essential aspect of school life, including associated blogs and a podcast.

Feedback

#5: Teacher Feedback to Improve Pupil Learning

In case you missed it when it was published earlier this month, this most recent addition to the ever-growing library of guidance reports presents six recommendations for using teacher feedback to improve pupil learning.

All school leaders understand the importance of providing meaningful feedback. Done well, it supports pupil progress, building learning, addressing misunderstandings, and thereby closing the gap between where a pupil is and where the teacher wants them to be.

However, not all feedback has positive effects. Done badly, feedback can even harm progress. Nor is feedback free’. Large amounts of time are spent providing pupils with feedback, perhaps not always productively.

Historically, much consideration has been given to the methods by which feedback is delivered. Specifically, should feedback be written, or should it be verbal? This guidance report aims to move beyond this and focus on what really matters: the principles of good feedback rather than the written or verbal methods of feedback delivery.

The guidance report is based on the best available international evidence, in addition to a review of current practice, and refined through consultation with teachers and other experts.’

Helpful associated resources include a school leader implementation support pack and feedback vignettes.

Andy Samways

Director of Research School

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