Research & Development

Aspire Teaching School Alliance has the opportunity to bid for grants from the Department for Education which help to support and enable teachers to get involved in rigorous research and development projects which can be undertaken within the alliance.

We were recently successful in our bid for funds to support a project focussing on Closing the Gap.  This project will run over a 2 year period with the aim of helping improve the evidence-base for what works in closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils.

Girnhill Infant School is working in partnership with Half Acres Primary and Ackton Pastures Primary on a Research and Development initiative to narrow the gap in Year 2. Training has been undertaken in all three schools and this has been cascaded down to the Year 2 practitioners who are delivering the programme (Numicon – Narrowing the Gap).

All pupils completed an initial online test in October 2014 to set a baseline. In depth one-to-one tests were completed by all pupils at the start of the Spring term to allow practitioners to identify gaps and group according to ability. The 12 week programme started in the Spring term 2015 with familiarisation lessons, which take place over a two week period. Specific teaching follows this for a period of ten weeks according to the groupings of the children.

Children are re-tested at the end of the twelve weeks and hopefully show significant progress.

Opportunities will be explored regarding staff from all three schools having the chance to observe provision across the three settings to learn from each other.

Numicon was already being used in two of the three schools and this provision will be maintained.  In one school, however, Numicon is just being introduced, so within the Year 2 setting it will only be the intervention group who access the resources.  At the start of the Summer term 2015, all pupils will have access to Numicon.