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Evidence-based approach adds up to success for enquiring primary school

14 July 2014

Teachers at The Grove Academy, a primary school in Watford, are celebrating great improvements in their pupils’ maths results. Principal Anne Heywood is very proud of their achievements and told NFER: “I had set a target which seemed extremely high in September - and we exceeded it!”

The improvements to attainment, confidence and engagement are due, in part, to teachers testing different teaching and learning strategies. Their investigations were conducted with support from Enquiring Schools, NFER’s evidence-based approach to teacher development and school improvement.

Teachers in each year group identified a research question based on the needs of their classes and the Academy’s development plans. Their queries ranged from how the use of creative mathematical role play areas could help children in the Reception class develop their knowledge and understanding of numbers to how the use of “convince me” questions would help Year 5 and 6 children justify their ideas and deepen their understanding and Mathematical reasoning.

As part of the programme staff looked at existing research and identified ideas for their own classes. They took baseline measurements (using observations, questionnaires and tracking individual pupils), implemented their plans, monitored impact and analysed the impact. The results are impressive.

Anne is committed to a research-engaged approach to teacher development and school improvement and wants to use the Enquiring Schools programme next year to improve literacy.

For more information about Enquiring Schools, please click here