Case Study: Colmore Infants and Nursery School

What was the research question and how was it chosen?

Research is part of Colmore’s plan to improve the school and is viewed as very important. The school believes that children are the best people to find out about other children’s views. Since 2003, each cohort of Year 2 pupils has taken part in a research project, with the aim of:

For this project, the teachers chose these research questions:

Who were the researchers?

The teachers selected six literate and numerate Year 2 pupils to form the Rainbow Research Team, including three Gifted and Talented pupils. An Advanced Skills Teacher facilitated the group.

How did the group communicate?

The group met for an hour-and-a-half once a week throughout the spring term.  Their teacher drew up a research plan to help keep the project on course.

What methods did the young researchers use?

The children did a learning walk and took photographs of what needed to be repaired and replaced; visited reception and nursery to generate ideas; designed questionnaires for staff, parents and KS1 pupils; and interviewed KS1 children and staff, videoing the interviews.

How were the young researchers supported?

The facilitator supported the group by: introducing the concept of research, discussing the research questions, supporting their data collection, facilitating their analysis and helping them to put together their presentation.

What challenges did the young researchers experience, and how were these overcome?

Challenge Overcome by...
Posing questions with a yes/no answer Talking through the questions with their facilitator to make sure they got the information they needed. She asked them to imagine they were news reporters, which helped them to understand the interviewer’s role.
Learning research skills: photography and video, interviews and questionnaires Support from their facilitator, being clear what kind of evidence they needed to collect and having examples from previous research groups.
Making a presentation to adults from their own and other schools Deciding on a joint presentation, as a group. Making the decision to do the presentation in person, rather than via video. Agreeing a ‘script’, breaking the presentation down into smaller sections (each presented by a different young researcher), and lots of practice.

What challenges did the adult facilitator face?

What were the research outputs?

The children presented to a children’s research conference involving six local schools, having scripted their presentation and using a Powerpoint presentation. In previous years, the pupils have videoed their presentation, rather than giving it ‘live’, due to nerves about public speaking.

What impact did the research have?

Part of the research project was to plan, find and budget resources for the outdoor space, to enable the redevelopment to happen as soon as possible.

How did the project benefit the young researchers?

How did the project benefit the adult facilitator?

Top tips for adults supporting young researchers