Research and Development
Staff at Armitage are always pushing the boundaries of pedagogy. In addition to external CPD, staff (TAs and teachers) are encouraged to lead in their areas of expertise and provide regular in-house training in additional to taking the lead during various cluster meetings. Staff have conducted several research projects over the last few years that investigate new and effective forms of teaching. Some of this research has been undertaken alongside the University of Manchester. This page highlights some of their findings:
'What is the impact of teaching using the new approach to maths in school?' - 2016
In the school year 2016-2016, Miss Sutherland and Miss Yousef were involved in a research project with the University of Manchester.
Due to the change in the National Curriculum, the school took on a new approach to teaching Numeracy. Consequently, it was decided that the research project would measure the impact of this new approach.
All teachers completed a questionnaire to look at their opinions of the new approach, both at the start of the academic year and end, in order to gauge whether or not they felt the approach was having a positive impact on pupil progress. In addition, pupil’s results were analysed and compared with results from the previous year, to see whether attainment had been raised as a result of the new approach to Numeracy.
On the whole, the feedback from the teachers was very positive. They found that the new approach challenged children further to master objectives. It also placed greater emphasis upon developing their reasoning and problem solving skills. Teachers felt that children enjoyed being challenged and embraced the opportunity to tackle open ended questions.
The results showed that children’s progress had significantly improved in comparison to the previous year. This is illustrated by the end of Key Stage 2 Numeracy results as 86% of the children achieved Year 6 Expected or above.
Given the success of the new approach it has been continued this academic year with some slight alterations to ensure that we continue to maximise pupil progress throughout the year.
'What are children's attitudes towards reading at school?' - 2017
Last year, Mr. Greenhow and Miss Sutherland conducted a research project with the University of Manchester, exploring the question, “What are KS2 children’s attitudes towards reading opportunities at school?”
At Armitage, we had identified that some children lacked engagement with reading and, in some cases, this was having an impact upon pupil progress. As a result, the school introduced new policies last year to try and further engage and motivate pupils to develop a love of reading; in addition to daily Guided Reading sessions, children would take part in Drop Everything and Read time, daily visits to the library and access the Drop Everything and Read program.
In order to gauge children’s attitudes towards these reading opportunities, Miss Sutherland and Mr Greenhow carried out focus group sessions with a small group of children from each class in Key Stage 2.
From these focus groups, it was found that, on the whole, children were enjoying the new strategies that had been put in place, particularly when they were given the chance to choose their own reading material and time to engage with this independently.
Moving forward, teachers will give children more ownership within Guided Reading sessions by allowing them opportunities to select texts to study in these teacher-led reading sessions. We hope this will help children to become more excited to engage during Guided Reading, consequently raising pupil progress in reading.