Heathfield has adopted an outward looking research informed approach to pursuing excellence in teaching at the heart of its success. Our teachers are empowered and trusted to work collaboratively on continually improving their skills, timetabled slots each fortnight are provided for this as part of allocated time.
Department CPL and Collaboration Team agendas are supported by time given over to applying research informed approaches to a subject specific context. We believe it is important staff have time and support to understand and apply the knowledge in order to change habits and outcomes in the classroom.
The role of our research lead
The role of the Research Lead at Heathfield Community College involves reading educational research, on a wide range of topics, and finding ways to disseminate useful findings throughout the establishment. The goal is to both make teachers more informed about the research that is useful for them to make their own professional decisions as well as providing suggestions on implementation.
The Research Lead also involves supporting senior leaders in college improvement by investigating and acting on areas identified as priority areas. In the last few years this has included: boys’ achievement and closing the disadvantage gap, or working on specific lines of enquiries, such as the use of knowledge organisers or remote learning.
Being a research-led school also involves carrying out or supporting practitioner research, often engaging with national research and dialogue on these issues. For example, staff at Heathfield have investigated the benefits of retrieval practice, using spaced practice in homework or how to best close the disadvantage gap.
External Research Trials that we have led or been involved in:
2020-21: Ongoing projects that we our involved with and currently supporting.
|Durrington Research School
|We have links with Durrington Research School via one of our teacher’s role as an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE). Research Schools work with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to provide a bridge between academic research and the work of schools. The ELE role involves working with teachers and schools across the region to better understand educational research and to find ways to use it to inform their decisions. This has involved running courses, such as the Research Lead programme, and delivering CPD.
Working closely with a Research School in this way has provided another conduit for up to date educational research and help and support with running our own research trials (see above).
Further information regarding the role of an ELE can be found in a recent blog post, written for Durrington Research School. Click here.
|ASD Girls research project||Those working closely with autistic students have long been aware of the potential for girls to be under diagnosed and misrepresented amongst those on the Spectrum. The notion that Autistic girls present differently to boys leads one to think that the strategies required to meet their needs may be different and require adjustment. We are working with a researcher who is investigating this potential difference, supporting pupil voice interviews and facilitating girls with Autism in representing their unique experiences.|
|Language link project||A number of East Sussex secondary schools are trialling the free use of Language Link, a computer-based programme which supports the identification and assessment of speech and language difficulties in children. As an extension of this trial we have agreed to be a pilot school, working with a facilitator to embed the use of the programme and evaluate its impact.|