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Inspirit - St Thomas More Teaching School

St Thomas More Teaching School

Action Research at St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

All teaching staff as part of CPD are involved in Learning Triads as part of their professional development. This is part of a peer led research into different teaching and learning techniques which can be honed and trialled through the support of a review process. The impact of this has been skilling up members of staff as well as raising the potential for risk in the learning process. 

Below are examples of existing research carried out by members of staff at St Thomas More Secondary School

  • Currently as a TS we are researching the achievement of boys after an excellent talk by Gary Wilson as part of the Bedford Learning Community. This has led to research being pioneered by one of our SLT, Carole Soraghan, which is part of a whole school pilot.
  • Our Head of Geography, Gavin Millard, is researching the progress of disadvantaged children through ongoing and effective parental engagement. This feature was a key driver in the school gained outstanding status in 2011 by OFSTED and is so key to school improvement.
  • As part of our review on the courses offered to our 6th Form and the process through which our students elect for courses, another member of the SLT, Paula Brazier, is looking into the transition arrangements for our 6th Formers. This will ensure that students can perform at the highest level and receive the advice they need in a timely and targeted. The mechanism for this research has been largely from an effective Peer to Peer learning arrangement with St Paul’s School in Milton Keynes
  • Our Head of Maths, Roiƛin Doran at St Thomas More Secondary is currently undertaking a PHD in Mastery of Maths to look at the evidence for the affectivity of it as a way of raising standards in Maths Teaching

Learning Scientist research course was attended by 2 staff at St Thomas More. The Teaching and Learning Group have then trained others in the way of the Learning Scientists approach. A further 6 members of staff will be attending training which is led by Cognitive Scientists into Internationally acclaimed approaches to support learning. The school has begun piloting ideas but will be embedding this further under the leadership of the Learning Scientist Champions on our staff.

Student Led Enquiry has been a feature of the school for some years where students are used as key researches for the learning experience in many forms at STM. This is seen in classroom observations with SLT as well as in the training of the School Council to reflect on learning in classrooms.

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