At Holme Grange we explore new innovations in teaching and learning. This is to ensure that we use the best possible methods to teach and educate our pupils while investing in our teachers’ skill set. We have been involved in a number of pilot schemes and with our dedicated research resource we are able to fully immerse ourselves from the outset. Here are some of the projects in which we are involved.
The Oxford Argumentation in Religion and Science (OARS) Project, (University of Oxford, Department of Education. Dr Liam Guilfoyle, Research Officer – Funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation) study, aims to support teachers of science and religious studies in exploring a range of strategies to support the development of pupils’ higher order thinking skills (argumentation.) The study seeks to bring teachers together with each other and also with teacher educators to collaborate in order to share knowledge and expertise.
Our involvement culminated in a joint collaboration between physics and RS where children were asked to consider the arguments for careful stewardship of the earth’s resources and present this from both a scientific and an RS perspective in one piece of work taking care to build a carefully constructed argument.
We have also worked along with 10 other schools (a mixture of state and independent) on The Resilience Project Eton College, (Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning (CIRL) Dr Iro Konstantinou, Head of Research Programmes – With Braincando). Resilience has been proven to positively contribute both towards academic engagement and mental wellbeing. The purpose of the programme was to teach strategies and skills associated with resilience and wellbeing as part of the PSHCE and pastoral programmes in form time for Year 9 pupils.
As a result of our successful participation in the Eton/BrainCanDo Resilience Project we were invited to a new programme, Neuroscience and Psychology for Teachers (BrainCanDo – Professor Patricia Riddell, Chartered Psychologist, Professor of Applied Neuroscience at University of Reading, Consultant Neuroscientist) for the academic year 2020/21. This will provide already qualified and experienced teaching professionals with further knowledge and skills to enhance teaching practice through the application of evidence-informed concepts from cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
It is hoped that the results of our contribution to a pilot study aiming to gain initial insight from both primary teachers and pupils in years 4, 5 and 6 on the current climate change debate, Primary Teachers’ and Pupil Perceptions on Climate Change – (University of Reading, Institution of Education – Ms Nasreen Majid, Dr Maggie Smith) will be used to start developing resources to teach climate change in a measured way.
Our work on another pilot study – Developing Students’ Understanding of Multiplication through Creating Story Picture Books (University of Reading, Institution of Education – Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai ) involved year 4 pupils aiding in the development of a short test to measure year 4 pupils’ conceptual understanding of multiplication and their attitudes towards learning mathematics.
Our input lead to the involvement of pupils in Dr Trakulphadetkrai’s international maths storytelling competition in which our pupil ‘GP’ was long listed for her story on “Counting Crocodiles’. With 215 entries from over 30 schools across 9 countries to judge, the Stuart J. Murphy Award (8-11 years old category) was very competitive and so this was a great achievement.
We will continue with our research and join and support projects that we feel will further enhance our outstanding educational offering.