Aspirer Research School Goes to #LearningFirst


Learning First highlights.

1.  Sinead Gaffney and Sam Twiselton explaining their research. I love a good study or two. I realised that their models of novice- curriculum implementer-concept builder (or something similar) might also apply to the use of research in the classroom. Where are we at Aspirer? I'd like to think we are concept builders... some of the time!

2. Finding out that UTC Birmingham (Frances and Becca) have had the same idea as us! They also get researchers into talk to teachers. We call it Research2Teachers, they call it Rushhour Research. It's brilliant. 

3. Talking to Aimee further about her experiences with assessment as an SLE. It was fascinating (I was very lucky to be sitting next to her!)

4. Paul Crisp, Jo Maguire, Stephen Tierney, Sean Cavan, Pete Sides, Ros Wilson, Simon Smith (from Whitby), James Pembroke, Michael Tidd, Lucy Rimmington, Mick Walker - who challenged, entertained and provoked endless thoughts and ideas.

5. @Mcgerrado talking about their GoogleDocs tests. We have been using this style of test - we call them PoP tests (Proof of Progress) tests in Maths across our Trust for several years now. We have just introduced them for writing. It is definitely a work in progress. I loved the fact that they had used an RCT-style study to provide evidence of impact. They highlighted how easy it can be, I really hope we can be involved in any further stuff they do.

6. Sean Harford @seanhartford telling us (yes, he did tell us) to challenge the inspectors (nicely) and get our agency back. He commented that teachers seem to have lost the ability to design a curriculum, yet alone the range of assessments that enable us to check the curriculum works and has been learnt.

My take away thoughts.....

I left the day hugely optimistic. There was lots of talk about  research; a sense that the curriculum is coming under control; that we are inching our way forward. Now I wonder if the focus needs to be fine-tuned. There was a lot of mentions of test, but there are a myriad of other ways to assess children. I want to think about that now. I think we need to start sweating the smaller stuff.  

Author Profile

Megan Dixon

Megan Dixon

Director of Literacy, Aspire Educational Trust. Head of Aspirer Research School

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