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Norwich Research Leads Network #NorRel

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St Francis of Assisi Primary School

Jessopp Road

Norwich

NR2 3QB

United Kingdom

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We are excited to announce details of our new (free) training and support programme for Research Leads in the Norwich (and Norfolk) area. Research Leads will receive training, mentoring and support via the Norwich Research Leads Network (#NorRel).

This is our first network meeting and we will be welcoming Victoria Warburton, Lecturer in Psychology of Physical Education and Sport at UEA, to discuss how we can make research accessible without losing nuances of meaning.

Each half-termly meeting will feature a special guest and themed discussion - look out for our next event on 5 February with Christine Counsell from Inspiration Trust. These meetings will be open to all, but you will need to book.

Why Research Leads?

We believe using research to help inform decisions and practice can improve outcomes for the pupils we teach. Sometimes, this research challenges our views in unexpected ways, so it’s important not to rely on hunches and experience alone, however important these may be. For example, contrary to the commonsense view that more adult support for those who need it most helps them to progress, Rob Webster found a negative relationship between the amount of TA support received and the progress made by pupils in mainstream schools. The negative results were not attributable to pupil characteristics or decisions made by TAs, and his research has helped schools evaluate their practice, and maximise the impact from their TAs).

The people that know best what is needed within their own schools are the people that work there. Our experience is that if schools are to become truly research informed, they need people from within them to work alongside their colleagues, helping to embed a culture of informed challenge. Research Leads help their colleagues to question and evaluate practice in their schools using research.

Why a network?

Research use is a social process, and CPD is most effective when it is sustained, and allows time for people to embed new ideas, evaluate them, and then develop their practice further. Our support network will offer training, resources and action planning alongside bespoke feedback and mentoring within a peer-network to help make changes in the long-term.

Who are we?

Stuart Kime is Director of Education at Evidence Based Education (EBE). He has been a teacher of English, a school leader, a DfE Policy Fellow, has worked with Rob Coe and Steve Higgins, and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Tuebingen. He has recently launched the Assess Better Assessment Lead Programme, and is a renowned, and sought-after expert in Assessment and research. He takes a pragmatic approach to research use in schools, preferring to give relevant examples and tools, rather than “bombarding you with reading lists”.

Niki Kaiser is a Chemistry teacher and Research Lead. She recently (“inadvertently”) founded the Research Leads Network (#RLNetwork), a national peer-support network where teachers and leaders share ideas and questions. She has been teaching for about 11 years, and is particularly interested in finding ways of applying educational research evidence within the classroom without it becoming “another thing at the end of a very long list of things to do”. Recently, Niki has been looking at Threshold Concepts, and ways of using cognitive science to help students overcome troublesome hurdles in Chemistry.

Roger Higgins is an experienced teacher and school leader, who has re-shaped his school CPD system to allow teachers to take evidence-informed risks within the classroom. He is particularly interested in finding ways for schools to collaborate and share effective practice so that they can avoid “reinventing the wheel”.

Vicki Barnett is a History teacher and Research Lead. She is particularly skilled at finding ways of translating complex research ideas into practical approaches in a range of contexts, and she is a talented communicator of research ideas. Her posts on Dual Coding and Metacognition, which combine her dry humour with informative summaries, have been particularly well received.

Want to help us shape it?

We will release further details soon, including more about the resources and support we will offer to the Research Leads themselves.

If you’d like to be involved with shaping and steering the network, please come along to our first network meeting on 6th December.

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St Francis of Assisi Primary School

Jessopp Road

Norwich

NR2 3QB

United Kingdom

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