Research Schools Network
Samuel Ward Research School

Samuel Ward Research School Newsletter

Issue #2

Spring term




Winter has spread it's chill over Suffolk this week so we hope you are sat in the warm and are able to browse, click and enjoy our latest newsletter with a cup of coffee at least!


Special update:

The International Festival of Learning takes place on Monday 16th April at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds. The inspiring line up of speakers includes Amanda Spielman, Sir David Carter, Dame Alison Peacock, Geoff Barton, Ann Mroz, Ed Dorrell, Sonia Blandford ... and more, including us! See below in 'Events and Training' to secure your ticket and save 25% using our code 'SWAT25'.


5 to follow on Twitter


@maximisingTAs - Rob Webster, UCL Institute of Education, leads MITA Project, passionate about SEND

@FH_FranHaynes - Assistant Director of Durrington Research School

@SuzanneCulshaw - PhD student. Former teacher. Member of our Research School Board

@Inner_Drive - sharing studies every teacher needs to know with free graphic to aid interpretation

@DriverTrust - national charity dedicated to improving life chances, with a focus on children with literacy difficulties and who may have SEND, particularly dyslexia


Quick Clicks


report and blog - the EEF recently published a report on the attainment gap. Together with an analysis of the attainment gap in England on a range of measures, it includes 15 key lessons on closing the attainment gap from the EEF’s first six years.


free guide - this self-assessment guide accompanies the EEF's report, Improving Mathematics In Key Stages Two and Three, which sets out eight evidence-based recommendations on the effective teaching of mathematics. This guide describes what ‘ineffective’, ‘improving’ and ‘exemplary’ practice can look like in relation to each of the recommendations. This guide can be used as part of an initial audit process to establish current practice (i.e. point of departure), as well as to monitor progress towards the development of more effective practice (i.e. direction of travel).


Listen and Learn


Dr Kathryn Asbury explaining why we need to talk about the role of genetics in education

Professor Becky Francis on 'what every teacher needs to know about setting' 

Dr Alison Peacock'Knowing Me, Knowing Ed-U' from our friends in the north at Evidence Based Education


New Guidance Special: Implementation

implementation guidance report


A new guidance report from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) aims to give schools the support they need to put evidence to work in their classrooms and implement new programmes and approaches effectively.

Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide to Implementation highlights how good and thoughtful implementation is crucial to the success of any teaching and learning strategy. It offers six evidence-based recommendations to help schools give their innovations the very best chance by working. The guidance can be applied to any school improvement decision: programmes of practices; whole school or targeted approach; internally or externally generated ideas.

Read the report

implementation guidance poster

BLOG 1: Putting Evidence to Work in Your Classroom

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great an educational idea or intervention is in principle; what really matters is how it manifests itself in the day-to-day work of people in schools.” Shaun Allison, Director of Durrington Research School, introduces the EEF’s latest guidance report, Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide to Implementation.

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BLOG 2: Bananarama meet Garnener's World

Any ideas how the two can be linked? You'd be showing your age if you spot that it has something to do with a well known lyric in an 80’s chart classic from a collaboration between pop legends Bananarama and Fun Boy Three?! Director of Research School Andy Samways adds further to thinking ...

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BLOG 3: Ready, Steady, Bake!

Further developing the use of analogy, Andy Samways highlights how analogies withn everyday experiences can help draw to mind the model and also help understand theory ...

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Latest EEF News



The third round of applications for the Department for Education's Strategic School Improvement Fund is now open. To help ensure the Fund is spent in ways that are most likely to make a difference to pupil outcomes, the EEF is providing support to potential applicants on how to develop evidence-informed projects.

Find out more


Seventeen EEF-funded projects are currently looking for schools and post-16 settings to take part in trials of high-potential projects.

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The EEF currently have three grant-funding rounds open for applications:

  • Professional development and leadership in the early years – Deadline: 5pm Friday 16 March
  • Science Teacher Retention – Deadline 5pm Thursday 22 March
  • Improving Science Education – Deadline: 5pm Monday 9 April

For more information, and to apply, visit the EEF website

promising projects


The Promising Projects section on EEF’s website is a collection of EEF evaluation reports that have demonstrated a positive impact on pupil attainment in English schools. There are sixteen projects showcased – approximately 20% of EEF’s published trials – ranging from early years to Key Stage 4 and focusing on a variety of topics: literacy, numeracy, writing, metacognition, oral language.

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E4I logo

A new version of the Evidence 4 Impact (E4I) website is now live. E4I is an independent service that provides teachers and school leaders with accessible information on which educational interventions have been shown to be effective. It uses a simple evidence rating system to show whether an intervention’s effectiveness has been established.

The new website rates interventions by their impact on a range of educational outcomes at primary or secondary level including maths, reading, writing and science. You can tailor results to the specific needs of a class or school, and the data be easily searched by key stage, targeted group and type of practice.

Literacy and Life Expectancy is a stark report from the National Literacy Trust which is an essential and easy to digest read. This report provides the first overview of the evidence linking literacy and life expectancy in England through the conduits of health and socioeconomic factors. The associated  EEF response is equally well worth reading.

A recommended read from the EEF:

Developing Great Subject Teaching is a rapid evidence review of subject-specific continuing professional development in the UK from Wellcome, Curee and the UCL Institute of Education.This important review builds on key findings from Developing Great Teaching, which highlighted the effectiveness of subject-specific CPD. It examines the evidence about the extent, nature and impact of subject-specific CPD in the UK, and also explores why take-up is so much lower than it should be.


Events and Training


Tickets are still available now for IFL East 2018. Use the code SWAT25 to receive a 25% discount on this star studded line up of speakers focussing on evidence-led practice ... now including Amanda Spielman, Sir David Carter, Geoff Barton, Dame Alison Peacock and more ...

book your ticket while you can!

researchED logo


researchED is on a mission to raise research literacy amongst teachers, bring people together, promote collaboration, increase awareness, promote research and explore what works. These values chime with the work of the Research Schools Network, and a number of our Research Schools are hosting researchED events.

Find out more here


Chartered College of Teaching in the East


In this update from Kate Sida-Nicholls, Lead Advocate for Chartered College of Teaching, Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT, reflections from the second annual conference on Saturday 17th February in London as well as promotuion of the current edition of the journal Impact ...

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A complimentary journal from the Chartered College of Teaching, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust will arrive in every UK school at the end of February. Impact, the termly journal of the Chartered College of Teaching, connects research findings to classroom practice, focusing on the interests and voices of teachers and educators. Sneak previews on retrieval practice and sleep have been shared by the Chartered College of Teaching to whet your appetite.

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