Research Schools Network
Samuel Ward Research School

Samuel Ward Research School Newsletter

Issue #4

Spring Term 2018


Issue #4 - January 2018


Welcome to our first e-newsletter of 2018.

We've had an exciting and inspiring month since our last update ... as well as a refreshing break over Christmas!

The content this month highlights our January headlines including the successful launch of our two evidence-based training programmes and further growth of #easternevidence as the Ipswich Research School joined #TeamEast.


This week EEF published a valuable report on The Attainment Gap (linked below) and chief executive, Sir Kevan Collins, speaking at Wednesday night's UCL Institute of Education debate, set a compelling case for evidence-based practice. Click here to watch this short, powerful clip ...."I had a right to know more as a teacher and I had an obligation to apply what was known" for a taste of the event and a dose of professional affirmation. 



5 to follow on Twitter


@DamsonEd - Megan Dixon, Director of Aspirer RS

@marcrowland73 - Rosendale RS, author on Pupil Premium and Vulnerable Learners

@KerryPulleyn - our fab Research School Facilitator!

@IEE_York - The Institute for Effective Education (IEE), based at the University of York; establishing what works in the classroom and why

@WTeducation - striving to ensure all young people in the UK have access to a world-class science education


Quick Clicks


blog: Why Students Forget and What You Can Do About It Our brains are wired to forget, but there are research-backed strategies you can use to make your teaching stick


free poster: download Oliver Caviglioli's dual coded summary of Deans for Impact overview of cognitive science research on how learning happens


valuable resources: the EEF Guidance Reports provide clear and actionable evidence-based guidance for teachers on a range of high priority issues

Yesterday the EEF published their report on the attainment gap. One of the key findings is that there will be little or no headway in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates in the next 5 years – but there is still an opportunity for secondary schools to make a difference. This valuable report contains 15 key lessons for school leaders and teachers and an accompanying blog provides further insights.


Listen and Learn


Marc Rowland of Rosendale Research School talks to James Richardson from the Education Endowment Foundation about how the EEF is helping to create an evidence-informed education system in England


Dr Christian Bockhove on how to spot education research myths and read research properly


Our RS Month


On Thursday 4th January the Samuel Ward Academy Trust's PD Day Conferences hosted Professor Jonathan Sharples, Senior Researcher at the EEF as staff engaged in a range of collaborative professional development activity ...

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Eight staff members from schools in Haverhill, Newmarket and Great Cornard have become the first to go through the Lead Practitioners scheme, set up by Samuel Ward Academy Trust’s Research School with the SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network ...

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In his blog last week, Director of Research School, Andy Samways shared more reflections and resources linked to meta-cognition.

Growing out of a great day with talented teachers at the final session of the TSC EENEL RQT Programme, Andy highlights a set of free resources that were seen to be really valuable and highly transferable across age phases, the Six Strategies for Effective Learning by the Learning Scientists ...

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Over the last year, Evidence Based Education, Suffolk County Council and the Samuel Ward Academy Trust Research School have been working in partnership to deliver a robust, cost-effective and enjoyable Research Support Partnership (RSP) programme to train staff from schools and academies throughout Suffolk. The aim of the programme has been to develop a network of capable Research Leads across the county. The training proved a real success among participants (even those who were sceptical at first!). Hear reflections from participants in the these soundbites ...

Read More and Listen to the soundbites

Highfield Nursery School, in collaboration with Kesgrave and Farlingaye Teaching School Alliance and Springfield Teaching School Alliance, will become the focal point for evidence-based practice within the Ipswich Opportunity Area. Ipswich Research School is the twenty-third to be appointed to the growing network of Research Schools across the country, including in the other 11 Opportunity Areas.

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Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Their education team is committed to making inspiring, high-quality science education available to all young people. In 2014, Wellcome launched the Education and Neuroscience Initiative in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation ...

Find out more here


Events and Training


Hot off the press!

Today we launched our three day training programme linked to the EEF Guidance Report 'Improving Mathematics in Key Satges 2 and 3'.

It was fantastic to welcome participants from 35 schools from across the locality and see them engage in a great day based around exploring key recommendations from the much read EEF Guidance Report ...

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This week we also launched our three day evidence-based training programme Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants Programme (MITA). We were delighted to welcome Rob Webster (Centre for Inclusive Education, UCL Institute of Education) to lead participating school leaders through an engaging and insightful session.
Leaders from nine local schools from across Suffolk, encompassing primary, secondary and alternative provision enjoyed this great opportunity drawn out of a highly significant evidence base.

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Teaching assistants are often not used as effectively as they could be, and schools miss out on a large amount of potential support and expertise from these valuable members of staff. To help address this, Research Schools are running training programmes to help schools make the best use of teaching assistants, using guidance from the EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit.

You can find out when your local Research School is running a programme by visiting the Training and Events section of their website. Here are some of the programmes starting soon:

Tickets are available now for IFL East 2018. With a star studded line up of speakers and based around four key educational themes, Empowering Communities, Creating the Environment, Future-proof Workforce and Leadership this event will provide stimulus for influencing thinking through keynotes, debates and broader examination of evidence-led practice.

Find out more and book tickets

Cambridge Teaching Schools Network (CTSN) have been working with the Institute of Education and are launching an exciting and valuable opportunity.  The programme, ‘How do we know it works?’  is focused on working with early / middle leaders in order to ensure an evidence-informed approach to the initiatives they lead in their schools.

In addition to this programme, on the 10th July 3.45pm – 6.30pm, Saffron Walden County High School is hosting the CTSN R&D Conference, in collaboration with the Chartered College ... save the date!

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From across the RS Network


Colleagues from across the Research Schools Network share such valuable sources, reflections and insights on a fantatsic array of topics. You can follow activity on Twitter via @rs_network​. In the meantime a few caught our eye recently including:

Alex Quigley, Director of Huntington RS blogs on:

Megan Dixon, Director of Aspirer RS article on:

Niki Kaiser, Research Lead, Norwich RS blog on:



For the last four years the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) has run its #12studiesofxmas. For 12 days over the Christmas break, the IEE tweets a piece of favourite research each day, chosen from the past year’s Best Evidence in Brief. You can catch up on all 12 of this year’s favourites, and find out why they made the cut on the IEE blog.

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Innovation Grants



The Institute for Effective Education (IEE) is inviting applications from schools that are part of the Research Schools Network to apply for funding to carry out evaluations of innovative teaching and learning practices. More information on how to apply can be found in the call document.

Notre Dame High School, Sheffield, have been awarded three IEE Innovation Grants, and John Coats, Director of School Improvement, writes about the lessons learned so far in this blog post.

Find out how to apply for an innovation evaluation grant here


Chartered College of Teaching in East


An update from Kate Sida-Nicholls, Lead Advocate for Chartered College of Teaching, Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT

The second national Chartered College of Teaching Conference is being held on Saturday 17th February 2018 in London. The theme of this year’s conference is Connect;Inform;Inspire and there will be a range of nationally recognised speakers at the event ...

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