The Literacy Challenge – KS2 Research School Literacy Programme Launch

21 March 2018

 “This programme is based on collaboration – Let’s work together and learn from each other”

Helen Bellinger, Director of Doncaster Research School

At the beginning of the Spring Term Partners in Learning were delighted to hear that a bid into the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) was successful.  Funding has been secured to develop and deliver a programme to improve literacy outcomes at KS2, based on the EEF literacy guidance document.

Doncaster Research School, is leading the delivery of the programme.  We have been working with researchers from the EEF and literacy specialists from across the country as part of the Research Schools Network, to develop the programme.  We are also working in collaboration with Tykes TSA and Barnsley TSA.  Schools in Doncaster, Barnsley and Sheffield are amongst the first in the country to access this new programme, which is fully funded for schools in our area.

On 20th March 2018 the launch event for the programme took place.  Over 80 colleagues were in attendance, including schools from Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley and also colleagues from the EEF, Doncaster and Barnsley LAs and the DfE.

Helen Bellinger opened the morning highlighting the objectives, not only for our schools but for everyone involved.  ‘We have to accept what the research is telling us, have a willingness to learn from one another and be committed to driving sustainable improvements in literacy.  We must consider where we are now and where we want to be.  Let’s embed sustainable change and ensure the gap between pupils reduces at a faster rate.  We need to reflect, rethink, reshape and review.’  Helen gave the audience a lot to consider and reflect upon at the start of this exciting, new, evidence-based programme for schools.

Megan Dixon, Director of Research and Development, from Aspirer Research School gave a passionate, enthusiastic and insightful overview of the EEF KS2 Literacy guidance document “The research and information used to be everywhere, now it’s here in front of us”.  Megan explained that teaching needs to be highly effective, efficient and precisely targeted.  Colleagues explored the basics of the guidance document with Megan sharing useful tools and strategies for schools. There was lots of food for thought as colleagues listened intently and the desire to find out more was clearly evident.

Following an overview of the programme content, Alex Quigley, Director of Huntington Research School and Research School Developer with the EEF, gave a short presentation of the importance of implementation and shared the recommendations from the new EEF publication ‘A school’s guide to implementation’.  Alex streamlined his ideas into some thoughtful and intuitive quotes:

  • “Implementation is a process, not an event”
  • “Fail forwards, capture it and learn from it”
  • “Explore the aspects, explore more deeply”
  • “Address what you are currently doing, evaluate and be honest, reflection is important”

Throughout the morning delegates were encouraged to contribute, reflect and also engage in tasks with their partner schools, after all its all about working together!

The programme will run across 3 terms, with a blend of face to face training days, additional twilight workshops and bespoke school to school support.  We’re looking forward to seeing positive outcomes and sharing these as the programme further develops.

Posted on 21 March 2018
Posted in: News