Alexandra Park Primary School is one of seven Associate Research Schools
nationally. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a charity established to
help break the link between family income and educational achievement, a mission
that resonates with many of our colleagues across Stockport and Greater
Manchester. The development of Associate Research Schools, who will work
collaboratively with the 39 Research Schools, is part of the EEF’s strategy to
significantly increase direct support for schools. Their goal is to support teachers and
senior leaders to raise attainment and close the disadvantage gap, and roots its
response to this educational challenge in the best available evidence.
Our goal as an Associate Research School is to help schools across the country
apply evidence to improve pupil outcomes and close the disadvantage gap.
Alexandra Park works closely with Aspirer Research School in Macclesfield to
engage schools from a wider area.
How this is achieved:
● summarising the best available evidence in plain language for busy, time-
poor teachers and senior leaders. The Teaching and Learning Toolkit is
now used by 70% of secondary schools.
● generating new evidence of ‘what works’ to improve teaching and learning,
funding independent evaluations of high-potential projects. The EEF have
tested over 190 high-potential programmes with over 1.3 million children
and young people and their most promising programmes have enabled
students to make +3 months of additional progress in a year.
● supporting teachers and senior leaders across the country in using this
evidence to achieve the maximum possible benefit for young people.
Over a number of years, Alexandra Park has developed an evidenced-based
approach to school improvement, an approach recently acknowledged in our 2019
Leaders have a strong vision for the school and ensure that all decisions are
based on the findings of rigorous research.
We have a team of highly experienced and skilled teachers, who view research as
an integral part of improving teaching and learning. As a school we are highly
experienced in using Lesson Study and Teacher Research Groups, and these have
been a key ingredient in developing our own practice. We employ a Research Lead,
Hayley Wood, who leads our staff and colleagues across the region to put research
into practice and make better use of evidence. The Associate Research School is led
by Phil Brooke, headteacher, and Claire Williams, deputy headteacher. Both are
experienced teachers and school leaders who have worked across the primary age
range. Phil and Claire are both Maths Specialist Teachers, SLEs and Mastery Leads
working for the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics)
delivering training and providing school to school support across Stockport and
Greater Manchester. For the last four years, Claire has also supported schools in
their school improvement journey, specialising in Maths, Poverty Proofing and Pupil
Premium. Phil is passionate about professional development and has a wealth of
experience implementing Professional Development models that develop learning
cultures and embed evidence-informed practice.
If you would like to find out more about our work or how to get involved, please email
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