Kyra Research School has been working very closely with the Rotherham School Improvement Service (RoSIS) over the past year to support school development through research in the borough. In the Autumn Term 2017 Kyra partnered with RoSIS to organise and host a conference focused on strategies to ‘close the gap’ and raise the bar of achievement for disadvantaged pupils in the area. James Siddle and Juliet Brookes organised prestigious speakers to join in the conference and share their advice and wisdom. This included Steven Higgins of the EEF, the key figure behind the development of the famous ‘Teachers and Learning Toolkit’, and also Alex Quigley of the EEF, author of the book ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’. Kyra also ran workshops on the day and put together an ‘expert panel’ who discussed key strategies for closing the gap, and answered pertinent questions posed by attendees.
Kyra have also facilitated a number of workshops for a group of head teachers working across the Rotherham borough, led by James Siddle and Juliet Brookes. The workshops were put in place to train and support heads interested in undertaking research in their own schools as part of a borough wide research project with a focus on ‘closing the gap’ for disadvantaged pupils in the area of writing. The project is now underway across 35 schools in the Rotherham area, with 30 primary schools, 3 secondary schools and 2 special schools all taking part. It is testing the impact of self-regulatory learning on the rate of pupils’ progress in writing. Kyra Research School have been instrumental in setting the project up, which will run over a period of two years, and will also be providing on-going support for the head teachers involved.
Kyra’s work with RoSIS is set to continue, with a cohort for the Teacher-Led Research Programme. Kyra is also supporting RoSIS to deliver a programme focused on the development of Teaching Assistants, similar in approach to the Mobilise project, which has proved to be a great success across Lincolnshire.
Del Rew, Head of Education at RoSIS, explains “the Kyra Research School has been instrumental in helping us to provide the necessary information and training needed to support our schools in conducting research, in order to improve outcomes across the Rotherham borough. Our relationship with the Kyra Research School has proved to be very fruitful so far, and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the year ahead.”