Kingsbridge Institute of Learning

part of Community First Academy Trust

Research & Development

Kingsbridge Institute of Learning has a close working relationship with Blackpool Research School. Blackpool Research School at St Mary’s Catholic Academy is part of the wider Research School Network

Kingsbridge Institute of Learning is committed to their role in supporting teachers and leaders to engage in and with research evidence:

  • We respond to developments in research evidence
  • We disseminate evidence updates and exemplify them in practice within our schools. 
  • We endeavour to engage with and design research projects with a particular focus on narrowing the gap.  
  • We refer to the EEF for promising projects that are recruiting participants 
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The Research Schools Network, supported by the EEF, has one central aim: to support schools to break the link between family income and education attainment through better use of evidence. The Research Schools in our network do this by working with schools, colleges, and early years settings in their region to improve teaching and learning.

High quality teaching is one of the most powerful levers we have for improving outcomes for all children and young people, but particularly those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Using research evidence can help to support effective practice. Research Schools help bridge the gap between research and practice. Research Schools provide support to schools, colleges, and early years settings to access, understand, and apply evidence, to improve quality of teaching and learning, especially for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

At Kingsbridge Institute of Learning, we share this view and continually keep up to date with developments in evidence through the EEF guidance reports and evidence reviews. This is to ensure that we disseminate this knowledge and awareness of evidence informed practice across and beyond the Wigan borough through our regular breakfast briefings and speaker led sessions.  

The Research and Development Lead at Kingsbridge Institute of Learning, Charlotte Hindley, is designated as an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE) by Blackpool Research School. As an ELE, Charlotte contributes to evidence-informed school improvement through disseminating and communicating evidence to schools; demonstrating how evidence can be translated into classroom practice and delivering CPD through conferences, twilights and training days. You can find out more about her role as an ELE by clicking here and her experience as a teacher researcher by clicking here.

Exemplification of Evidence

Here you can find links to recent blogs from our ELE, Charlotte Hindley, that communicate how evidence can be translated into classroom practice.

Feedback to Improve Writing: How carefully planned feedback can be used to improve writing at KS1/2 (click here to access blog) 

Reading Fluency: Ways to explicitly teach fluency to provide students with the foundations for having strategic reading behaviour (click here to access blog) 

To talk or not to talk? It depends on the question! How can teachers ensure that talk is purposeful and not just conversation? (click here to access blog)  


Our Engagement in Research

Research Circle 

We collaborated with Edge Hill University on a Research Circle project to explore the best way to support children under five, and their families, with communication, language and literacy.  We recognised that children's first teachers are their parent or carer, and we know that effective parental engagement approaches can be particularly beneficial for children and young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Our findings, following the research circle project have been published and shared in the Chartered College of Teaching's Impact magazine - accessible by clicking here.

Randomised Control Trials: Neuroscience

Kingsbridge prioritising being involved in research as well as engaging with it. We have continued to engage in a number of EEF trials and have experience developing teacher-led research opportunities. We were involved in a project, led by the Wellcomm Trust and Richard Churches, whereby we collaborated with neuroscientists to design and implement teacher-led, randomised control trials. Further information about the project can be sourced by clicking here.

Our RCTs focused upon aspects of Retrieval practice that are founded in Neuroscience. For more information regarding the trials, please click the links below:

We can highly-recommend two books which were central to the design of of our research: 

  • Teacher-Led Research by Richard Churches and Eleanor Dommet
  • Neuroscience for teachers by Richard Churches, Eleanor Dommet and Ian Devonshire

Randomised Control Trials: Attendance & Small Group Tuition

We have designed and implemented a further randomised control trial entitled, 'Attend Today; Achieve Tomorrow' in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Learning Partnership (GMLP). Research evidence, from the EEF, highlighted that a free universal, before-school breakfast club delivered an average of +2 months additional progress for pupils in Reading, Writing and Maths (EEF:2018). Following its success, the DfE made the decision to continue developing this project with a focus on disadvantaged areas. Evidence also showed that small group tuition is effective, especially in Reading, as pupils receive greater feedback and engagement is high (EEF: 2018). As there was no research about how small group tuition could be used to enhance breakfast club provision, our intention was to explore whether we could raise attainment and improve attendance through the introduction of Breakfast Club provision and small group reading tuition. We explored the impact of these enhancements in a range of primary school settings. Please click here to view our poster for information about our trial design and results.

We collaborated with a group of educators, scientists and researchers to explore opportunities to bridge the gap between these fields of study in order to bring about evidence based improvements in Teaching and Learning practice. As part of this collaboration,  we co-authored an article that has been published in Mind, Brain and Education journal which explores strategies to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners and analyses the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to these effective partnerships. Link to journal article: 

Our Previous Research Projects

We have been a part of National Research on "Closing the Gap".  Results of the 2 year study are now available, please click here.

Another project explored 'Test to Learn' and whether spelling tests were worth doing. Our preliminary study into the effects of a weekly spelling tests indicate that pupils who have a weekly spelling test remember more words taught than pupils who do not have a test. As this was a preliminary study we are now repeating the research with an increased number of pupils from years 3 to 6.  Please click here for more information.