As set out in our initial bid, I expressed an interest in basing our research on developing Trio work across the alliance. I am now beginning to see how this might work and how we might end up with a really good piece of research based on it.
In short, I’d like to extend the kind of trio work we’ve been doing at Woodroffe (the kind of work other schools may have been doing anyway) across the alliance, using trios as the glue that binds the alliance together. There are lots of leadership issues here worth pursuing: the initial idea, the middle leadership issues involved in setting up the trios, issues around how the trios are led and evaluated and how what is learned is fed back. Also, how do we explore the impact of all this? And, of course, will this kind of working lead to improved pedagogy across all the schools in the alliance.
In addition, we can explore the co-leadership issues which we will uncover as two headteachers work together. One of the key issues will be around drawing the differing school cultures together – not to be underestimated I suspect.
The theme for the Trio work could be an extension of Prof. Gordon Stobart’s work on Expertise – we could ask trios to explore what expertise means in classroom teaching. This would give the Trios a real purpose and this is something applicable at all levels and in all schools.
We will be working with an excellent team of people, drawn from the research company ISOS partnership, Nottingham University and the NCSL R&D team. Our local contact will be Natalie Parish from ISOS and we will be working with three Cohort 1 schools, one of which is John Cabot in Bristol.
So, the next steps are as follows:
- We meet to discuss the project in detail and to draw up an outline plan
- We set up trios across the alliance – Jo Culham is beginning to work on this but we need names from the various schools. Even if we start with only a few cross alliance trios, that will be a good start.
- We do an initial audit of where we are now and where we want to get to.
- We monitor and extend the trio work, observing, interviewing etc. where necessary