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Sharing internal Action Research

We are very lucky to have many talented, passionate and dedicated staff at Putney High School. Many of them are now engaging in Action Research and two very kindly gave up their time to share their insights with the Teaching + Learning group in November:

  • Danielle Deschamps - "Does resilience training increase the academic resilience of Year 7 students with SEN?"

  • Dr. Vana Avgerinou - "Early knowledge of numbers: path or barrier to understanding fractions and decimals?"

Danielle spoke first about the Penn Resilience Programme - a non-profit entity who are specialists in training schools to help their children and young people be resilient - and how she used their methods to help develop, track and measure resilience in Year 7 students with SEN needs.

Vana then spoke about her PhD work on: Why are fractions and decimals so difficult for children? And if Mathematical tasks are often accompanied by illustrations, whether this mode of presentation help children or does it increase cognitive load?

Both provided fascinating outcomes but the key takeaways from both are:

  • Danielle:

  • All students scored above 80% in resilience factors by the end of the lessons

  • All students have increased in their overall Academic Resilience by the end of the lessons

  • Vana:

  • Adding illustrations to mathematical tasks can increase cognitive load and result in slower processing, especially when the information presented is split between text and illustration

  • Children should be encouraged to take their time in answering challenging questions rather than answering quickly, especially questions that are inconsistent with their existing schema.

What is exciting for us at Putney High School is the wealth and richness of the research that is now being conducted. Staff are engaging with research that they are passionate about and which relates directly to their role in the school and how they can impact the students. We have our student outcomes - both pastoral and academic - always at the heart of everything we do and these two projects are just two examples of that ever growing pool of research.

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