THE CLARENDON SCHOOL
BPRS BIDS 2001-2002
I have made two successful BPRS bids over the past two academic years,
the first I have worked on this year and the second I will complete next
year. This has turned out to be the most exciting period of my professional
career, and I wish to share some of my motivations with you.
I was introduced to BPRS by Sarah Fletcher at the University of Bath
just over a year ago. At first, I decided that it would be good to do,
but did not fully understand where it would take me. Now, I am about to
start my second piece of research, leading to 2 units in a Masters, paid
for by the government. My first enquiry will be complete in a few months,
and has already helped me improve my practice. I will post my enquiry
on this site when it is complete. In the meantime, please feel free to
look through my bids, and email me if you have anything to add!
My first bid
This time last year I had been working for one year as an ITT mentor,
and I saw much that could be improved in the system of training a novice
teacher in school. My main idea concerned the development of a system
of communal mentoring, where each teacher in the Faculty was responsible
for a certain aspect of the novice teacher's training. Such a system would
enable the novice teacher to learn form the best practice of all members
of the Faculty and not just the mentor.
My research involves the development of an effective system that will
help other mentors working with the University of Bath. It is just the
start of something much bigger, as I intend this particular bid to form
the basis of my first educational enquiry.
When you bid for BPRS funding, you have to fill out a form and answer
8 questions, as well as set out your expenditure for the year. I have
included the questions as well as my answers, and my proposals for spending
the £2,500 of funding.
Now for the successful bid ...
ANTHONY KELLY: BEST PRACTICE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP
BID MAY 2001
RESEARCH AREA: ITT MENTORING
QUESTION: HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY MANAGEMENT OF COMMUNAL
MENTORING FOR ITT WITHIN MY FACULTY?
At Clarendon School, we operate a system of communal mentoring, whereby
the novice teacher works with as many members of the faculty as possible
to give them a broader training. I took over as ITT mentor in September
2000, and I believe this system of mentoring to be the most effective.
However, I have many reservations about the organisation of this type
of mentoring, and I felt that the novice teacher often felt pulled in
different directions, to the possible detriment of student learning.
I have worked closely with Sarah Fletcher, Lecturer in Education at
the University of Bath, and I consider ITT mentoring to be the area in
which I wish to specialise in the future. I am currently embarking on
an MA, and wish this research to form part of the same.
1) WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF YOUR RESEARCH?
I wish to research ways in which to better coordinate communal mentoring
in my faculty. This year, we worked with two novice teachers, and I coordinated
the ITT process so that the novices worked with every member of the faculty
to gain the broadest experience possible. Over the year, I observed that
the system often faltered, with both novice teacher and experienced teacher
feeling pulled in many different directions, to the possible detriment
of student learning.
I wish for the system of communal mentoring to continue, but it needs
to be better coordinated in the future. I have communicated with other
mentors in my school and in schools in the local area, and it has become
clear to me this is a widespread issue. I intend that the ITT process
be of the greatest benefit possible for all parties involved in my faculty.
I believe that novice teachers and experienced teachers potentially have
much to gain from the ITT process, but at the moment this is not being
fully realised. Furthermore, effective coordination of the ITT process
will ensure that student learning is not only secure, but actually enriched.
2) HOW WILL YOUR RESEARCH HELP YOU TO RAISE STANDARDS?
I wish to research ways in which to raise standards in ITT in the following
* The Modern Languages ITT mentor needs to be able to meet the following
standards in the most efficient possible way, enabling them to become
a more effective mentor without putting too much stress on their time
and classroom teaching.
* The novice teacher needs to be properly trained by the Modern Languages
ITT mentor at the start of their main teaching practice. They will need
to know how to get the best from the diverse training that is on offer
at the school, and how to communicate effectively with the experienced
teachers to identify those areas of their training that will be best fulfilled
through each teacher and each class.
* The experienced teacher needs to be properly trained in needs identification
and how to ensure that the novice teacher is receiving the best training
possible whilst enriching student learning. Furthermore, the experienced
teacher has a lot to gain from the input of a novice teacher in their
own professional development.
* Students potentially have much to gain from the input of a novice
teacher, and the new ideas which they bring. The ITT process needs to
focus specifically on student learning from the start.
3) WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OR HOPED FOR OUTCOMES OF YOUR RESEARCH?
The expected and hoped for outcomes will be as follows:
*Student learning will be enriched through the ITT process, and standards
of learning will be at the very least equal to those gained under the
* The novice teacher will receive the best and broadest training possible
through an effective system of communal mentoring in the faculty.
* The experienced teacher will be able to operate more effectively and
independently and their strengths will be identified for the benefit of
* The results of the research will be shared with other faculties and
local schools through the University of Bath Department of Education.
4) HOW WILL YOU INVESTIGATE THIS ISSUE OR PROBLEM? WHAT RESEARCH
METHODS OR DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES WILL YOU USE?
Initially I will need to interview both verbally and through
questionnaire novice teachers from this academic year and all the staff
involved in the training. I wish to find out where they think improvements
could be made and which areas they felt to be more successful. After putting
this information together, I wish to consult with mentors from other schools
in the local area at University mentor sessions to gain a broader range
In September 2001, I will need to study this information, and put together
a training system that will address the issues raised. I will need to
use the University library and have training time with my mentor to do
During the year, I will need to monitor closely the work being done
by the novice teachers through discussion with staff at faculty meetings
and discussion with novice teachers at weekly mentor sessions. Classroom
observation will also form a key part of this investigation, and I will
observe each class taught by the novice teacher at least once.
At the end of the training, I can then interview all parties involved
either verbally or through questionnaire in order to evaluate the effectiveness
of the training.
5) HOW LONG WILL YOUR RESEARCH TAKE?
This is a pilot study for the academic year 2001/2002, and I intend to
build on it in the future as part of my MA. I will need to undertake some
preparatory research during the rest of this academic year, and I will
use my own time and resources to do this. My research next year will follow
09/01 Literature based research at the University of Bath including one
training session with my mentor to put the training package together before
the novice teachers arrive.
10/01- Ongoing research into the effectiveness of the 06/02 training
as it is being delivered, including faculty time, mentor meetings, two
visits by my mentor and classroom observation.
06/02- Interviews of all parties involved by means of 07/02 questionnaire
and verbal communication, and the evaluation of the research together
with my mentor at the University.
09/02- Dissemination of research findings and identification of further
6) HOW WILL YOU MONITOR YOUR OWN LEARNING THROUGH THE RESEARCH?
I intend this research to form part of my MA, so I intend to fully monitor
my own learning through the research. I will keep notes on the development
process of the training, and through wider reading and working closely
with my mentor, I will constantly monitor and adapt the changes I have
introduced and assess the effectiveness of the same. As Modern Languages
ITT mentor, I need to learn how to be a better mentor and how to coordinate
the system of communal mentoring in the most efficient and effective way.
I intend my own learning in this area to continue beyond the initial one
year study. I will gain from the experience of a wide range of professionals,
at my school, at other schools in the local area and at the University
of Bath. I will use the feedback I gain from all parties to inform the
development of the research and therefore my own learning.
7) HOW DO YOU INTEND TO EVALUATE YOUR RESEARCH?
My research will be evaluated as thoroughly as possible through active
contact with all parties involved. I will observe each class with which
the novice teacher is working and engage in focussed discussions of the
experiences of both novice teacher and experienced teacher. I will meet
on a weekly basis with the novice teachers to discuss their experiences
and compare them to other schools and the experiences of the novice teachers
from this year. I will meet on a monthly basis with other members of my
faculty to evaluate our system of communal mentoring and consider improvements
that could be made along the way. New ideas will also be gained from the
school mentor meetings held every half term to gain ideas from other faculties.
I will meet on a half-term basis with other mentors from local schools
at the University of Bath mentor development sessions to share experiences
and compare the training at different schools. I will meet 4 times in
the year with my mentor, alongside fortnightly email contact, to evaluate
the research. Two of these meetings will be in school and will involve
meetings with other staff and lesson observation. At the end of the academic
year, I will work together with my mentor to put together best practice
guidelines that can be shared with other professionals.
8) HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO DISSEMINATE YOUR RESEARCH FINDINGS TO OTHER
I have mentioned a variety of ways to do this in my response to previous
questions, but I will sum them up in a more coherent manner:
*I will share my findings with other faculty members through allocated
time at faculty meetings.
*I will share my findings with other faculties through meeting with their
ITT mentors at school-based mentor development sessions.
*I will share my findings with other schools through the mentor development
sessions held every half term at the University of Bath.
*I will share my findings with other schools in the local area by incorporating
them into the University of Bath Teacher Research Network.
1. Two full day school visits by Sarah Fletcher.
£500 per day + travel (40p per mile) and subsistence.
2. Two half day sessions with Sarah Fletcher at University.
£250 for each half day + travel (40p per mile) and subsistence.
TOTAL £1,750 APPROX.
1. Supply cover at £20 per hour
2. Access to library and purchase of books and reference materials.
3. Photocopying and postage and other materials.
4. Travel costs.
TOTAL £750 APPROX.
My second bid
My second bid is part of a joint bid with three other teachers from the
Clarendon School. We decided to get together and make a bid to follow
on form the work of the highly successful learning group at the school.
We wanted our bids to focus on ÎachievementÌ, and I immediately decided
my focus would be on boys under-achievement in Modern Languages. This
is an area that I have tried and failed to address over the first 5 years
of my teaching career. Maybe there is no solution, and maybe we are fighting
a losing battle. I personally do not believe this to be the case, and
I will spend the next year focussed on one KS4 class to see if my research
makes a difference.
I wish to learn as much as possible from the good practice in my own
Faculty, as well as that in other schools in the local area. I will then
share my findings on this site, which will be ready at the end of 2003.
In the meantime, I will be making regular postings on this site concerning
boys under-achievement in Modern Languages, and your comments will always
be most welcome. My email is at the top of the document.
My second BPRS bid will pay for 2 units of a Masters, one of which will
be an educational enquiry and the other will be a taught course at the
University. The Educational enquiry will focus on the content of last
years BPRS bid and take it further. I hope to secure BPRS funding for
a third year so this current enquiry can go forward for Masters accreditation.
These are exciting times!
Now, here is successful bid number 2...
BEST PRACTICE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP BID
HOW DO I RAISE THE ACHIEVEMENT OF BOYS IN MY KEY STAGE 4 MODERN LANGUAGE
1. WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF YOUR RESEARCH?
At Clarendon School, boys and girls have a roughly equal grade prediction
in Modern Languages when they arrive in Year 7. However, by Year 11, girls
achieve much higher results in the subject, in fact, most of our top grades
over the past 5 years have come from girls.
It is my intention to raise achievement for boys in my Key Stage 4 Modern
Languages lessons by looking at strategies to challenge and motivate boys
in particular, without adversely affecting achievement for girls over
the same period.
The results of this research will be shared with colleagues in my faculty
and with other faculties in the local area through the University of Bath
Teacher Research Network.
2. HOW WILL YOUR RESEARCH HELP YOU TO RAISE STANDARDS?
It is clear from our results that we are not doing enough to motivate
and challenge boys in our faculty. I intend to study various strategies
for raising achievement for boys in Modern Languages and apply a selection
of them in my teaching. I will gather these strategies from literature
and from observing the learning of boys in local schools where boys achieve
higher grades, in particular those methods employed at our Beacon School,
John Bentley Language College in Calne, Wiltshire.
By constantly monitoring the learning of boys in my groups compared to
previous groups where these methods have not been employed, I can assess
the success of these methods and share my findings with colleagues for
By learning from others, I intend to raise the achievement of boys in
3. WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OR HOPED OUTCOMES OF YOUR RESEARCH?
The main outcome will be an increase in the proportion of boys in my
groups achieving top grades A* and A, and a parallel increase in the percentage
of boys achieving grades A* to C. These increases should be higher than
those for the school as a whole.
I expect to discover methods of learning that are extremely successful
for boys, and to discover others that do not work so well. In this way,
I can share with my colleagues a small group of methods that they could
use in their teaching, rather than confuse them with too much theory that
they will be less likely to employ.
4. HOW WILL YOU INVESTIGATE THE ISSUE OR PROBLEM? WHAT RESEARCH
METHODS OR DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES WILL YOU USE?
Initially, I will spend much of this Summer term reading a wide selection
of the research that has already been done in this area. I also intend
to visit John Bentley Languages College to actively observe the teaching
and learning in Key Stage 4 language lessons. I wish to discover as many
strategies that work in practice as I can and develop a teaching plan
for my own Key Stage 4 lessons in 2002/2003.
At the Clarendon School, we are lucky to have an extremely wide range
of data collected on student achievement over the past 5 years. I intend
to monitor the achievement of the boys in my Key Stage 4 groups at various
key points in the year and make detailed comparisons with those from previous
years. These key points will include Year 9 SAT results, Year 10 Christmas
and Summer examination results, and Year 11 trial and actual GCSE results.
I will be teaching three Key Stage 4 language groups next year, and have
two from this year and two from last year for detailed comparison.
By the time GCSE results come out in August 2002, I will have a detailed
picture of the real achievement of boys in my groups where new methods
have been employed. Furthermore, I can use my own professional judgement
over the year as to the success of each method in a classroom situation.
5. HOW LONG WILL YOUR RESEARCH TAKE?
This is to be a pilot study for the academic year 2002/2003, and I intend
to build on it in the future as part of my MA. After the one year pilot
study, I intend to share my findings with other MFL teachers in my school
and other faculties in the local area through the Bath University Teacher
Research Network. In faculty meetings and through this network, teachers
can learn from my experiences and put some of them into practice themselves,
thus raising the general awareness of the issue locally and raising achievement
beyond the confines of my own classroom walls.
6. HOW WILL YOU MONITOR YOUR OWN LEARNING THROUGH THE RESEARCH?
I intend this research to form part of my MA, so I intend to fully monitor
my own learning through the research. The aim of the research is to raise
the achievement of boys in Key Stage 4 languages, and I have much to learn
in this area as girls have consistently performed better than boys in
GCSE results in my groups.
I will constantly adapt my own teaching according to the data and according
to my professional judgement on learning in my groups. I intend to use
the most successful methods in my teaching in the future, therefore enabling
my own teaching to be more effective and student learning to improve.
7. HOW DO YOU INTEND TO EVALUATE YOUR RESEARCH?
My research will be evaluated as thoroughly as possible through constant
monitoring of data at various stages in student learning. I will compare
results gained by boys in my groups with those gained in the past at the
following key points:
* Year 9 SAT examinations
* Year 10 Christmas examinations
* Year 10 Summer examinations
* Year 11 trial GCSE examinations
* Year 11 GCSE examinations
I will have data from 5 groups at Key Stage 4, all at different levels
Furthermore, by using my own professional judgement in the active classroom
situation, I will be able to properly assess the relative success of different
methods as I proceed with the research.
8. HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO DISSEMINATE YOUR RESEARCH FINDINGS TO OTHER
* Time devoted to my research at faculty meetings.
* Learning group at the Clarendon School.
* Bath University Teacher Research Network
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you with your