Learning through Landscapes: Basic Need

The Basic Need for School Places challenge is one that is currently affecting a large number of schools across England and has the potential to affect school across the UK. For those schools that already have restricted space, the practicalities of taking on more pupils becomes an even harder and more complex one.

At LTL we are particularly concerned that many schools will feel that the only option they have is to place additional permanent or temporary classroom buildings onto their school play grounds or playing fields. This solution, whilst alleviating the capacity issue, means that many children are left with little or no space in which to learn and play outdoors.

With the help of our patron and supporter Sir David Attenborough we are looking to help schools find innovative solutions without reducing the footprint of the school’s outside spaces.

We have created guidance and support documents to help all those affected by these issues.



Video: Action research – School Matters series

Three case studies reveal the growing use of action research, a process where teachers assess teaching and learning to improve both teacher and student learning, in this whole-school video for primary and secondary teachers.

Each of these case studies highlights the way in which action research projects can work within a school and provides a valuable insight into the problems that various schools have faced.

St George’s Primary School in Birmingham started an action research project due to the high level of newly arrived children at the school. Their research led to the development of a welcome pack that gave children a defined focus for action.

At Colmore Infant and Nursery School in south Birimingham, reading at KS1 had been identified as a development priority for teachers. Their research project led to the introduction of a succesful bookmark scheme that encouraged more reading at home.

At Douay Martyrs School in Middlesex, head of Year 11 Simon Cheale is engaged in action research as part of his school-based MA in education. His research is centred on a motivational scheme for improving boys’ performance at GCSE level.

http://www.teachersmedia.co.uk/videos/action-research – free login required to view

Think Like an Engineer

Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the
Inherent Values in The23181200m
by Mushtak Al-Atabi

Engineers conceive, design, implement, and operate (CDIO). ‘Think Like an Engineer’ presents CDIO and systematic thinking as a way to achieve the human potential. It explores how we think, feel and learn, and uses the latest brain research findings to help us unlock value and have a balanced life. The practical, easy to follow exercises given in the book can be used by individuals to improve their thinking and learning and by educators to empower their students to thrive for success.

Link to Amazon

Featured school: Dilkes Academy


Dilkes Academy

Dilkes Academy is a lead school which is used as the support mechanism for the Catalyst Academies Trust. This is a specialist primary sponsor, which is supported by a centrally based team of experts, whose roles cover school improvement, professional development and operations. Commitment to the collaborative dimension of the work is demonstrated by all senior leaders in both schools involved through time and resources allocated. As with Cordingley (2003) our research acknowledges that teachers needed to be at the heart of the work in order for it to be successfully maintained. Over the past 5  years the school has been involved in a number of in-house action research projects which have led to the development of the Dikes Best Methods Manual.

With the support of Expansive Education Dilkes Academy will continue to drive forward with its action research exploring the notion of developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ using work from Carol Dweck as well as Geoff Petty and John Hattie.

Dilkes which is part of  the Thurrock cluster of schools is staging its own innovative Teacher Awards ceremony in November and in the Summer of 2015 eedNET will be collaborating with them to publish the Thurrock Journal of Expansive education to showcase action research undertaken by its teachers.