Research Informed Practice

We believe strongly that good quality educational research should help inform decisions taken around teaching and learning. Below are some principles that we align with from the world of research:


  • Performance and learning are not the same and are inversely related. It is hard to be able to judge progress in learning in one lesson – learning and progress happen over time (Sodestorm and Bjork 2015)
  • Students do not reliably know when they are learning and whether they know something (Kruger and Dunning 1999)
  • Working memory is finite and we can only absorb a limited amount of information at once. When we process information it gets stored in our long-term memory. Learning can be defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned. We organise information into schemata where memories are interconnected and recalled with ease. (Cognitive load theory- Sweller 1994)
  • Memory is boosted by regular opportunities for retrieval and recall alongside spaced and interleaved practice (Dunlosky et al, 2014, Roediger III et al, 2006)
  • Learners need challenge and for there to be ‘desirable difficulties’ in learning (Bjork 1992)
  • Suggestions for effective classroom practice have been set out as a result of reviewing research. Students also need to develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge as skills. This must not be reduced to, or confused with, simply memorising facts. (Rosenshine 2010)
  • Teaching someone in their ‘learning style’ does not lead to better results (Pashler et al, 2008)
  • Student performance is significantly increased if their teachers have passion and persistence (grit) for their job, bounce back from set-backs and have a high level of life satisfaction (Duckworth et al, 2009)