The launch event, for all 10 schools, took place on 18th June at Bath Spa University. Presentations were given on the work of the CPRT, supporting education in the arts and creativity through CPRT Research Schools, and action research. Invited speakers also shared inspiring projects from 5x5x5= creativity. The schools were aided in identifying research questions and possible methods, in accordance with CPRT priorities, as well as considering ethics and potential challenges within their settings. Opportunities were highlighted for gaining M-level accreditation in connection to the research and schools were invited to join the EEF-funded Research Learning Communities project. The event was received positively by the participating schools, as the following feedback exemplifies:
“We are very excited to be part of this project as it puts us in touch with people who are involved in some of the most interesting research into the present state of primary education in this country, and to learn from what they have discerned. It also offers us the opportunity to take a professional approach to our own development, both personally, as part of a school team and as a community of schools.” (Helen Edwards, Deputy Head, Tidcombe Primary School).
The current phase of SW Research Schools programme will run for the next 10 months. In November 2014, we will meet with schools for an ‘analytic reflective practice session’ at each respective University, where initial findings and interpretations will be shared. In April 2015, there will be a dissemination event at the University of Exeter, which will be open to other schools and academic colleagues interested in learning from this research and CPRT’s work more broadly. With the schools’ creative research plans there will be exciting times ahead and it is our aspiration to grow the network in the future, involving more schools and building on our existing partnerships.