Research & Development

Case Study - Pathfinder CPD Offer - "Effective and Evidenced" - A research document...      DOWNLOAD IT NOW

Case Study 2017


Research & Development at Pathfinder:

The Pathfinder TSA is actively involved in Research and Development as part of our commitment to providing innovative and forward thinking provision for our pupils.  We have begun to develop methodologies to implement evidence-based practice to inform classroom practice, and as a result improve students’ outcomes.

We believe that R&D underpins all the other strands of the Big Six, and will therefore be an important factor as we develop our ITT provision, CPD and Leadership programmes, SLE Training and School-to-School support. By using evidence based research we can be confident that our advice and guidance is accurate, robust and effective.

We are one of twenty schools actively involved in the RISE Project, a nation-wide two-year study evaluating the efficacy of a research-based approach to in-school interventions and policy decisions.  Furthermore, we have strong links with the Institute of Effective Education and have been accredited as a Research Partner School for the Education Endowment Foundation.

The role of research in education is gathering momentum and we hope to be at the leading edge of the campaign to close the gap between research findings, educational policy and pedagogical practice, giving teachers and schools the confidence to make firm decisions that will ultimately lead to successful students.

Any questions regarding our role in research or personal areas of interest, please contact our Research Lead, Tim Lister on


RISE Project

Archbishop Holgate’s School is one of 40 schools taking part in the nationwide RISE (Research-leads Improving Students’ Education) project, designed to assess the impact of a school having a dedicated Research-Lead in place. The project is the brain-child of Alex Quigley of Huntington School and is facilitated by the internationally renowned Education Endowment Foundation, meaning it is rigorous, professional and detailed.

The outcome of the project will be based upon exam data-sets of the 40 schools over two years (2014-15 and 2015-16), with the resulting paper published in the following year. It is hoped that the conclusions will help establish the efficacy of having a Research-Lead within every school or consortium.



Having offered Post-16 students a blended curriculum (a mixture of BTECs, Diplomas and A Levels) for several years, the school was well-placed to apply to lead on the pilot TechBacc programme. The focus of this new performance measure is on a suite of qualifications made up of the ‘technical subjects’, the EPQ, and a level 3 Maths qualification (e.g. AS Level Mathematics, or Core Maths). Using our BTEC in Engineering as a leader of best practice, the subjects aim to involve industry and higher education as much as possible in preparing the students for careers in the technical workplace.


Maths Hub

Archbishop Holgate’s School is working closely with Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub, led by Harrogate Grammar. As an established leader in delivering blended curricula preparing pupils for the workplace it made sense for the school to head up the working party on Core Maths and increasing Post-16 participation. As lead school in the Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance, we are also encouraging our strategic partners to develop research projects that may be eligible for funding from the Maths Hub.


Core Maths   

As part of our commitment to trialling new courses and initiatives, the school has taken the lead on the new Level 3 Core Maths qualification. At the start of the year we were invited to become an ‘Early Adopter’ and pilot the AQA version of the qualification called Mathematical Studies.

Aimed at maintaining and extending the numeracy of students who have achieved a C or better in their GCSE, but are not taking the Maths AS or A Level, the qualification was developed to bring England and Wales in line with successful countries in the PISA rankings where all students study mathematics up to 18. While Core Maths will prepare a student looking to study a degree in the social sciences, a humanity, computing, or engineering, it also seeks to challenge students to apply their skills to real-world problems.

It also fulfils the maths component of the new TechBacc along with EPQ and one of the Technical qualifications (IT, Engineering, Art, Arborology, etc).


EEF Overview and Link

The Education Endowment Foundation is an internationally renowned education research organisation, most well-known for the ‘Teachers Toolkit’. The powerful resource seeks to list a range of intervention areas (e.g. class size, metacognition, use of Teaching Assistants, etc) and rank them according to measured impact, cost, and reliability of research. Any educational professional can access this huge review of available research and use it to inform policy decision within their own institution.

Thanks to our work in the RISE Project we have been designated an EEF Research Partner School and look forward to further collaborations in the near future.

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