Barcroft Primary places significant importance on continuing professional development. It is part of the ethos of the school and all staff are expected to engage with and contribute to staff training. Continuous professional development keeps staff at the fore front of new thinking and as a school we want to contribute to the wider debate on educational issues. If you are interested in any of our research projects please contact the school.

Below are some of our projects for 2020-21

Miss Fletcher is currently completing the NPQML course.

As part of this course, she has been carrying out a research project within school, focusing on Maths in Key Stage 1. The research project has specifically focused on improving the arithmetic skills of pupils in Key Stage 1, as this is a key aspect of Maths that pupils need to embed in order to support their mathematical knowledge as they progress through education. A range of strategies have been implemented including daily arithmetic warm ups, half-termly arithmetic quizzes and the use of arithmetic apps. The results from this research will aid the implementation of additional strategies that will further support pupil’s arithmetic skills.

Mr Johnson is currently completing the NPQSL

My project is to develop and enhance the ‘graduated approach’ across the school to ensure consistent application of the SEND code of practice and local requirements. This will begin by ensuring teachers are skilled in providing all children with quality first teaching in the classroom as the first layer of our assess, plan, do review process. This project will seek to ensure identification of need and appropriate support and provision for all pupils at the earliest possible stage leading to enhanced outcomes across the school.

The key elements of the project are:

· High quality CPD for all staff based on a review of skills and knowledge to ensure that training and development are linked very clearly to need

· Strong relationships with parents built and maintained so that they become partners in coproduction of support plans for their child(ren) and have a voice in how the SEND policy is shaped

· Robust monitoring of provision to ensure a consistent high quality approach for all children no matter where they are in school

· Pupils having a leading voice in their provision and in assessing progress and planning for the future

Mrs Edwards is currently completing the NPQSL

My project, is leading and delivering the introduction and implementation of three strands of intervention for reading and maths, in line with the National Tutoring Programme, in order to reduce pupil variation. The NTP is a government funded initiative, developed to support schools in responding to the immediate challenge of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic and to provide a longer-term contribution to closing the attainment gap. Research suggests that the impact of a prolonged absence from school and teaching have widened the attainment gap by between 11% to 75% with a recent study by the EEF suggesting 36%, thus reversing progress made by schools so far.

Barcroft’s school development plan, has identified this area and specifically focuses on reducing the attainment gap through carefully targeted interventions and raising awareness. The focus of the research project therefore supports the development plan for the school. This will be achieved by working with high quality partners, developing teaching and learning within school and raising awareness in order to support pupils and reduce variation in attainment.

Mr Evison is currently completing the NPQML

The aim of my project is to raise the proportion of pupils achieving age expected attainment in science by implementing, embedding and monitoring the use of questioning as a strategy to deepen learning. Due to the success of Marlo as a character to symbolise mastery in maths at Barcroft, I wanted to take a similar approach to Science. I have integrated 'Curious George' as a character to highlight further learning and a deeper understanding in Science. This project is completely unique to Barcroft and our children view this high-level questioning as exciting and demonstrate tackling a problem with a growth-mind-set. I have taken each national curriculum objective for Year 3/4 and created a bank of questions that staff can use. Staff are choosing questions relevant to their learning objective and using them as part of their lesson. In lockdown, we have continued our use of Curious George questions in Science to ensure a consistent approach and to promote high-level questioning. We are using baseline assessments and summative assessments at the end of each science unit to track progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the questioning

Miss Phillips is currently completing the NPQSL

Barcroft Primary School has a total of 15% with identified SEND needs and 3% of pupils with an EHCP. This is approximately in line with national average. 32% of pupils are pupil premium and this has been a key focus with regards to progress throughout whole school. This figure is significantly above National which was 15.4% in 2019.

Willenhall is ranked 5879 out of 32844 of most deprived areas in England which places Barcroft serving amongst the top 20% most deprived areas in England.

Based on previous data, across whole school, writing has been consistently weaker, including a wide variation of results across SEND and pupil premium children. This is also an area which is being addressed on the SEND action plan for the new academic year lead by the SENDCO.

As a result, I will complete the NPQSL programme as a means to reduce variations across writing assessments between those children with SEND/Pupil premium status, compared to those without; whilst improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of support given by support staff.

This will be done through high quality CPD and supporting teaching assistants, pupils and parents through the writing process. A variety of resources will be used to engage pupils and scaffold the writing process. The objective is to narrow the gap between the disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.

Mrs Poole is currently completing the NPQH

For my project I will be looking at our whole school data/ pupil premium expenditure, to ensure that we raise the attainment for our most disadvantaged pupils. This project will incorporate the publishing of a school strategy that would highlight the key barriers faced by our most vulnerable children (including strategies for our most able).

The aim is to carefully place pupil premium fund, ensuring that it has the maximum impact on pupil outcomes & progress. I will deliver support & training to enhance staff awareness & understanding of the Pupil Premium Strategy. My intent is to work alongside middle leaders, our teaching body & our school governance - with establishing a clear vision for pupil development of our most disadvantaged pupils. This will incorporate establishing a personalised / customised strategy for each Pupil Premium child, responding to their own personal barriers, strengths & learning styles. The customised strategy would also incorporate each pupil premium child to have a projected pathway that would enable them to succeed as they journey through school.


Why should we care about primary science?

Pupils should be inspired by their first formal educational encounters with science at primary school. Primary science should develop pupils’ understanding of the world, nurture their curiosity and teach essential skills, including enquiry, observation, prediction, analysis, reasoning and explanation.Replace with further content or remove this additional text...

Science provides a ‘motivating context’ for pupils to develop and improve skills in many areas, including literacy and mathematics. Children start to develop perceptions about whether science is ‘for them’ towards the end of primary school. It is therefore essential that all primary school pupils experience inspiring science that builds their understanding of the value and place of science in their lives. This will lay the bedrock for their future studies, enable them to make well-informed decisions in our increasingly hi-tech world and give them access to a wide range of rewarding careers.

As the future economy will require a larger proportion of the workforce to possess high levels of scientific and technological skill, we need more students to continue to study science subjects beyond the statutory curriculum and move into related employment. If more pupils are enthused to study science, starting at the primary level, this will help secure our economic future. Science is a core and compulsory subject for all primary school pupils.

As schools deliver the new national curriculum for science (which became statutory in England from September 2014), leaders have the chance to ensure that this subject is placed at the heart of primary teaching.


(Taken from a Wellcome Trust paper entitled ‘Primary Science: Is it missing out?’)

Image result for Wellcome Trust paper entitled ‘Primary Science: Is it missing out


Lego Therapy

LEGO®-Based Therapy


LEGO®-based therapy was created by psychologist Daniel LeGoff, who noticed that children with autism were more interested in interacting together when through the medium of LEGO® play materials. LEGO®-based therapy was established as a group intervention to promote social competence in children with autism and related conditions.   LEGO®-Based Therapy is a collaborative, play based intervention designed to improve social competence in children through the development of social skills. Small groups will work together on a weekly basis which will provide opportunities for children to practise skills such as turn-taking, listening, sharing ideas, communication, compromise, problem solving and shared attention. This opportunity aims to identify and promote social, communication and play skills and will focus on the existing strengths of the children to develop the appropriate social competence skills. 

For further information please visit the following sites: LEGO®-based therapy information and training (including Training for Trainers) Online hub for research, resources, training, and conversation International LEGO® Therapy Advocacy for children with autism Case study written following a year long pilot study using LEGO®-based therapy Information, resources, training and links  about LEGO®-based therapy

Fundamental British Values

Fundamental British Values (FBV) are integral to teaching and learning in every maintained school since the publication of the policy ‘Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools’ in November 2014. According to the British Educational Research Journal, (Janmaat, 2018), this policy also formed part of the government’s counter-terrorism ‘Prevent’ strategy. The purpose of this document is to prevent the radicalisation of children and young people.

What are the Fundamental British Values? According to Ofsted, the key elements of FBV are democracy; the rule of law; liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs and for those with no belief.

Through teaching and learning at Barcroft primary, teachers and support staff aim to incorporate the elements of SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural) and FBV values. Barcroft Primary is familiar with the importance of SMSC as well as FBV and make sure they are making links throughout the creative curriculum. Teachers, teaching assistants and the school governors have recently undertaken ‘Prevent’ training to keep them up to date with policies and procedures. Furthermore, it is to empower all adults working with children and young people with the knowledge of ‘what to do’ in the event of identifying extremist views as well as vulnerable children who are at risk of being radicalised.

Our aim is to keep our children safe; to make them aware and tolerant of different faiths and beliefs through the teaching of PSHE and RE. Children are able to have a voice; an opinion through our regular School Council meetings. They understand by making links with the wider community. Our School Council visited the ‘Houses of Parliament’ last year and hopefully the new members of the School Council will have that same opportunity this year as this helped them understand what it means to be part of a democratic society and the need for our British laws.

How can the parents of our children help and support the Fundamental British Values? As we live in a multi-cultural society, we hope that parents and guardians can help us educate our children to be the best citizens that they can be; to be tolerant of others, regardless of race or religion; to have an opinion but to be respectful of the opinion of others’ and those that may be different to ours; to know what is morally wrong and what is acceptable.

Your children are the future. Through the teaching of SMSC and FBV, the children will have a better understanding of the world around them. 


Why is Geography important?


Geography opens individuals to the world which holds beauty, infinite complexity and challenges for people of all abilities. Geography is the subject which opens the door to this dynamic world and prepares each one of us for the role of global citizen in the 21st century (QCA, 1999).


“A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.” (National Curriculum, 2013).

Having geographical knowledge helps individuals analyse world events, make rational decisions, understand basic physical systems of everyday life, like implications of the solar system on climate, water cycles, ocean currents, etc.

Studying geography supports the knowledge about different places on Earth and how they relate with each other. Usually, starting in Early Years and learning about your home, community, region, country, continent, brings their location at the centre and how it all relates together.

Children learn about the importance about becoming a good citizen. It allows children to appreciate important events that influence the world around them, support decision making using the resources that are available and helps children ask relevant questions about the world they live in. An informed citizen makes an informed future leader.

Geography allows children to make and appreciated the historical aspects that have changed within their immediate settings. They are able to understand the historical changes in land and climate, the rise and fall of civilisations.

With close links to Science children discover the relationship between human beings and the natural environment, the weather, our footprint on the Earth and global conservation.

Teacher Research. 

Mr Bhatti has conducted a research study in Nursery focusing on the extent to which children experience risk in their play. The research was focused upon risk-taking and how confident children are with taking risks. A fairly new type of play has been deemed as 'risky play' which encourages risk-taking and providing children with opportunities for risky play. The research conducted at our school has found that incorporating more risky play and opportunities for risk-taking into the Nursery outdoor environment has really improved the children's resilience, behaviour and independence. They are learning how to cope with and manage risks and this can support in preparing them for real life risks when they grow up. The children have also found it beneficial using loose parts, more natural materials and real life tools in their play. The EYFS outdoor area is continuously being improved and this research has supported in assessing the impact of risky play in our school and has also improved the quality of our children's play.

NPQH Research.

The percentage of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium funding at our school is above the national average. Our school is in the top 20% of disadvantaged areas in the country.  Historically, pupils from disadvantaged homes have achieved less well than their peers, both at our school and Nationally. Raising attainment is a school priority in the SDP, and so is science more specifically, due to Key Stage 2 results being below National for the last three years. As well as positively impacting upon Pupil Premium pupils, the improvement priority will benefit all pupils, regardless of background.

The priority chosen was to raise attainment in science for all pupils, but also for more able pupil premium pupils. I led on and monitored this initiative and the aim was to improve the standard attained by pupils as well as creating a programme of individualised intervention that improved outcomes and raised aspirations for these pupils. Furthermore, I aimed to improve teaching and learning of science across school through up-skilling staff and making external links.

Bullock (1975) stated that, ‘First, standards in teaching must be forever improving, because expectations continue to rise.’ I researched teaching further and found that over the past few decades, researchers have consistently reported school leadership as critical in developing and sustaining the school-level conditions believed essential for instructional improvement (Rosenholtz, 1989; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; EEPA, Winter 2003). Teaching and leadership, therefore, go hand in hand in making successful and effective change. At Barcroft, we make our decisions based on research shown to make teaching and leadership, and therefore learning, more effective. We are continually reviewing our policies, approaches and strategies so that our vision of 'Children First' is at the heart of all we do. 



NPQ Research

As a part of Mrs Roberts's senior leadership qualification she led a research project to improve spelling across school. The project aimed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of spelling teaching, by supporting teachers in delivering well-paced and structured lessons and raising the profile of spelling for pupils, parents and staff. This would in turn help pupils to become confident spellers, fluent and efficient writers. The project was planned due to a decline in KS2 results for SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) in 2017. Spelling was also an issue identified in our school assessment and analysis has shown that often spelling strands hold pupils back from achieving the expected standard. This project provided opportunities to work with a local outstanding school and external advisors who led staff training and suggested strategies to support pupils. Some of the actions included running the Spelling Spectacular Challenge, a Spelling Bee Competition, engaging staff and parents in training events and subscribing to an online spelling application which pupils can use at home and at school.

NPQSL Research.

As part of her National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership, Mrs Braitch has been carrying out a study this year into reading. Please read on to find out more: 

"As part of the NPQSL project, I decided to focus on a project which would provide our school with an opportunity to implement a programme which focused on reading fluency and pace as this was a key priority for our school. Research shows that many pupils find it difficult to finish the end of Key Stage 2 reading tests in the permitted time. Therefore as part of the project, I decided to implement the speed readers programme which aims to develop reading skills and resilience when working within time limits. It is presented in the form of a points-based game, using exciting and stimulating texts that cover a wide range of interesting topics that develop reading speed skills, skimming and scanning skills as well as comprehension skills."