Closing the Gap: Test & Learn Project

TVTSA Research and Development Project 2014-2015

The TVTSA  is currently involved in the first ever attempt to use randomised trials across over 200 Teaching School Alliances, involving over 30,000 students to trial strategies which will hopefully help ‘close the gap’ for the most vulnerable students.

Seven strategies were identified as likely to have the most impact on ‘Closing the Gap’. Schools were allocated their particular ‘intervention strategy’ in September 2013.

Tuxford Academy and East Leake Academy were allocated the 'Growth Mindset' strategy, based upon research by Carol Dweck which shows that teacher and pupil beliefs about intelligence impact on learning.

Pupils who believed that intelligence is innate (a ‘fixed mindset’) were less likely to persist in the face of difficulty; where they believed ability in a task could be improved (a ‘growth mindset’) they saw difficulty as a natural part of learning and persevered with the task. 

Growth Mindset ‘champions’ from both academies received training and bespoke resources from Portsmouth University. Tuxford and East Leake are now developing and promoting a Growth Mindset culture within their academies.

In 2013-2014 East Markham Primary School were a ‘control’ school who administered the before and after standardised tests to a selected group of students which were then compared with students who had received the benefits of the selected intervention strategies. East Markham are now currently receiving the Growth Mindsets training and resources.

The national results from Closing the Gap: Test and Learn Project will be published and will hopefully allow schools to select and develop those strategies which have the most impact on the most vulnerable students to help ‘close the gap’.

TVTSA has enjoyed and benefitted from participating in this project.

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