Lexden Springs Residential Special School is a research engaged learning community.
We are committed to classroom based action research projects and engagement with learning at every level to raise achievement and improve outcomes. We aim, through research, to become a high performing school dedicated to the implementation of outstanding learning, progress and outcomes.
We are committed to action research projects and as part of this we have formed extensive partnerships with other organisations, schools and universities.
The enquiry ethos is embedded in the on going life of our school and is an important feature of our school improvement and staff development.
2015-2016: We worked with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) as an Enquiring school and the conference we held at the end of that year was also a ‘Celebration of Learning’ as we were the first special school to be awarded the NFER research mark.
2016-2017: We worked closely with Dr. Paula Bosanquet Head of Subject, Education and Development at the University of East London to give teachers an academic framework around which to develop their small-scale action research projects.
2017-2018: Teachers and support staff worked on individual pieces of enquiry, research and in-school projects. One teacher, for example, successfully undertook further school-based research and was awarded an MA in Education from Anglia University.
2018 – 2019: In July 2019 we were re- accredited the NFER Research Mark after a year working alongside Alison Wilmott from NFER. All teachers worked in curriculum groups to complete their action research projects.
2019-2020: Teachers and support staff revisited working on individual pieces of enquiry, research, and in-school projects. One teacher, for example, successfully undertook further school-based research as part of a Reading for Pleasure Colchester teacher’s group, focusing on the delivery and impact of remote learning.
2015-2016 Research Questions
- In what ways does ‘sounds of intent’ impact upon students?
- Will helping our students understand a wider range of emotions have an impact on their behaviour?
- In what ways does children’s ability to communicate with a wider audience impact upon their communication and independence skills?
- How can we help students to recognise and identify their emotions, so that they can self-regulate?
2016-2017 Research Questions
- In what ways does the use of library club impact upon developing boy’s early reading skills?
- How does meeting a child’s sensory needs on a regular basis impact upon their learning?
- What is the impact of Charanga music resource on the vocalisations of three children?
- What are the practical implications of introducing story massage to a PMLD Class?
- How has the introduction of story massage impacted on the social interactions of key children in a PMLD class?
- What is the impact of the creating mental wealth approach having on student’s well-being?
2017-2018 Research Questions
- What is resilience and is there any evidence-based research to suggest using resilience-based approaches supports children’s mental health?
- Will implementing a Resilience Framework promote a community of practice and encourage critical reflection?
- Does the cross-curricular implementation of the Resilience Framework (RF) facilitate building pupil’s resilience and so create mental wealth?
- Is there any evidence-based literature to suggest that the EHCP process and ‘person-centred planning’ approach is effective and impacts positively on pupil outcomes?
- What aspects of the EHCP process do stakeholders perceive to be effective or ineffective and why?
- Does the EHCP process and ‘person centred planning’ approach need to be revised to impact more effectively on pupil outcomes?
2018-2019 Research Questions
- Communication Group: How does helping our students to have a meaningful voice and access to the wider community impact upon their social communication skills?
- Creative Development Group: In what ways do creative development sessions impact on pupil’s social communication through visual arts, soundboard or music?
- Exploration and Discovery Group: In what ways do planned learning experiences outside of the classroom (using VR) encourage students to observe, ask and answer questions?
- Physical Group: In what ways do outdoor mixed ability physical development sessions impact on social communication and interaction?
- Me and My Community Group: In what ways does regular access to the local community benefit our students? How does it help them express meaningful preferences for Post 19 provision?
2019-2020 Research focus
‘Locked Down but Not Locked Out’- Maintaining a love for books and stories. Researching, creating and developing reading communities inside and outside of school.