Share of £75,000 for innovative project at Sidmouth College

Sidmouth College. Ref shs 8776-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn.

Sidmouth College. Ref shs 8776-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth College is one of just four schools nationwide selected to share in grants totalling £75,000 to fund innovative ways of improving pupil attainment.

It was chosen for support by the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) for a project entitled ‘building resilience in learners’.

The college will work with five other schools over six weeks to evaluate whether interventions are effective at helping year seven students identified as ‘having low attendance and achievement and poor behaviour and attitude to learning’.

Assistant vice principal Lisa Whitworth, who put together the funding bid, said some students have the option of using ‘exit cards’ to leave the classroom if a situation gets too much for them.

Instead, the study will give them ‘face it’ cards and use cognitive behaviour therapy principles to equip them with the skills they need to address their emotions.

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This is intended to improve their resilience and reduce disruption to their learning.

The project builds on a ‘character education’ scheme last year that got funding from the Department for Education.

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Lisa thought the research could be taken further so put together a funding bid to the IEE. Hers was one of only four projects across the country to be supported. The six-week study will begin after Easter.

IEE director Bette Chambers said: “In awarding these grants, we were looking for approaches that teachers or schools have developed themselves or are adaptations of approaches that have been proven to work elsewhere and adapted to work with their particular pupils.

“The four projects that have been awarded the funding were successful because they address a specific challenge and use current research to develop innovations to solve them. These innovations will be evaluated using clear, measurable outcomes.”

The other projects supported by the IEE grants will evaluate the impact of using an audio tool to give feedback compared to a written response, enhancing vocabulary, and the effect of immediate marking on pupil progress in science.

All the beneficiaries are members of the Research Schools Network.

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