ROH Bridge - Programme Outline Version 2


ROH Bridge, Anglia Ruskin University, Billericay Educational Consortium and Grange Primary School have been working in partnership to create a programme that supports early career primary teachers to develop their skill and confidence.

After initially targeting Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), it quickly became apparent that there was a less visible demographic that didn’t receive as much support or research as the training centres and schools would like: Early Career Teachers (approx years 1-3 of teaching).

This proposal outlines our intended programme of action research with Early Career Teachers (ECTs) in South Essex primary schools.  Specifically, 12-15 ECTs would be offered specialist training and the opportunity to work alongside cultural providers to develop music, dance/drama and art activities that support the new curriculum, with particular reference to how creative engagement can raise standards in writing.  This would increase schools’ engagement with the cultural sector and could build on recent research on the impact of the arts on literacy attainment.


  • To develop children’s writing skills through creative processes
  • To provide structured support for early career teachers to lead action research on an area of learning for their school
  • To build the case and articulate the value of creative learning in schools
  • To raise schools awareness of the value of working in partnership with the cultural sector to develop both curriculum and pedagogy.

Learning Objectives for Teachers

  • To develop skills and confidence as an arts subject leader and in teaching drama, dance, music and art
  • To build skills as an ECT in South Essex and share these skills through the programme
  • To learn research techniques that help evidence the impact of this intervention to understand the nature of evidence in action research and contribute to the process of monitoring, evidencing and disseminating the findings of this research
  • To share skills through a peer to peer learning model
  • To develop a greater understanding of the ways in which pupils can be engaged in writing, thus helping to improve standards of writing among targeted children.
  • To develop awareness and confidence in working with cultural sector partners, including Learning outside the Classroom, where relevant.

An early task for the teacher-researchers will be to identify learning objectives for the targeted pupils as we must ensure this work addresses highlighted needs among pupils.

School Partners

12- 15 Early Career Teachers from South Essex primary schools will form the core of this work.  It is imperative that Senior Leaders from each participating school are involved in the initial event and supportive of the programme.

We have identified a network of schools across South Essex through the Billericay Educational Consortium as well as other schools that are part of the wider Anglia Ruskin ITT programme that will be approached to participate in this programme.  Initially, we will approach schools in the Wickford / Billericay area together with schools in Canvey, using existing networks and relationships to contact these schools.  This will be followed by wider dissemination across South Essex if a wider recruitment drive is needed.

It is intended that this project will create a network of professionals that can continue to provide support in both action research techniques and working with cultural partners with peers within their own schools and across the network of schools in South Essex.

Research Question

The draft school research question is as follows:

This will be discussed and refined as part of the first event and subsequent planning day with the participant teachers.  Additional research into the benefits of early career intervention for teachers will be conducted alongside this project by Anglia Ruskin University.

Delivery Model

The draft delivery model makes the assumption that the steering group continues to have an active role in developing this project.

Inspiration event – June 2014

Venue: Collaborative Learning Centre in Wickford

Invited Partners: Identified schools in Wickford and Canvey.  We request that both a Senior Leader and the identified ECT attend this event.  We believe it is essential to gain support from senior staff at this early stage to ensure the programme is effective.  There is a long-term ambition that we create champions of creative learning at all levels within our schools.

Content: introducing process, draft research question, time commitment, taster sessions with cultural partners.

Planning event – September 2014

All ECTs will attend a one day planning session

Content: learn the stages of undertaking action research in school, including finalising the research question and methodology for collecting data, introducing the details of the programme of activity etc

Delivery phase – September 14 – July 15

Throughout the delivery phase a basic format will be followed each term:

  • One CPD day lead by arts education practitioner from the cultural sector
  • At least half a day follow up support from the practitioner at each school to support the delivery of a session with the identified pupils (see budget breakdown for several models)
  • Practical resources to help teachers introduce new strategies into their teaching
  • One twilight session towards the end of the term to feedback as well as to review data and conduct initial analysis
Summer Term
Autumn Term 2013 Spring Term 2015 Summer Term 2015
Inspiration day Planning
Music CPD day plus follow up delivery in class Visual/Digital CPD day plus follow up delivery in class Drama/Dance CPD day plus follow up delivery in class Sharing
Research twilight Research twilight Research twilight

The following initial suggestions are to highlight a few possible themes cultural providers that are based within the area and could be employed to deliver activity.  Many of these providers will have courses and residencies that could be offered as follow up opportunities for any teachers with a specific interest.

It is also worth noting that there will be different budgetary implications to working with each potential partner.  Some will be able to offer some support in-kind, others will have costs that are associated with the processes they employ and the equipment required.

Term One – Music theme – Song writing focus

  • Essex Music Hub – Sessions designed by the vocal and choral manager on singing/song writing such creating folk songs.
  • Musiko Musika could offer a songwriting CPD programme that has a cultural diversity focus
  • A one day introduction to writing an opera with Royal Opera House.
  • Do we have suggestions for other music partners with a strong evidence of supporting literacy?

Term Two – Visual or Digital theme

  • Firstsite or Focal Point Gallery – using galleries to develop children’s visual literacy and using this as a starting point for writing activities, such as Take One Picture model and supporting resources.
  • Furtherfield – could deliver a range of computer programming activities such as using Raspberry Pi to set up online school chat rooms through simple coding or using Scratch software to share stories interactively.
  • Signals Media Arts – animation workshops (such as claymation) to write, animate and film short stories.

Term Three – Drama or Dance theme

  • Make Believe Arts – Using drama techniques to provide creative approaches to the curriculum. Current CPD offer includes Literature Alive which provides an in-depth understanding of plot, subtext, narrative and characters or a session focussing on digital storytelling through blogs.
  • Siobhan Davies Dance delivers training to all student teachers at the Institute of Education in how to use dance and movement not only within P.E. but as a tool for teaching and learning across the primary curriculum. Their recent Essex primary teacher workshops have been very well received but we’d need to a have a discussion about how closely they could link a CPD day to literacy development….

Dissemination event or Conference – June 2015

To address new curriculum, action research findings, improving writing evidence using case studies from participants.

Journal/ publication? TBC.