2014 Closing the Gap project
Focus: Pupil Premium students at Cosby Primary School
Lead: Tracey Withers, Headteacher
The Teaching Alliance was successful in its bid to participate in an ambitious and exciting project called “Closing the Gap: Test and Learn,” organised by the National College. The project provides grants to enable schools and teachers to be involved in this rigorous national research project.
The goal is to help improve the evidence-base for which interventions are effective in closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils and also to stimulate robust research and development in schools.
Over 750 schools, representing 190 teaching school alliances are participating in the scheme over the next two years to test interventions that may help to close the attainment gap.
After a consultation, 7 interventions were identified, which are considered to have the potential to improve learning and outcomes for the most vulnerable children and young people. These are being tested through the project.
Interventions allocated to various national teaching schools and their partners:
1st Class @ Number
Achievement for All
Growth mindsets (Thomas Estley Community College 2014/15)
Numicon (Cosby Primary School 2013/14)
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Research Lesson Study (RLS)
Numicon is a multi-sensory approach which uses apparatus to consolidate children’s understanding of number representation. The programme of activities with Numicon shapes and rods helps children understand number relationships, spot patterns and make generalisations. The Numicon shapes and rods help teachers and children to communicate their ideas. Children are encouraged to work together on activities which emphasise applying understanding to solve problems.
With Year 3 as a focus, the whole cohort undertook a national test at the beginning of the project. The analysis from the test enabled staff to identify a focus group as well as potential gaps in the mathematical understanding of the whole cohort.
The focus group consisted of the lowest performing 8 children, 7 of whom were on the SEN register and 3 pupil premium. The group took part in a twelve week programme which was followed by a final assessment, the analysis of which fed into the national research.