Alexander First School

Acquire knowledge, prepare for the future, research in action

Research and Development

Research and Development


Using research to understand and develop the best teaching and learning practices.

A key principle of in-school research is that there must be real benefits for students. Research must focus on improving student outcomes and must be forward thinking, improving skills and experiences of teachers to sustain great teaching.


All good teachers reflect on their own classroom practice and will often take intuitive action as a result. Research gives us the opportunity and tools to analyse if new approaches work or not. It helps us to consider both the short and the long term implications of any changes that we make on student outcomes. We can make informed decisions about the merits or otherwise of particular aspects of our approach to teaching and learning both in our own school and more widely. We are then in a position to confidently share outcomes and conclusions with other colleagues.

We work with Brunel University Education Department as well as Exeter University to support action research at Alexander First School.

Research areas covered at Alexander First School to date:


  • STEM Education Research Group and Discovery Education: A multidisciplinary approach to STEM curriculum design

(Brunel University)

  • Maths Mastery: Limitations and benefits of a mastery approach to teaching and learning for Service (Army) pupils

(Brunel University)

  • Phonics Phacts: Systematic phonics learning to help pupil progress

(Exeter University)

  • Nurture: Beyond the Boxall Profile

(Exeter University)

Research group membership:


  • Service Children’s Progression Alliance
  • Brunel University Maths Steering Association
  • The National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics (NCETM) Maths Hub
  • Aspire to STEM
  • Nurture UK
  • Army Families Federation