Early Years Pedagogy Network

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This network adopts a “research and development informed” approach to investigating whether new/enhanced pedagogical approaches can solve old problems.

The Gants Hill Partnership Teaching Alliance’s Early Years’ Pedagogy Network was created with the purpose of improving the quality of early year’s provision across its five core schools and beyond.

This alliance has been described as an “Oasis in an East London desert” being the only primary school alliance, specialising in early years practice, east of Tower Hamlets.

Within the alliance’s geographical location, the five challenges facing schools outlined by Blatchford’s (2013) research are very real issues which teachers must address when aspiring to provide high quality provision.

  1. Schools in the locality face 30-40% casual admissions, with 20% of children in Redbridge alone, 11,000, living in poverty.
  2. 40-60%+ Children with English as an Additional Language, 50%+ Language other than English.
  3. Teachers struggle to afford housing, placing pressures on recruitment.
  4. Diversity, there exists a wide range of schools, including the UK’s Largest schools, some up to seven times the average size of England (2011)
  5. Equality. London schools are amongst the highest performing in the UK, with the most amount of outstanding schools. While international data is indicating that if London on its own was placed into PISA rankings it would outperform the UK by 14 places, and that children from social and economically disadvantaged backgrounds living in London outperform similar children across the UK, there still remain 170,0 00 children in grade 3 and 4 schools.

Rationale

Blatchford’s (2013) research further discusses how at times facing these challenges can leave a teacher or indeed school feeling isolated. The core purpose of this Alliances work is to therefore sustain a joint practice development model which heeds the messages and challenges outlined by Blatchford (2013), combines its expertise and knowledge and effectively shares its practices to support others collaboratively to improve the quality of early year’s provision they provide.

Investment in early years practice has the highest level of return in terms of impact on a child’s educational achievement and improvement to life chances. (World Bank, 2005) The Early Years Pedagogy Network will therefore focus on ensuring the research and development opportunities it invests in are shared with schools across our geographical desert and beyond in a way that supports reciprocity.