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Research and Development

CamSTAR (Cambridge, School Teachers and Research) is a non-hierarchical, collaborative research group. Since its inception in 2001, CamSTAR has grown to a network of seventeen secondary and primary schools, with over two hundred teachers involved in researching practice across the schools each year. Research is a highly effective approach to developing teacher knowledge through CPD.

The potential for CamSTAR involvement is driven by the school’s own needs and ambitions.

In 2008, the research co-ordinators from each school decided to develop the research approaches, firstly within schools, where research began to involve not just individuals and their own projects, but also departments and Faculties. Then in 2009, a further step was taken to involve schools in a year long inter-school research project, with an initial focus on Dialogic Teaching.

The Dialogic Teaching inter-school research proved such a success that the CamSTAR management group decided to extend the project by a second year and indeed this is now an on-going project. But we also found the inter-school focus a good model, and have a second strand of inter-school research focusing on conditions for excellence, which began in 2010.

Most recently CamSTAR has launched an NQT/RQT research arm, with the first Conference held in October 2011, working with early career teachers in developing their own professional knowledge.

Dissemination of research undertaken is achieved both through our website and through research conferences which each school hosts on a turn by turn basis. We have also taken our research reports to conferences within the UK, Europe and to Australia.

Thurston Community College joined the network in the Autumn of 2010 to generate a lively and collaborative community within the school which has reflective practice at its heart.


Contact for queries:

Kirsten Parker, Assistant Principal, kirsten.parker@thurstoncollege.suffolk.sch.uk,

Katie Whittle or Laura King, Lead Practitioner's for Research & Development, katie.whittle@thurstoncollege.suffolk.sch.uk or laura.king@thurstoncollege.suffolk.sch.uk