External Partnerships and Projects
Partnerships for Improvement
As an outward-facing and self-improving school, we take part in peer reviews to quality assure our work. We are part of the Mcubed Partnership of schools and use the support of Head teachers, along with THEP (Tower Hamlets Education Partnership) advisers to provide us with feedback for improvement.
Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)
Our R.E. Lead is a committee member of SACRE; she is instrumental in evaluating and shaping the current and new Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Tower Hamlets.
Partnership with the Western Norway University of Applied Science
Working alongside teachers in training from Norway, Blue Gate Fields Junior School has shared excellent practice through modelling lessons and sharing good practice in planning and delivering R.E. The school was chosen by the local authority as a school which has participated in the Excellent R.E. Project and Understanding Christianity Course.
Building Resilience to Extremism through Enquiry (BREE) Project
Schools have a duty to safeguard children and to help them develop critical thinking in relation to extremism. This is hard to do: these are controversial topics, and discussions need to be well managed.
In this project, teachers are trained to establish a Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach in their classrooms and deliver a carefully designed teaching sequence to build understanding and critical thinking about extremism.
P4C is a globally-established programme which encourages young people to explore challenging issues through discussion. P4C provides a safe space where students can air, examine and challenge views.
During 2018, 45 schools in Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Cumbria and London piloted the project. Teachers and students both strongly endorsed the programme.
Among students at a high school in Bolton:
- 75% said they “now feel more confident to talk about these issues with other people, including friends, teachers and family members”
- 95% said they “recommend that pupils in other schools have opportunities to take part in the same activities”
As a result of our involvement in the project, Blue Gate Fields have designed additional lessons which will be incorporated into the teaching sequence for the BREE programme.
Multiplicative Reasoning Project with Professor Mike Askew
Connections, continuity and progression in Multiplicative Reasoning in Primary Mathematics.
- Examine how attending to Multiplicative Reasoning (MR) can support continuity in learning across the primary years
- Explore progression in understanding, reasoning and problem solving involving MR
- Examine core representations that support MR and promote connections across mathematical topics
With a move to a curriculum based on yearly expectations, it is easy for teaching to focus on the content for that particular year. An alternative approach is to look strands of mathematics that span many, if not all, of the primary years.
Traditionally the initial focus in number work is based in Additive Reasoning (AR) with the assumption that a sound base in addition and subtraction leads into MR, which is also seen as more challenging the AR. Evidence shows, however, that not only is MR not more difficult than AR, but that it can be productively worked with in ways that are distinct from AR.
For example, two ideas underpinning MR are:
- Measures, leading to fractions – if I can fill four cups from the bottle, then the bottle is four times as big as the cup, and each cup is a quarter of the bottle.
- Scaling, as applied to place value – if a unit cube represents a seedling and it grows to the ten times as tall, then the ten-stick is its new size (a different relationship to the additive one of counting out and exchanging ten unit cubes for a ten-stick).
Children can work with both these ideas from Year 1 upwards, and in revisiting them through the years will deepen their understanding of MR. These ideas also connect to understanding division and measurement, and so different strands of mathematics become woven together. And they challenge the idea of ‘counting comes first’.
There is also evidence that children with a good sense of MR not only have a better understanding of fractions, but also, later, have fewer difficulties when encountering algebra. Thus working with MR results in deep understanding and enhanced reasoning across the years.