At Cheadle Hulme High School we believe that evidence informed practice is the key to continuous improvement. We consistently strive to improve the teaching and learning in our school. A key part of this commitment is the engagement in research in and of practice. We do this individually, collaboratively, within our alliance and with partner higher education institutions. Here you will find links to our work in this area, please feel free to contact us for further information.

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What is action research?
Action research is inquiry based learning that is carried out by professionals within the school community. We believe that we as professionals need to engage and shape current developments in education, which is why the stimulus of current educational literature is important in enabling teachers to consider elements of their own practice that they may wish to develop.

What are action research communities?
Action Research Communities (ARC) are groups of teachers coming together to develop their understanding of current developments in education whilst researching classroom practice through their own experiences and those of their colleagues. There are a series of meetings during the year where the group can gather to review literature, progress and formulate next steps. There will also be opportunities to feedback to other staff in school.

The action research approach
ARC meetings will be an opportunity to develop strategies for the next steps in the research process. The main body of work takes place in between the meetings, which typically involves reading and responding to educational literature whilst trialling strategies in the classroom. Teachers joint plan and observe each other teaching in order to provide effective feedback to improve practice. The process is reviewed and all groups come together to share their knowledge and experiences.

China-England Teacher Exchange

In 2014-15 there has been a very successful teacher exchange between 48 English primary schools and their counterparts in Shanghai: altogether, 71 English teachers and senior leaders and 60 Shanghai teachers have participated. The exchange is a key activity of the Maths Hubs programme, which is funded by the DfE and led and coordinated by the NCETM. Cheadle Hulme High School, as part of the North West One Maths Hub will take part in the secondary project, starting in September 2015.

The aims of the project for the participating English teachers are that they:

  • develop a deep understanding of how maths is taught for mastery in the equivalent of KS3 classes in Shanghai; 
  • develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to attune and align with those of their Shanghai counterparts, 
  • implement successfully the Shanghai structural and pedagogical approaches in some/all Y7 and/or 8 classes in their school.

Research questions to be addressed by the project will include with regards to teaching for mastery:
what do Shanghai KS3 teachers do that, in general, English KS3 teachers don’t?
what do English KS3 teachers do that, in general, Shanghai KS3 teachers don’t?
what do Shanghai KS3 teachers do that, in general, English KS3 teachers also do?

With regards to the professional learning context of teachers (in particular, their ongoing PD) in Shanghai:

  • what do Shanghai KS3 teachers have / know / get that, in general, English KS3 teachers don’t? 
  • what do English KS3 teachers have / know / get that, in general, Shanghai KS3 teachers don’t?


Together with Manchester Metropolitan University we offer masters degrees in education. This takes the form of dedicated communities of practice working collaboratively with masters level concepts. All members of the Atticus Alliance are invited to take part and we have participants from all key stages. 

Previous participants have said the following in terms of impact:


Each unit takes approximately a term to complete with sessions being held as twilights. We have visiting lecturers who deliver on the sessions and an onsite MMU associate tutor to stitch all the learning together.
In the past units have included ‘Critical Issues in Education’ and ‘Professional Identities in Education’. The awards offered are the MA Education and the MSc Education Leadership and Management.


Nationally there is a significant shortfall in qualified maths and physics teachers. It is proving to be increasingly challenging staffing departments in these subjects. The TSST provides an opportunity to upskill existing teachers for these areas. This is targeted at non-specialist teachers who could potentially teach maths or physics in addition to their main subject and teachers who want to retrain as maths or physics teachers.

Question Answer
 How much does it cost?  It is free.
 What is the content?  Both the maths and the physics strands train participants on the subject and pedagogical knowledge associated with these subjects for teachers to deliver up to GCSE.
 Who can apply?  Any qualified teacher who does not hold a PGCE or BEd in maths/physics who wants to teach, or currently teaches, maths or physics.
 What is the time commitment?  Both the maths and the physics strands will involve 5 face to face training days throughout the academic year 15/16. Private study between contact days will be provided.
 Where will the face to face days be?  All of the days will be located in the Teaching School at Cheadle Hulme High School, Stockport.
 What is the qualification?  The maths strand will be certified by the Altius Alliance and the NCETM. The physics strand will be certified by the Altius Alliance and the Institute of Physics. Both pathways have the option of gaining masters accreditation for an additional fee.
 How to I sign up?  For further information please contact Dr David Woolley:

Secure a place by emailing Jo Stephens: