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Action Research – Ash

School: E Shaw
Highfield CE Primary School
Getting Ready
1. Stimulus
What could go better? What do you want to improve?
What interests you?
(eg ‘My students give up too easily’) I wanted to improve the accuracy and independent application of finger spaces in Year One pupil’s writing. A small group of pupils currently do not keep consistent spaces between words, making it difficult not only for the teacher to read, but for themselves as well. Whilst using fingers to space words is helpful, it could hinder and slow them down as they have to constantly change position.

2. Hypothesis
What’s your thought about the issue you are focusing on?
(eg ‘Maybe I am doing too much for my students’) My prediction is that if a child has an exciting tool to use, which also links in to their current learning, it will encourage them to write using the correct spacing independently. My hypothesis is that they will independently choose to use them rather than having to be reminded, thus encouraging more independent learning.

3. Research
What does the research say? What do others in my school know about this?
So far, research suggests that independent learners achieve more and are able to self-assess more accurately. Considering that this action will lead to improved legibility, it should also increase their ability to check and edit their own writing.

Research following this action will allow me to see whether or not the children’s finger spaces have improved.

My Focus
4. Research question
(eg ‘If I make it easier for students to help themselves and each other will their resilience improve?’ Can the use of ‘themed’ finger space tools improve the accuracy and independent application of finger spaces, and subsequently the legibility, of year one pupil’s writing?

5. Priorities
How does my question sit within my school’s current priorities? Have I checked with key team members/senior staff? Highfield CE Primary School is dedicated to encouraging neat cursive handwriting from towards the end of Year R, right the way through to Year 6.

Children are also required to self-evaluate their writing and edit for corrections and improvements independently and peer to peer.

My Enquiry
6. The Intervention
What you will do? When? Who? How?
For example I have created the tools of the appropriate ‘finger space’ width, illustrated with current learning themes (including ‘Mr. Twit’ and ‘Elves’ themes as an exciting stimulus). These both link in with the children’s writing topics. There is obviously the option to update these as topics change.

Consistent marking and continual assessment of the children’s writing will indicate how effective these tools are. A comparison of two writing assessments (one each half term) will show whether there has been any progression in their writing.

I will monitor who is independently choosing to use them and cross referencing this with the quality of their writing.

7. Evaluation Methods
How will you notice, measure and describe what happens?
My control group will be other classes where there are no themed tools, so children are choosing to either use their fingers, or in some classes, a plain lolly-stick.
Is there a contrast in the improvement/ development of finger spaces between groups of children who have similar targets?

Timescale My themed tools are already in effect, the next review of writing will be February half term.