Performance Development

Performance Development at St. Bernard’s: Closing the Reading and Vocabulary Gaps

During this Performance Development cycle, teachers at St. Bernard’s have engaged with a piece of Disciplined Inquiry based on strategies from Alex Quigley’s books: ‘Closing the Reading Gap’ and ‘Closing the Vocab. Gap’ in order to achieve the vision and rationale set out below:

  • To develop classroom practice that is evidence informed and evaluated;
  • To ensure all staff take part in a disciplined inquiry that aims to improve their teaching in the areas of reading or vocabulary (both over a two year period);
  • To provide staff with a true learning experience which is intellectually challenging;
  • To develop staff to become learners;
  • To improve students’ experience in the classroom;
  • To improve student achievement and outcomes in areas that are key to their future success.

The inquiry process was divided into three key stages:

  1. EXPLORE: What do evidence-based research findings tell us about the most effective strategies we can employ in the classroom to close the reading or vocabulary gaps? Staff used Alex Quigley’s books, ‘Closing the Reading Gap’ or ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ as initial reading. From this reading, teachers were required to design an inquiry-based question on reading or vocabulary which formed a reading or vocabulary in-class intervention and the basis of their Performance Development.
  2. ENGAGE: This part of the process focused on staff planning and implementing their intervention, as specified in their inquiry question.During this phase, staff were required to collect pre-test data, develop resources, design post-test methods and, most crucially, deliver the inquiry with their identified class.
  3. EVALUATE: Once the 12 week intervention was complete, staff evaluated the effectiveness of their inquiry question. This included the collection of post-test data and completion of the inquiry question write-up document.

What follows in the booklet below is the collection of inquiry questions written by teachers at St. Bernard’s. There is a year of hard work and commitment between these pages, which we are hugely proud of – this booklet is our way of celebrating this.