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Northern Ireland ‘first’ for Carrickfergus Grammar

Carrickfergus Grammar has become the first school in Northern Ireland to be selected to join a prestigious network dedicated to sharing the best research into how children succeed educationally.

As part of the Cognitive Science Network, Carrickfergus Grammar School will work with ten other distinguished schools across the UK to seek, embed and share the best practice in relation to teaching and learning, ensuring that children succeed academically.

The network, which will launch in September was founded by InnerDrive, a renowned educational organisation that has worked with schools and teachers around the world, helping them apply research in a practical, meaningful and useful way in the classroom.

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In January 2021, Carrickfergus Grammar became the first school in Northern Ireland to appoint a Director of Research. Previously, teachers at the school have worked with prominent experts in the field of education research, including Kate Jones and Tom Sherrington. Through visits to other network schools, as well as a series of workshops and seminars, Carrickfergus Grammar will be in a position to share their expertise with schools across the UK. In addition, they hope to offer support to schools in Northern Ireland who are looking to develop their understanding of evidence-informed teaching and learning.

Carrickfergus Grammar School will be working with other schools across the UK in the initiative.

James Maxwell, Principal of the school, said: “I am delighted that Carrickfergus Grammar School has become the first research-hub school in Northern

Ireland, as a result of its continued excellence in educational initiatives. Whilst the notion of Research Schools is widespread in England, Carrickfergus Grammar School is the first such school here. Whilst our first and top priority will always be the continued raising of standards and outcomes for our own pupils, we look forward to sharing our expertise in the field of research and cognitive science with other schools in the province as well.”

Mark Roberts, Director of Research at Carrickfergus Grammar, said: Being selected as the first school in Northern Ireland to join the research network is a significant achievement. The opportunity to work closely with other research-hub schools across the UK is an exciting prospect. Our pupils – and pupils at the schools we’ll collaborate with – will really benefit from the sharing of excellent research-informed practice.”

Mr James Maxwell, Principal, with Director of Research Mr Mark Roberts