Sevenoaks School publishes second edition of academic journal

Within the journal is the first large-scale study into the positive impact of inclusive leadership on students in secondary education

Sevenoaks School, an independent day and boarding school in Kent, have published the second edition of its annual academic journal, Innovate.

The publication, led by the school’s Institute of Teaching and Learning, details research-focused projects that explore best practice and policy in schools.

The journal is divided into five sections: learning to learn, wellbeing, character education, digital learning, and service and social impact.

It includes topics such as inclusion, diversity and gender subject gaps, adapting lessons to digital delivery and supporting student wellbeing when educational rites of passage are missed. There are also articles on delivering whole class feedback, supporting study skills and the benefits of ‘slow-looking’, with highlight projects exploring the impact of leadership on students.

Jesse Elzinga, headmaster at Sevenoaks School, said: “We are committed to sharing best practice in teaching and learning, giving teachers an opportunity to reflect on their own work and build on the ideas of others. Our Institute of Teaching and Learning plays a vital role in coordinating this collaboration, helping professionals in our school and the wider teaching community to connect with great ideas.”

We are committed to sharing best practice in teaching and learning, giving teachers an opportunity to reflect on their own work and build on the ideas of others – Jesse Elzinga, Sevenoaks School

One article in the journal details the first large empirical study looking at the positive impact of inclusive leadership on students in secondary education.

Dr Paul Parham, mathematics teacher at Sevenoaks School, examined the relationship between teachers’ leadership style and student performance in the mathematics department. A study undertaken in collaboration with Gloria Moss at Buckinghamshire New University surveyed almost 700 students to find a strong positive association between teachers displaying inclusive behaviours and improved student performance.

Another article, written by Dr Ceri Sims, psychologist and senior lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University and Paul Thompson, head of geography at Sevenoaks School, looks at the effect of student leadership roles and behaviours on motivation and wellbeing.

The quantitative study surveyed almost 250 students across years 9-11, and results noted that building leadership identity through informal activities, including community service and mentoring, are equally as important as official roles. In addition to feelings of responsibility, identity and belonging, gained through traditional ‘badged roles’, informal leadership positions give students ‘hope’, which enhances overall achievement.

They noted that the findings are especially pertinent as previous research suggests opportunities for student leadership in secondary education are limited and driven largely by teachers’ selection of individuals for posts such as school captain.

There are a range of other articles written by university professors, teachers, headteachers and department heads.


Innovate is available to read online.

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