The Grounded Practice Programme (GPP)

The GPP has been developed by Dr Dave Walters and is based on his internationally published work which has the core values and moral purpose of organisations at the core of a self-improving system. Due to its vision of ‘all-through’ education and its backbone of a common conception of progress at all stages, the programme is of particular relevance to communities of schools. These schools may have formal partnerships such as Multi-Academy Trusts or more informal working partnerships like Local Learning Communities.

The GPP provides a clear 3 year development plan based on the 15 criteria used for accreditation as a ‘Thinking School’ and the 5 additional criteria used for accreditation as an ‘Advanced Thinking School’. It then provides a professional development framework using ‘A’, ‘T’, ‘E’ as its structure. Teachers, Leaders and Support Staff will therefore receive support, guidance and instruction in the following 3 areas:

  • Assessment – How to integrate all aspects of assessment, recording, reporting, tracking and monitoring. This will be tailored to the context of the specific schools and will be fully embracing of variations is assessment practices. The starting point here is knowing where children are on that journey to where you want them to be. Securing robust judgements will feature strongly here as will the establishment of a common conception of progress across all phases.
  • Teaching – Based on robust assessment, this now turns to establishing what teaching strategies are appropriate to this assessment such that children’s learning can be taken forward effectively and sufficiently. Here, teachers will gain access to the wealth of support provided by TSI in the identification and selection of appropriate cognitive tools. Central to this process is showing children up front exactly what success actually looks like in the change from where they are to where they need to be.
  • Evaluation – Through the use of a simple, robust internationally acknowledged metric, aligned to Professor Burden’s influential ‘Myself as a Learner Scale’, schools will be shown how to further develop the skills of impact measurement in the wider sense to include academic achievement and personal growth. Again, this will be fully embracing of variations in assessment practice. Teachers will be shown how to develop as researching professionals (rather than professional researchers). The evaluation process is based on all children getting a year’s improvement for a year’s teaching, and knowing exactly what that looks like. 

The GPP takes as its starting point the robust and internationally acknowledged research of Professor John Hattie (Visible Learning) and Professor Steve Higgins (The Sutton Trust) and focuses on ‘high impact’, ‘low cost’, ‘based on extensive evidence’ factors that underpin the achievement of children in schools. Two factors specifically inform the GPP; Feedback and the use of Meta-cognitive Strategies. This forms the basis of the fusion of assessment and cognitive education on which the GPP is built. That said, the GPP does not make the assumption that if schools provide feedback and put cognitive tools into their practice, then children will learn more effectively. Rather, the GPP takes the stance that it is how feedback and cognitive education are applied by schools that matter.

Visit The Grounded Practice Programme website for more information.