'working for maximum success for each individual'

Research & Development

Research and development (R&D) at the Gateway is a way of ensuring that what we do in response to the needs of our students is grounded in evidence. This central premise means that when reflecting on current practices, or designing new approaches, we must ask ourselves why do we maintain a policy? how can it be best implemented? and is there sufficient evidence to support it?


If we are to strive to meet the complex needs of our students, then we must maintain a diligent appeal to academic literature in fields such as neuroscience, psychology and education. R&D is therefore an integral part of continuing professional development through investigation and development of recommendations to improve pedagogy. It underpins staff training, serving as a means to share practice with other professionals from a multidisciplinary background.


The following are just some of the key areas which R&D has focused on:

  • Creation of a bespoke Threshold Concept & Mastery Curriculum model – replacing the national curriculum levels and ensuring that academic progress is clearly defined, monitored and addressed throughout a student’s journey at the Gateway.
  • School wide curriculum approach – includes a detailed literature review to accompany policy.
  • Metacognition – delivered seminars at Fairfield’s Teaching School Alliance annual inclusion conference.
  • Memory – delivered CPD on interactions between working memory, cognitive load theory and methods for promoting long-term retrieval.
  • Spacing and Interleaving combined with the testing effect – result of research centred on memory.
  • Feedback – CPD on the merits of ‘Live Feedback’.
  • Attachment – CPD training on an attachment informed approach following external consultations.
  • Assessment – Created an assessment model that is clear, accurate and responsive incorporated into the Threshold Concept framework.
  • Dual Coding – CPD and staff training sessions.